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Thread: I figured it out!

  1. #1
    Senior Member margie77072's Avatar
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    Unhappy I figured it out!

    It just struck me why I'm having such a hard time deciding and designing and finishing quilts. It's the quilting part. I don't currently have the skills to quilt and I can't afford to have someone else do it. Quilting takes a so-so quilt and elevates it to something magical. I'm not so worried about the ones for kids, they'll love it with mistakes and all. It's the ones for adults that have me terrified....what if they don't like my quilting.....what if I make noticeable mistakes, etc...... (Oops, the What If monster got out again.) Now, I'm paralyzed with fear. How do I get past this? Help, I'm drowning in a lake of negativity.

  2. #2
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
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    When I was learning to quilt I made several blocks out of scraps and quilted on them until I ready to try with a quilt. It worked well for me. When I started with a quilt I went slow and if I made a mistake I fixed it and kept going. Good luck with your quilts.

  3. #3
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    I make quilts because I love making things with a sewing machine. Nothing I make is perfect, far from it. It doesn't really bother me that my homemade items are not perfect when I give them as a gift. It was made with love and given with love and that's all I need to know.

  4. #4
    Super Member fayzer's Avatar
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    If the adults you want to make quilts for are truly "quilt worthy" they will appreciate all of your hard work. Most of the time any little boo boos you make won't ever show once you have washed and dried the quilt. Just have fun and don't stress over everything so much. There are things that will make quilting easier. You will need a pair of quilting gloves to help you move the quilt around. If you can, put a table on the left side to hold the weight of the quilt off of the floor and the rest of the quilt in your lap. Keep turning the quilt so you are quilting toward the outside border. Puddle the quilt under the needle and quilt in about a 8" area at a time. Cover your sewing surface with clear plastic you can buy at JoAnn's. You don't need but about 1/2 yard. I taped it to my sewing table and cut a small hole where the needle goes into the hole to make the quilt slide easier.. Use the same thread in the bobbin as on the machine.Also watch LOTS of You Tube videos. You can do this and it will look great.

    Ok everybody, jump in here. What have I left off or do you have better suggestions for Margie. Just take a deep breath and practice on small layered pieces like mug rugs before you try a quilt.
    Last edited by fayzer; 01-27-2013 at 09:10 AM.

  5. #5
    Super Member wolph33's Avatar
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    oh do not worry-most of what we quilters call mistakes are not even noticed by non sewers.just start small ,get fired up and tackle your projects.I have faith in you.
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/Upnorthcrafter

  6. #6
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by annthreecats View Post
    I make quilts because I love making things with a sewing machine. Nothing I make is perfect, far from it. It doesn't really bother me that my homemade items are not perfect when I give them as a gift. It was made with love and given with love and that's all I need to know.
    this is my philosophy as well. i don't think i'll ever have a quilt that i can enter into competition
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak THINK
    T is it True? H is it Helpful? I is it Inspiring? N is it Necessary? K is it Kind?


  7. #7
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    I got a lot of encouragement and advice by watching the video at the link below.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emNxOb-oQfM

  8. #8
    Super Member PurplePassion's Avatar
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    Make some hot pads or table runners , and practice your quilting on those.

  9. #9
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    Hun -- I have had a business of longarming for 1 1/2 yrs ---- I, too, have that same panicky feeling -- I think it's called stage fright! As another said, if there's a place you don't like what you did, take it out and try again. It's amazing how YOU will see the boo-boos and others won't! Go for it! you'll do just fine!!!
    Dee


    "A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing." by George Bernard Shaw

  10. #10
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    why not use the pattern of the fabric in the backing as your quilting design - Pick fabrics that have an interesting pattern and stitch along the lines or echo quilt along the edges of the shapes to do your quilting. That way you have a guide.
    Kate

  11. #11
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    Try your quilting out on some charity quilts.
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  12. #12
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    The primary purpose of the quilting stitches is to hold the quilt together. If your quilting does that, it has served its purpose. Let your piecing, your choice of fabrics, and your design selections speak for you. Even the adults in your family will love what you make. The quilting itself will improve over time (and is probably already better than you think it is).

  13. #13
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    Make sure that you have the right machine for the job. I have just purchased a Juki TL98 machine from my friend who had it sitting in her sewing room gathering dust as she bought a long arm. The machine is amazing and perfect for what I do. It's fast powerful and has wonderful stitches and a great thread cutter. In the last two days, I have quilted a large single quilt and a large crib quilt. There's been no jamming, growling breaking thread and sore arms from trying to force my old machine to quilt. My quilt tops were stacking up because machine quilting was so frustrating, hard and slow for me. I just can't believe the difference this machine has made.
    Shelbie from the High County in Southern Ontario

  14. #14
    Super Member faykilgore's Avatar
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    I highly recommend quilting gloves, a walking foot if you want the feed dogs to help, and SPACE. Heavy quilts hanging off sides and backs (not to mention cats sitting on them) make it more difficult. I did SID (stitch in the ditch) for years on many quilts. For all my imperfections I'd still rather quilt my own. I do rip out the lines I can't live with.
    Fay

    "You can't help that. We're all mad here." - The Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland.

  15. #15
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    It's worthwhile to make tops even if they wait a long time to get quilted. My sister and I have made tops and quilts for many years, but it's only recently that I bought a relatively low-cost used frame quilting system. Now I am happy I have all these tops ready to quilt! I quilted one of my sister's queen-sized tops as a Christmas present for our brother in just one week! My sister has physical and cognitive disabilities, so all of her quilt tops are far from perfect. This quilt was the first one I did on my longarm setup, and my quilting of it was far from perfect. But, when the quilt was done, it looked spectacular anyway!

