Saturday, November 10, 2012

FMQ practice

I thought I would try something I learned in Ranae Allen's class about transferring markings for quilting designs.
First, I printed the design I wanted from the included CDROM. It had three repeats. I thought--"hey, I can practice this and make more copies at the same time!"

Pin or staple several sheets of tracing paper to the back of the pattern. Next, take the thread out of the machine, and "quilt" through all the layers. I ended up with hole-punched designs on paper to follow!

Carefully unpin the layers, then carefully separate all the layers. Cut the repeats apart.

Then Plan the placement of the designs. It's pretty easy to tell where the designs are going because the tracing paper is semi-transparent. Once the repeats/designs are placed where desired, pin in place.

Thread the machine with quilting thread and take off, following the punched designs on the paper. Hand placement and keeping the quilt with paper flat is important, and it helps to have a Free Hand System like on my Bernina. That's where there's a lever, that's attached into the machine, that can be operated with a sideways push of the knee, that raises and lowers the presser foot. I can't live without it, in any kind of sewing or quilting I do. Use it in combination with the Needle Down function, when the needle always stops in the down position, and it's so much easier to guide the quilt.

I did one whole side of the first border, and I'm liking the tracing paper quite well. My two biggest stumbling blocks are : guiding the quilt where I want it without jigs or jags or wobbles--keeping smoothness of the lines; and also I stink at free handing anything. I'm not a fly-by-the-seat of -my -pants type of girl, and that goes for drawing anything--even drawing with thread on a quilt. My biggest fear is that those two weaknesses are going to make my quilts look awful. I'm a perfectionist, and I can't get what's in my head onto paper and fabric well. So I need guides, stencils, lines, dots. I want to do every part of a quilt myself, so I'm trying to conquer my fears and practice, and try not to be distraught over what it looks like. Probably the people I am making quilts for, might not even notice all those wobbles and such; so I try to tell myself that they'll think it's "whimsical." But at least I keep going, right!

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