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Thread: Intimidated!!

  1. #1
    Junior Member keesha_ont's Avatar
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    Hubby bought me an Inspira frame and Pfaff grand quilter for Xmas. I have been practicing FMQ and am not too bad it. However, I just can't seem to get myself to load a quilt top on it as I'm afraid I'll mess it all up with my quilting. I have about 6 tops to quilt and they are screaming at me to get on the frame!! Could someone please tell me how to get over my fear of quilting these tops before the pile of tops increase significantly.

  2. #2
    Super Member moonwork42029's Avatar
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    My DH made me a Flynn type frame but I don't have anything to try it out with yet. We're in opposite problems. However....once I do have something finished, I too think I'll be a huge chicken to actually try it. Pock Pock Pock right along with ya.

  3. #3
    Super Member sewwhat85's Avatar
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    just try it on plain fabric or you could use a panel i keep a small one to practice on any thing new i want to try dont use a quilt top that matters when you first try

  4. #4
    Senior Member Dandish's Avatar
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    OOoh, lucky you! What's the worst that could happen? You know it won't happen, but even if you don't like it you can take it out and try again. You said you have practiced..take the top you like the least (haha, I bet they are all gorgeous) and start with that. I always seem to scare myself before new steps too, and only rarely have been really disappointed with the finish...at the least you will have learned. Go for it!

  5. #5
    Senior Member MamaHen's Avatar
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    I am always a little apprehensive when I get ready to load a quilt on my frame. Sometimes I make loading mistakes and have to redo, but that is all in the learning process. I keep a practice piece attached to the side and use it before quilting the quilt. I can check my tension and give my arms a little warm up before starting. This helps ease me into the swing of things. I always wonder after, why did it take me so long?

  6. #6
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    I loaded sheets and cheap batting on mine when I got it. Then I drew the blocks, same sizes and shapes as the first quilt I wanted to make, on the sheets with a Sharpie. I practiced and practiced and practiced and then went for it.........DO it, it's not as bad as you think. AND you can take the stitching out if you REALLY don't like it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member DebbyT's Avatar
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    I like amandagrandma's plan. Problem - Mine is already on the frame and getting the quilting design planned is holding me back. I have been practicing different designs on paper to determine which one I will go with. I have quilted 4 so far. The first one was a practice one that my sister and I tried pantagrams, stippleing, and different free motion designs on. The second one we used a pantagram, the 3rd and 4th were stippling and stitch in the ditch. The one on the frame is a bit more special and I am nervous. It is for my DD and she suggested I am cheating because I am not hand quilting as she prefers and does well herself. So I do want to impress her. When she got the top unfinished for Christmas, she asked if she had to finish it. I told her no, I would.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Sapphire_Rae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amandasgramma
    I loaded sheets and cheap batting on mine when I got it. Then I drew the blocks, same sizes and shapes as the first quilt I wanted to make, on the sheets with a Sharpie. I practiced and practiced and practiced and then went for it.........DO it, it's not as bad as you think. AND you can take the stitching out if you REALLY don't like it.
    Ditto. And I'm also making some stash quilts just for me so that I can practice on something 'real'.

  9. #9
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I can so relate to your post. I just got my LA this summer. I had one practice sandwich loaded on it and quilted the bejeepers out of that practice piece. I tried all the things I wanted to do on a real quilt, stencils, panto, pebbling, spirals, animal doodles, fm flames, flowers, leaves and vines. By the time I got done with that one yard piece I was really chomping at the bit to load a real quilt top but I too was afraid I might ruin it. My solution was a top that had languished as a UFO for 10, yes I said 10, years. For a top to be a UFO that long I had finally come to the realization that I just didn't like it. So I figured what the heck, I don't like the top who cares if I ruin it. It turned out great! Quilting it made all the difference for me on that top. Still not crazy about the colors but not liking the top gave me the freedom to just go crazy on it and not worry about ruining it. That old UFO gave me tons of confidence and my intimidation of my LA is completely utterly gone. In fact I feel so confident I am quilting someone elses top right now and it is coming out great, well at least I think so. You always have that nagging feeling that your customer may not like it as good as you. Anyway if you don't have a top you don't care about start haunting your local thrift stores or good will. You would be surprised at how often an unfinished top turns up there. You just have to go for it. Here are pictures of that very first quilt I did on my LA. I am now on #3. You can do it and don't be afraid of ruining it. I am sure it will turn out great.

