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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Practice, Practice, Practice

I figured out why I could not seem to take the next step on either of my quilting projects. Basically I don't have the free motion skills to do what I'd like to do on those projects. I've taken online classes and followed a couple of online blogs, so I know WHAT to do, but I don't actually know how to do it. Time to do something about that.

So here it is. I've been taking a free Block of the Month class at Craftsy.com. This is a great class to see the kind of thing that you can learn at Craftsy, by the way.

But I think the very young instructor is also learning how to teach on the platform, which is one of the reasons her class is free. The other classes I've taken from Craftsy are all by very experienced instructors who have gone all over the country to teach at quilt guilds and quilt shows. So the quality of instruction is better on the paid classes.

Craftsy has classes in quilting, sewing, knitting and some jewelry making. If you are interested in those things you might want to check it out. I've been very happy with what I've bought so far.

Still, I've learned a lot just watching her make a kind of block that I've never made before, or even considered making. I'm a perfectionist. Just letting a block design itself was not easy. But I did do it and I'm glad I did.

The blocks on the class are 12 inches finished. This one is 18 inches with half an inch extra for the seam allowances. It will be a pillow if it comes out OK. At this point it has been sandwiched with extra backing and extra batting all around. That, by the way is what you are seeing around the block. It isn't a border of any kind.

I spend the morning setting my sewing machine up with clear thread in the needle and the bobbin. Not all machines can handle clear thread. Not all that can handle it in the needle can also handle it in the bobbin. This one can. I've done a bunch of checking it out with the Walking Foot on the machine. So the first step is to stabilize the entire block by stitching in the ditch (right on the seam lines) using the walking foot. This is the one part of machine quilting I already know how to do. But it will be the first time with this machine.

Then the next step is free motion quilting inside the pieces. That is what I'm not good at.

Take care all.


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