Once upon a time I took a machine quilting class.
We made quilt sandwiches and divided them into grids so we could practice stitching. Since then I've filled a couple of these but because I don't practice consistently I really haven't improved much. Which is not to say that I can't trace an image if I warm up for a few hours first.
|or ruining promising quilts ( I should take another photo of this one so you can really see the mess.)|
When I found Free Motion Friday I decided it was time to do something about improving my technique. I cut two 24 inch squares of muslin and drew 4 inch grids, sandwiched the batting inside and pinned. You could also sew a nice grid using your walking foot so it doesn't feel left out of the fun.
What I learned:
I am going to gobble up a lot of these sandwiches.
It is easier to work from left to right than right to left or bottom to top.
I have more control if I sit with both feet flat on the floor and my body is centered in front of the needle.
I got better with practice.
|Week 1 - 1st attempt|
|Week 1 - 5th try|
|Week 2 - not too shabby|
|Week 3 Slate Tile 1-6|
What I learned:
It is harder than it appears.
It is easier to stitch curves than rectilinear designs. In order to do turn the direction of the needle, it helps to pause each time.
I have to know where I am going in order to get where I want to go.
Where you put your hands makes a difference. Keeping my left hand above the upper left hand corner of the work, and my right hand below the right hand corner allowed me to minimize the pressure it took to move the fabric under the needle. It also gave me more control.