Saturday, October 07, 2006

Adventures in Machine Quilting

As it turned out, there's only so much flack I could have been given about my wussy pink & mint green test quilt for the machine quilting class. That's because there was only one student in the class besides me. So, the drive out to Damascus every Tuesday for three weeks didn't turn out to be a real community-builder, but what the hell. I certainly learned a lot about machine quilting, and probably more importantly was forced to practice.

Here's what that quilt top looked like after the dust settled:

Yeah, I know it's not particularly attractive. But it's the techniques that matter, and I'm kind of excited about those. Some, like the rose in the center and the ferny thing in the upper left, use tracing paper; the pattern in the border and the leaf on the upper right corner both use freezer paper. The really precise grid is made using blue painters' tape, of all things, which I quickly bought in every available width from the neighborhood painting supply store. I like precise grids. Controlling personality.

Now that football season is in full swing and Sue and I have finished up a guest room remodeling project that sucked all energy out of every other endeavor -- even, gentle reader, this blog -- for weeks, I've had two Saturday afternoons straight to work on quilt things. I've done a lot of assembly piecing on the Labyrinth, but I also spent some time assembling "sandwitches" out of old, crappy fabric -- including the sheets I bought for my first apartment in Kansas! -- and small pieces of scrap batting that I've been saving like an octogenarian recluse for the last decade. (It is a little troubling that this hoarding behavior was ultimately justified and rewarded).

The point of the sandwitches is just to have them on hand so you can regularly practice machine quilting technique. In theory, it will eventually start to feel natural -- and that's actually happening, a little bit. On Wednesday, I even had a glimmer of an idea that I could eventually get pretty good at it. In the meantime, I plug away at creating lovely masterworks like the following.....

Sue describes the flower as "hippilicious," which will have to do for a beginner.

That's all for now! Thanks for reading!


Karin said...

mmm...i like the orange one. very M.C. Escher.

Rebel said...

You big fibber! You made it sound like you'd never done meander quilting - you've done all kinds of it & some awesome free-hand to boot! Time to break it out on a real quilt.