My first week of practising free motion quilting has come to an end and, I have been a good girl, only missing one practice out of the seven days! Each day I made up a 'quilt sandwich' and practised various free motion quilting techniques. This first week I was keen just to get the feel of my machine: Did I have the settings right? Was a I comfortable with the position of my hands? How fast should I sew? Feed dogs up or feed dogs down? Gloves on or gloves off? Even though it has been only a week I do think that things have improved.
At first, when I put my foot on the pedal, I kept thinking that I had to keep going (even if things were going slightly awry) until I came to the end of that line of stitching (as if the machine was in control!) Now, I know that I can stop, breathe and reposition my hands whenever I want. I have also learned roughly what speed I need to be sewing at to achieve a more even stitch length and, I also think that my curves and turns are looking smoother and less jerky (very important to a perfectionist like me!)
As you can see from the samples I have stitched, each day I have tried a combination of techniques. However, this coming week, each sample is going to be dedicated to one particular technique in attempt to improve each of them one by one.
My last sampler was this lilac one and I do think that you can see an improvement from my first sampler which was the red one I showed you last time. I did have a problem part of the way through the lilac sampler as, I ran out of bobbin thread and, the new thread that I used caused a tension problem with my machine. You can see that by these little dots of blue thread pulling through to the top of the sandwich. I have sorted this out now but, it did make me realise how important it is to get the set up of your machine absolutely right before you start sewing!!
I do already feel much less intimidated by free motion quilting and I can't wait now to practise each technique one at a time both in my own way and, following along with Elizabeth Dackson's class on Craftsy.