January 4, 2012

Free (E)Motion in Life and Quilting

I've avoided the blog for a couple of days to avoid boring anyone with my negativity.  The blog is in danger of becoming  more of a personal blog than a Twilight quilting blog.  I'm trying to avoid that at all costs.  I've stepped into into it before with my woes and tales of issues with the Twi-Quilters, but it could be worse.

I don't know if the lingering holiday blues this time or just my overall demeanor getting out of control.  I don't know if it's my dissipation of anger.....finally....that has sapped any motivation I have to produce any new patterns, finish those started, or finish quilts as I don't have it was my "fuel" to fire me up into doing things.  It could be just a bit of quilter's burnout.

I feel like I'm a person meandering through life bumping into obstacles and flirting with the edge of disaster all the time.  I'm all about the drama.

Anywho....

I'm still working on the Orca Bay Mystery Quilt, but I'm stuck at the string stage.  I went ahead and looked at the final reveal.  I'm happy with my Twilight color choices.  I think they will be great!  I took on the project to get myself sewing again and I am at that, but not as much as I could be.  I went overboard on buying fabric and I wish I could say it made me feel any better.

I've distracted myself by hanging out on the computer too much.  ....So many UFO challenges and quiltalongs to choose from.  There are more than one free-motion quiltalongs that started at the beginning of the year that have intrigued me because I'm still stubbornly hoping that I can do it well enough for some charity quilts.  I've had a .....hate relationship with free-motion quilting and I've written about it more than once.  I get the concept.  I recently been able to produce decent stitch quality.  My issues have always been creating a decent design, even in meandering.  I get overwhelmed by the amount of space I have to fill on my tops.  I start out okay, but I get anxious, confused, and then I kind of throw my hands up and just finish as quickly as possible.    I fully acknowledge that I need to let go of trying to be perfect and practice.  I also believe that I need to figure out a way to section my quilt top so that I can focus on smaller sections and avoid being overwhelmed.

I've been a fan of Leah Day and her blog for over a year.  I think she is one of the best experts out there and a true asset to the quilting community.  Her practical advice and equipment recommendations have made all the difference in my free motion even though I still struggle.  I no longer distracted by tension issues.  I still fuss a bit over the challenges that the quilt sandwich presents using a regular sewing machine to quilt.  Don't let anyone tell you differently--equipment and tools make a big difference.  I'd like to get a better machine, like a Juki or similar machine.  (I had a Juki before when I tried to quilt on a B-Line quilting frame, but I had to sell them both.)  I'd like to set up a better sewing space with a table that is the appropriate height and one in which my sewing machine fits into.

I dug the machine I use for quilting tonight--a Singer Confidence Quilter.  I got some ugly fabric out of my stash and some leftover batting.  I loaded a bobbin with my favorite thread, Aurifil.  I have figured out that this machine likes Aurifil thread for quilting.  I tried the Isacord that Leah uses, but my machine doesn't like it as well.  I do use the Little Genie Bobbin Washers.  I have a Supreme Slider but it doesn't fit my machine very well and I have messed it up a bit by sewing it a couple of times when it came untaped from my bed.  I do leave my feed dogs up as suggested.  I use gloves.  Tonight I tried the phone book trick--put the phone book in front of my foot pedal and it does feel like my foot is in a better position.

I taped off a section of my sandwich.  I quilted only in that section a simple meander and it did seem to help.  I pulled off the tape and quilted some more.  I didn't quilt the entire sandwich because I had to stop for dinner.  I won't get back to it tonight.

I feel good!  I wish I had a top to quilt on.


1 comment:

  1. Great job with your free motion quilting...... I am still learning how to do that, have done it a few times, but I am no good at meandering or stippling.

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