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I decided to sign up for a long arm class (online) on freemotion/edge to edge designs. So I'm working through the exercises & experimenting. I had always thought my machine could not sew right to left, but one of the patterns that I really liked worked best that way. So I started experimenting. Changing the thread worked, until I tried to do one of my I spy quilts on fleece. Today I got some ballpoint needles to try. Based on the test sample that seems to have worked. I'm very excited to be able to go back and forth - what a big time saver. This is only the 2nd sewing class I've ever taken (since 8th grade home ec) and so far I am learning a lot. I'm sure the teacher is going to get tired of me, I'm the chattiest person in the group so far.
How exciting for you to find a class where you are learning new skills from a teacher who is tolerating your enthusiasm.
It's wonderful when the class you're taking actually teaches you new things! When you have the time, do tell us about the things you are learning.
hmm, what have I learned? I took her suggestion on starting a sketchbook of quilting ideas to use as a reference. I have lots of books, but have always been frustrated trying to find the "right thing" to quilt and half the time I just go back to my old standby. I think having a sketchbook with ideas already drawn out will be very helpful. I've already drawn a handful of pages (not very pretty) that will be a good reference. Also I liked her idea of Practicing with Focus. She compared it to when we learned to write as kids, practicing each letter over and over. She suggested practicing one specific pattern over and over on baby quilts until comfortable. Hmm, well I do have a good stack of baby quilts. So I've been practicing the interlocking wave I snipped earlier. One side benefit of this is I figured out (through trial & error) how to get my machine to quilt both directions. This pattern is MUCH faster going both directions, so I was motivated to figure out why my thread always shredded - (wrong thread, wrong needle, top too tight - I think I've got it now). Talk about freeing, being able to quilt in any directions.
what else - oh for flowers, they look better when the petals radiate directly out from a center, otherwise they look wilted. And feathers look better when short and plump, and are easier to turn. Draw a circle to sew around when practicing. She does a wonderful feather meander that I want to learn to do.
another tip Susan Smith has that I've found helpful is to draw out your quilting pattern on a piece of acrylic with dry erase marker as practice. I had been using vinyl with a sharpie and then wiping it off with rubbing alcohol. but I like this better, much easier. She also suggests that you make a copy after sewing your 1st pass as a size/scale reference to refer to after you advance the quilt (another use for the acrylic board). I already had a piece of acrylic I used to use as a makeshift light table so I was all set.
One box of scraps, sorted, trimmed into 1.5”, 2”, 2.5” squares, strips, and hunks. ?? Oh, my, gosh! I have prob another 2 boxes available. Not sure if I'll start on them first or just start on a project. My back hurts like heck!!!
(part of that is also my riding lesson from today, but....)
Sorry to have been among the missing. Just couldn't do much on the computer with my shoulder. It is better but I will work my way through the forum a few threads at a time.
Dee, I love all your quilts, esp the llamas and the flag. You are so creative and productive.
Judy, I love your latest color wheel or should I say half wheel? I'm glad you keep being called back to your sewing room. I went to a retreat with Ellen and a few others with small projects thinking I might not be able to sew much but got more done than I expected. Pictures later. Now we are on a road trip but I can hear my sewing room calling me from here.
Shelley, your hexi project is amazing. I'm glad you needed something for the road. I think your applique will only add to the center.
Mishii,your pineapple quilt is beautiful. I've always wanted to do one. Maybe someday!
Thank you, Cathy, for your comment on my half color wheel. It was a pleasant experience to work on something smallish that didn't stress my shoulders or my wrists although I did find myself getting impatient at times.
I keep thinking that jigsaw puzzles are more fun than quilting these days but then I keep searching for small quilting kits on Etsy; I confess that quilting is a very hard habit to break.
Thanks also for posting something that is of general interest. I have put Retreat chatter on "Ignore" and so the forum seems to be for those of us who are out of that loop.
Below is a picture of what I was working on while a passenger in the car. Let me tell you, it's impossible to show the whole thing! But this is a portion of the vine I am applique.
There are 4 corners with 2 segments each for a total of 8 segments. I was able to finish 1 complete segment today .. 7 more to go!