    In my case, I could do sit-down quilting on my DSM but I really did not enjoy it. Never thought I would be able to have a frame quilting setup. I love the one I have but, if I didn't have enough space/money for it, I would have done well to have invested in one of the less expensive options years ago. There are kits available to make-your-own quilting frame to sit on a table, there is the Easy Quilt frame, etc. There are lots of alternatives to quilting on a standard DSM setup. Check Youtube and Google websites for ideas.

  16. #16
    Super Member judy363905's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltsRfun View Post
    I got a lot of encouragement and advice by watching the video at the link below.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emNxOb-oQfM
    Great video... That gal is a hoot...great info, I will be watching her again. Thank you very much

    Judy in Phx, AZ

  17. #17
    Senior Member TinkerQuilts's Avatar
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    When I started quilting I only did stitch-in-the-ditch. It was easy and didn't require me to think or be creative. Somethimes I still sitd because it reflects the quilt pattern on the back of the quilt.

  18. #18
    Junior Member marsharini's Avatar
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    We're our own worst critics. I took a FMQ three hour class at a local fabric store and thought my efforts were extremely amateurish; the other students in the class oohed and aahed over them, as I did with theirs. Some of my efforts, if they were on a quilt with a print, would be passable. Make up some 15" muslin quilt sandwiches and practice practice practice.

  19. #19
    Senior Member QuiltingHaven's Avatar
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    Well, I just jumped right in and decided that I was going to quilt and learn as I went. My first quilt was the one that had all the grandmother's pillow cases. The stitches are not all even (but I tried) and it took me almost 2 years but in the meantime, I would create other quilts, machine in the ditch with a number of them; stitched in the ditch AND hand quilted some of the blocks on each of those. My motto is "I am having so much fun learning and doing the best I can!" - that works for me. I made 8 Christmas runners and hand-quilted all of them and NOT one person complained about a stitch too big or a stitch too small - they just loved the fact that I took the time to make them a gift by hand. So, don't be paralyzed - life is too too too short to spend it that way. Enjoy the fun and the challenge of quilting.
    Busy in Ohio

  20. #20
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    If you are not comfortable with your FMQing, do stitch in the ditch for now. Finish the quilt for use and you can always go back later and FMQ inside the blocks as your skills improve.

  21. #21
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolph33 View Post
    oh do not worry-most of what we quilters call mistakes are not even noticed by non sewers.just start small ,get fired up and tackle your projects.I have faith in you.
    Ditto!!!!!!!!

  22. #22
    Member reneaunoel's Avatar
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    Try small projects, like Table Runners, Bed Runners, Mug Rugs and Coasters. Free motion quilt pebbles (or bubbles, like mine just turned into!) breathe, you are having fun! And if you get or feel "stuck" using white thread, on those smaller projects, use hot pink, or "road crew orange" thread! Those projects make me smile, even as I see my "bad" stitches!

    By the way, those muslin practice sets, I cut up and edge them for coasters. Haven't had a single complaint yet. Yes, I did give these items to friends at work and they all "ooohd and ahhhhd" over them. And you don't have to use only muslin to practice on, I used green and Camo material and that lovely orange thread, made a little blanket for the dog to snooze on.

    I've seen that people have turned their practice pieces into animal blankets, for the local animal rescues. Trust me, the dogs don't complain and while the cats may look snooty, they do love their blankets in the sun! The cats who claim me, all approve of each project, though they do complain about mug rugs not being big enough!

    Enjoy yourself. Relax, you will do good!

  23. #23
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by margie77072 View Post
    It just struck me why I'm having such a hard time deciding and designing and finishing quilts. It's the quilting part. I don't currently have the skills to quilt and I can't afford to have someone else do it. Quilting takes a so-so quilt and elevates it to something magical. I'm not so worried about the ones for kids, they'll love it with mistakes and all. It's the ones for adults that have me terrified....what if they don't like my quilting.....what if I make noticeable mistakes, etc...... (Oops, the What If monster got out again.) Now, I'm paralyzed with fear. How do I get past this? Help, I'm drowning in a lake of negativity.
    Unless you are a judge, or someone who actually sits down on their bed and checks out the quilting stitches themselves, who actually notices the stitches themselves? I see the design of the fabrics, the colors--and unless it is a "whole cloth" or actually meant to see the stitches--I really don't notice the quilting whose job is actually (as someone else mentioned) is to hold the three layers together, unless there is something strange going on.

    I can understand your fright if it is going to be a wall hanging, meant to be handled, touched and examined on someone's wall like a painting, but if it is a baby blanket or a bed quilt, just do it. Most people will go "ooh" and "aah" and unless you point out the problems, they won't even think about the actual quilting part.

  24. #24
    Senior Member lisalisa's Avatar
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    Quilting, like dancing, is an acquired skill. Even people who are great at it still have to practice. I think what worked for me, was to stop going for consistency. Sounds silly but it makes my quilting look better when I embrace the mistakes and use them as a jumping off point to do something else. I've only recently got into blending the 3 motifs that I know best and it looks ten times better than any of them do on their own. I love watching the long arm folks on youtube. It really helps me to grasp the "free-style" idea behind "free motion".
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.
    http://blockinaround.blogspot.com

  25. #25
    QM
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    For me, what helped was taking one small bit at a time and writing messages in cursive. Most of my guild sisters started with meanders. My teacher suggested setting up a stack of potholders and quilting them, because they will be used even if you are less than thrilled with what you did. Regardless, jump in and do it.

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