Sunday, September 2, 2012

Dr. Quiltlove: Or How I'm Learning to Stop Worrying and Love Free Motion Quilting: Day 4

Welcome to my Dr. Quiltlove series, where I'm rambling waxing poetic on how you might overcome some fear and machine quilt some of those tops you have sitting around your house. In case you've missed the past couple of days, here's a quick recap:
Day 1: 10 minutes
Day 2: Getting to know you
Day 3: Finding courage

fmq practice 

Like I mentioned the other day, I've always been ignorantly brave about quilting my own tops, mainly because I just didn't know any better. These days, I'm trying to become even more blase about trying new designs. Now don't get me wrong, most of the time I don't just start quilting whatever comes to mind and see what happens. I doodled the concentric cirlces pattern from my Joy quilt on lots of pages in my notebook before I took needle to thread, but the first time I quilted it, it was on the actual quilt, not a muslin sandwich or a "practice top." The first few times I did the design on this top, wobbles were everywhere, and there was a bit of herky jerky action going on, but that's okay. It got better as I went along, and now the wobbly bits are kind of blending in. Odds are, there will be other quilt tops that come along that beg for this pattern also. So I'll keep getting less wobbly at the design as I practice using it in more quilts.

#fmq party on the front

The quilt top that you love now, consider to be your ultimate achievement, and are terrified of screwing up - it will probably be "topped" (Punny, right?) by something equally fabulous that you make and love even more next year. So just quilt it, and take *comfort* in the fact this quilt doesn't have to be your ultimate quilting ultimate achievement for life. You're going to keep improving and growing.

In conclusion, tip #4: Get some perspective. If that doesn't seem to work for you, it's okay. There's probably a talented longarmer in the area who's happy to quilt your "Precious" top. Just keep practicing on the tops you care less about until you've built up enough confidence to quilt one of your "Precious" projects. And the more you practice, the more confidence you'll build to keep trying new designs.

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