Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Phase two of free-motion practice

After having moderate success in free-motion quilting my 3' x 3' silk quilt, and experimenting with various quilting patterns, I am now working on more practice with a quilt of cotton strips, and the size of this quilt is 3' x 4'.

The next special quilt I will be working on is also 3' x 4', and I wanted some practice in handling a quilt that size and with that bulk, on my little home sewing machine.

This time, I decided to stick with one pattern, based on a Japanese motif that I really like. You can see it in the picture. It is completely freehand, and of course there are variations.

However, I am learning some techniques in handling the bulk, and in moving the quilt smoothly and consistently.

It is also interesting how a nice quilting pattern can elevate a very ordinary quilt. It is simply 2" strips of many of my favorite blue fabrics, with a few greens here and there.

In the last photo, you can see the backing fabric at the left. It is probably a bit heavier than a regular quilting cotton, but so far, my quilting looks pretty good on the back as well as the front.

I am not a patient person, and I am certainly not a perfectionist. There are areas on this that many people would have ripped out and redone. But this is strictly for practice. There are a few areas that I did have to rip out and redo. I can see how much concentration is required. It is when my mind wanders that I make mistakes and my hands and my brain are not working together.

But so far, so good, and I am over half finished. I want to thank my friend Anita (a professional long arm quilter) for her encouragement and her advice. I really want to move to the next level, and I appreciate her help, as well as the encouragement of other quilting friends.

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