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What Are You Working On Now?   General Discussion

Started 11/19/17 by MarciainMD; 534413 views.
Pirate (PIRATE_SR)

From: Pirate (PIRATE_SR)


Jonna & I are thinking along the same lines!    wavy lines!

Or, what about point to point lines, echoing the outline of the star ... put the lines about 1" apart?

Here are my Incredibles - photo taken a few years ago (Mateo is now 12 years old).  One of my favorite pictures of them.  #grandmalove 

hmm, I like your idea better.  Especially when I consider the thread color.  really don't want red in the white & visa versa.  

Since I am in New Mexico for a few days I brought some handwork. I got a label put on a recent finish. I have not put labels on my finishes the last couple of years and am challenging myself to fix that situation. I also handsewed the binding to one side of a queen-sized quilt. Yesterday I did some prep work on a pictorial quilt that is screaming to be finished. 

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.  blush


From: judyinohio


How exciting for you to find a class where you are learning new skills from a teacher who is tolerating your enthusiasm. 

Pirate (PIRATE_SR)

From: Pirate (PIRATE_SR)


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.

The site is called  She has several free videos online where she shares additional tips and you can watch her quilt from loading to end.  I'm sure she shares those (and her free mini-courses) to help drive her business, but that's ok.  She's put a lot of work into the classes and I don't mind supporting.  And the free course made me comfortable that I'd enjoy her teaching style and learn enough to be worth the time & $$.   Linda Puttnam has taken her classes and recommended.

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.