Friday, May 27, 2011

practice practice practice

Yesterday, I posted the wonky log cabin quilts that still needed to be quilted and bound. I took those pictures two weeks ago. And I still haven't quilted or bound them. Because I needed practice, practice, oh yea, and some more practice with quilting and binding. The two quilts I made for the kids taught me two things about quilting. 1. This isn't as hard as I thought. and 2. This is pretty hard to perfect.

I want the two latest quilts to look great. Or at least much much better. So I decided to set them aside until I could get some practice on smaller, less important projects.

Plus, thanks to JSS, I have this fun thing to learn how to use. And it's not as hard as I thought but it's pretty hard to make it look great. (That's a free motion quilting foot, btw)
So, I've been working on drink coasters to practice quilting and mug rugs to practice quilting and binding. I went to Jo-Ann and bought 6 fat quarters and got to cutting. I used batting left over from the wonky log cabin quilts, so this ended up being a fairly low cost practice experience.

the coasters. they are about 4.25in squares. I was playing around with seam allowances on the first few so they are a little smaller. Most of the free motion quilting on these are hilariously bad. A couple are good and there's one that I would say I did a great job on. But it was practice. Plus, they make pretty good drink coasters. Practice + Purpose = Hurray.

I found this GREAT blog that specializes in free motion quilting and wow. The patterns and shapes are amazing. I've been hypnotized by Leah's blog numerous times.

Next, I moved up to the mug rugs (ie bigger drink coasters with binding or little tiny tiny quilts). These are 6in squares. I think the free motion quilting looks much better on these. Maybe because I had a bigger area to work with. Maybe because the practice was paying off. Or maybe, just maybe because I slowed down on the lead foot and took better care.

The binding on some of these are HORRIBLE. Some of them I didn't even finish because of how bad they looked. But a few ... the last three to be exact, I seemed to "get it" a little better the binding looked (mostly) how binding is supposed to look.
Most of all I learned that I need to slow down and spend more time making my stitches straight, because it does matter and it does make a difference ... WELL, actually most of all I learned that I bound the kids' quilts "incorrectly" It's hard to explain what I was doing exactly, but let's just say that I learned the importance of ironing the binding. And let me tell you, doing it the correct way - much much easier. I still have to work on and be very mindful on the corners, but they look much better than when I started.

I feel like I can go ahead and quilt and bind the wonky log cabin quilts (but I'm quilting in the ditch on those, no free motion quilting). Then I've got the place mats and after that some reusable grocery bags. But more on that later.


TL said...

i love all of this fabric, especially the tiny flowers! i'm thinking that you probably should have picked the book purse fabric.

Sara-Beth said...

I am seriously jealous of your quilting abilities. Seriously. Jealous.

Christy Ross said...

Tiff, the way I picked out the fabric was I decided I wanted to stay in the brown family and then just picked fabrics that didn't look rotten beside each other!

S-B, you should come and sew with us in June. The coasters are a SUPER easy thing you could learn in 15 minutes.