    Quilt top where you can see a lot of the quilting
    Name:  Attachment-167003.jpe
Views: 37
Size:  82.0 KB

    The back of the quilt
    Name:  Attachment-167005.jpe
Views: 31
Size:  88.1 KB

  10. #10
    Super Member thequilteddove's Avatar
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    Buy yourself some inexpensive muslin and practice, practice, practice :)

  11. #11
    Senior Member pstoner's Avatar
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    I did an old (40 years old) top that my grandmother had pieced, it was made from wool scraps, a sheet and poly batting and did everything and anything I thought I would like to learn to do on it. It is now in my DD car as a lap blanket for my DGD's whenever they go somewhere and it's cold outside. Then I made a nine patch (see another of my posts) and then bought a whole cloth top and practiced on it. Now I am doing a custom top (practiced on paper many hours, then quilted a sample on my domestic with FMQ). Then just went for it. I am currently on the third row, but it has taken me all week to get to this row. I am going very slow and taking it one row at a time. Good Luck and just dive in, you will be amazed at how good you are at it after a few under your belt. Someone in another group I belong to suggested using an older comforter (you know the kind I mean-purchased for about 30 made in a factory) and just practice on those, you can usually pick those up really inexpensive from Goodwill and Stuff etc.

  12. #12
    Super Member wesing's Avatar
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    Do you have a dog or a cat? They don't care if the quilting is great; practice on a quilt for them, then you'll have the confidence you need to start on yours.

    Darren

  13. #13
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    I would drape all the tops over the frame and let them sit for a little while. (Like when you're auditioning fabrics, sort of.) I bet you, very quickly one's going to get brave/impatient/greedy for the honour, and will volunteer to be first. You know you're ready! Let it happen. :D

  14. #14
    Super Member natalieg's Avatar
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    I have a short arm, but had the same problem and was very intimidated by it. I let it sit for about 6 months before I did anything with it. I finally just loaded a throw sized top and said "oh well, what will be, will be..."! It came out pretty good! That was a few years ago.
    Now I still get intimidated when I load a quilt, but it is in trying to figure out how to fit the pattern in the way I want it. I only have a depth of 5 inches to quilt in, so it is hard (for me) to "blend" it in so it doesn't just look like rows!

  15. #15
    Super Member BKrenning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire_Rae
    Quote Originally Posted by amandasgramma
    I loaded sheets and cheap batting on mine when I got it. Then I drew the blocks, same sizes and shapes as the first quilt I wanted to make, on the sheets with a Sharpie. I practiced and practiced and practiced and then went for it.........DO it, it's not as bad as you think. AND you can take the stitching out if you REALLY don't like it.
    Ditto. And I'm also making some stash quilts just for me so that I can practice on something 'real'.
    Double Ditto--and I used all of my practice quilts as the batting inside of table runners, potholders, trivets, etc. so nothing went to waste. Buy some of the craft size battings, load some really ugly fabric or old sheets and start playing with it!

  16. #16
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    Congradulation! Now get a cheater cloth or panel and play to get the feel of the machine. Next load one of your tops that maybe you don't like as well as another and play trying different motifs, free motion or ruler work, whatever. Each top you load and quilt you will gain more confidence. It's so easy to say this - I've been quilting on a longarm for the past 10 years and still get nervous when I load a customer's quilt top. But I know I can do it and once I get started everything falls into place. You'll do great - just relax and have fun!!

  17. #17
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I quilted a couple of cheaters to get comfortable with my machine.

  18. #18
    Super Member RkayD's Avatar
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    I felt that way when I first started quilting. It would take me weeks to finish a baby sized quilt. Now I can have one done in a day including the quilting and binding...2 days if life gets in the way. I took a break from quilting for a while but continued to read everything I could get my hands on. I was surprised that my skill level had improved 110%...and now that I am into it full time...I've improved 100 times over that. Its all about practice and being able to experiment. =) also not worrying about your little mistakes..use them as learning tools. You can do this! =)

  19. #19
    Junior Member edensgaite's Avatar
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    Sheets and muslin is a good idea, or you might consider what I did. I bought inexpensive tops on ebay to practice on. Get one that has block construction, and an old sheet (I picked several up from a garage sale). If I made a mistake, it was okay. The quilt was donated in the end and I was able to practice without feeling like I messed up my own tops.

  20. #20
    Super Member Yarn or Fabric's Avatar
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    I also have issues with the loading of quilts - I have a weird aversion to it - I read about the Red Snappers and mine should be arriving this week. No more pins :) I really hate pins.
    http://quiltsonthecorner.com/red_snappers

    They have gotten nothing but rave reviews on the yahoogroups I belong to so I took the dive. I'm looking forward to actually using my frame now!

  21. #21
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i started with 'practice-quilts' on my frame...just wide muslin, top, bottom, batting in the middle, quilted away...gave me the opportunity to try lots of different things on one quilt top...when i know i had it 'down' then i loaded the first 'real-quilt' did a dozen practice ones though before i chanced loading something that was more important.

  22. #22
    Super Member mhansen6's Avatar
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    I wish I had your problem. My husband would love to buy me a longarm, but I have no place to put it. It would cost me $50,000 to buy one, because that would be how much it would cost for the addition to the house.

  23. #23
    Super Member IBQUILTIN's Avatar
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    Thrift shop sheets and mayabe an old blanket for batting. Make a sandwich, and go for it. practice and practice

  24. #24
    Super Member hcarpanini's Avatar
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    It's only thread and fabric. Go for it. There has to be a 1st. for everything.

  25. #25
    Member njgrl4evr's Avatar
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    I would be more than happy to send you a few tops to practice on. :)))

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