Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Learning Curve and Piecing Curves




I got this little machine and huge frame last spring and set it all up. And that was it.  It sits there leering at me...sometimes snickering...just daring me to give it a whirl. Well, I have to admit, I knew there was a learning curve, but I think I thought I was above the learning curve...that I was special some how. Well, as  it turns out, I am NOT special, just the common quilter. So I got to thinking, "You spent money on this thing.  You should probably use it".  I thought that for about 7 months, and after the holidays were over I decided to ignore the threats, leers and growls and pull the monster out of the corner and use it. I have to admit it isn't quite as scary as I thought.  It also isn't as pretty as I thought!! It definitely is a skill I'll have to practice for quite a while, but that's okay, I have lots of fabric and batting to throw on the frame. I'm not doing anything anyway right? Here's my first project, I know it looks acceptable from here, but trust me there are plenty of boo boos.

The Helios block is from the book "Sliver Quilts" by Lisa O'Neill.

I'm embracing the mistakes and considering them a permanent record of my progress. I have learned so many things I should have done differently...common sense things that just didn't come to me until I was done. It was really difficult to quilt, the throat of the machine is really short, so there was lots of rolling and unrolling of the quilt on the frame, but I'd rather roll and unroll then try to push it through the throat of my domestic machine. Bottom line, it's done. I learned a ton and I'm not discouraged, but really looking forward to throwing something else on it!! I'm embracing the learning curve! Here's some detail...remember that it's my first time...there's plenty of room for improvement and lots more for me to learn.




The back


I made this block for a demo I will be presenting at our  CAMACO Quilt Guild quilt retreat this weekend at The Grand Hotel in Cape May, NJ.  I have the separate elements of the block made for an easy explanation on how I put this block together. I was hesitant to sew a curve, but it went together rather easily. Again, there's room for improvement in curves too, but for a first try I think it's just great!

Did you master anything with a big learning curve? Tell me about it.

Nini~

6 comments:

  1. nini -- I think you did an excelent job on this project and the quilting fits the quilt well. I am not a longarmer at this time but I have several friends that are and many of them say that practicing is the biggest thing with thoes machines. My LQS teaches classes and I have sat in on some demos before. One of the ladies said that on her machine at home she keeps muslin or cotton loaded on it with batting to just practice with or try new techniques. She tries to quilt at least an hour per day and said usually a portion of this is "playing wiht the longarm" because she wants to get better and feels that this has improved her quilting and she has great sample work to show others of her progress.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Katie,

      I have intentions of practicing free motion quilting every day but just don't get to it often. I am trying to get the exercising in everyday, so when I get that routine established quilting will be the next thing eased into my day! I bought a ton of cheap fabric and batting to use for practice, so I am going to throw some on the frame and get busy!

      Thank you for visiting!
      Nini~

      Delete
  2. Wow, really impressive tool. Can't wait to see your future creations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, it is a fun tool to play with!

      Nini~

      Delete
  3. Love your Curved Piece. Can't wait totry this techqnic. It seems to me the more you practice the better you become. I think you are doing great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, it was a fun block to do. I'm going to keep trying the free motion quilting.

      Nini~

      Delete