Friday, January 29, 2010

Free motion quilting

Learning how to free motion quilt is like learning how to write cursive.

Back in the old pre-CAD days, my instructors advised students to use architectural printing exclusively. So for many years that's what I did. Only my signature in cursive. Printing was good. Later architectural printing wasn't so important anymore and I wanted to get back to the flow of cursive writing.

Granted, my handwriting has always been a scrawl. Even when I printed for personal use, I couldn't make out my own words if enough time passed. It's that bad. I eventually recaptured the motor skills to scrawl again. Now I am in a similar situation with free motion quilting.

Earlier this month I started making samples of free motion quilting patterns from 365 Days of Free Motion Quilting Designs. I picked and chose among the beginner patterns for the easiest ones. Or so they seem. Stitching forward and backward was easy. Stitching side to side not so much. Lines wouldn't curve and points weren't made. Stitches had a mind of their own. Out of control. Spastic. My samples barely resembled hers.

Now three weeks and 21 samples later.More consistent stitch lengths. More obedient lines. Fewer spasms.

Thanks really go to Leah Day. Without her videos, patterns, and easy-difficult classifications I would not have gotten this far. Check out her blog.

When I can write half-inch high readable words, my free motion quilting will have arrived.

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