Friday progress report: Practicing new free motion quilting patterns
Every time I rent time on the longarm machine at Quilting by You in Bettendorf, the shop owners ask what crazy plans I have. Occasionally I use one overall pattern, with one thread. But most of the time I’m trying out new stitches, techniques and changing thread half-a-dozen times.
That was the case this week when I brought my chevron lap quilt in to practice some of the new stitches I’ve been learning on Quilting Negative Space with Angela Walters on Craftsy.
I started with the basic swirl pattern Angela teaches in the border and then started adding other designs to create a look that was cohesive, but still challenging as I tried new stitches.
I truly believe the key to trying new patterns, is being OK with the fact that it is not going to turn out perfectly to first time. I chose this quilt to practice on because it’s just a simple lap quilt and I really don’t care how it looks in the end. In other words, don’t try a brand new technique on a quilt you intend to be an heirloom someday.
Let’s take the pebble/circles I’m quilting in the beige chevron strips as an example. If I go slow so I can stay on the lines I’ve already quilted, then the bobbin thread shows through. If I go fast enough to correct this tension issue, I have little to no hope of staying on the lines.
It’s a give and take that will only be solved by practice, practice and more practice. Hopefully by the time I reach the bottom of this quilt, I’ll have a better grasp on it. And if I don’t, then that just means I need more practice.