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.

Online Quilting Class

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.

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Comment (2)

  1. I think your practice looks fantastic. You are so right that every new pattern needs lots of practice to perfect…but really there is no perfect, right? Have fun finishing your lap quilt!!


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