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Thread: My quilting gets better by the end of a quilt

  1. #1
    Senior Member Daffy Daphne's Avatar
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    My quilting gets better by the end of a quilt

    than it was at the beginning. I always think that if I ever wanted to enter a quilt in competition (just If, not likely, because it isn't one of my ambitions), I would have to make it twice so as to be able to enter the one with improved quilting. Of course, making it twice isn't going to happen.

    I think my quilting will never be better than just good enough to get by.

    Daffy
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 07-08-2019 at 07:49 AM. Reason: shouting/all caps

  2. #2
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    You're bound to improve a bit with every quilt you quilt. Don't be discouraged, at least you are finishing quilts!
    Lisa

  3. #3
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    I realized this truth when doing a quilt a couple years ago. Then it occurred to me that the reason was that i start out tense when I'm doing FMQ, but after a while I relax.

    So, I began warming up with practice sandwich quilts. I have some ugly fabrics and the same batting I always use (Warm and Natural) on hand made up for this purpose. About 10-20 minutes of warm up and playing with designs, and my shoulders and arms and hands have relaxed and my mind is engaged . Quilting the "real quilt" goes so much better after a warm-up.

  4. #4
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    If it's been more than about 2 weeks since I last long-armed, I always have to practice up first. It's a physical activity that requires muscle memory.

    Like Zozee I have some random sandwiches that I practice up on. Then maybe I'll even do a quick little easy baby quilt or other simple project. Then I load on the queen sized/more difficult project.

    Just to make sure everything is still correct from the practice piece, I usually pin on a scrap of fabric to outside the edge of my project and run through a few stitches with the actual batting and backing I'll be using just in case I need to make any other adjustments.

    I find I have to constantly keep on myself about consistency and really have to do everything of a stage during that one stage, especially on things like freehand meandering and stippling so that the relative sizes stay consistent from top to bottom.

    When I get on a roll of quilting down though, yes -- they keep getting better and better until my body is worn out and then another couple of months past and then I start the cycle over again.

  5. #5
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    Keep at it! I found it freeing when I studied pro. quilted quilts at a show( not computer quilted) and saw that their stitches were not perfectly spaced. Unless you are letting a computer quilt your quilt, it is okay for your stitch length to vary. You will get better with every quilt you quilt.

  6. #6
    Super Member NZquilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joe'smom View Post
    ... Don't be discouraged, at least you are finishing quilts!
    Which is better than me! I've just been finishing tops because I don't trust my FMQing skills.
    We didn't realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun. ~ Winnie the Pooh ~

    1912 World's Rotary Treadle (White Company), 1942 Singer 66-16, 1952 Pfaff 130-6, 1954 Singer 15-91, 1956 Singer 201-2

  7. #7
    Senior Member juliasb's Avatar
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    I have made identical quilts twice. The first two were smaller quilts for a woman in a nursing home. Her family wanted the second one because she did not like to let it go to be washed. The family would switch them out when she wasn't looking. One of the quilts was used a the pal on her casket when she died instead of flowers. The two daughters then kept one for each. The second one was done as one for a show. I then sold that one but decided I wanted one for myself. I have also made 6 DWR quilts. Not really identical but unless you looked closely you wouldn't know the difference. The quilting got better with each one.

  8. #8
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    My quilting is just the opposite....my first line of quilting is the perfect size and stitch length. After that I go downhill.

  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=juliasb I have also made 6 DWR quilts. Not really identical but unless you looked closely you wouldn't know the difference. The quilting got better with each one.[/QUOTE]

    Juliasb, what method did you use to make your DWR quilts. I purchased a precut kit from a lady who had given up on it. After sewing all the ring sections I found they did not want to go together as the pattern showed. Very few instructions with it. After trying several different methods I found on the internet I finally came to the conclusion that a combination of poor fabric/bad cutting was the main problem and I finally, after much soul searching, discarded the whole mess. I would still like to make one successfully so if you have any advice I would really appreciate it.
    Sorry if this is off topic.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daffy Daphne View Post
    than it was at the beginning. I always think that if I ever wanted to enter a quilt in competition (just If, not likely, because it isn't one of my ambitions), I would have to make it twice so as to be able to enter the one with improved quilting. Of course, making it twice isn't going to happen.

    I think my quilting will never be better than just good enough to get by.

    Daffy
    What I have done many times is get a piece of muslin and “practice” the motifs that I plan to use on my actual quilt. If I am in one of my truly “anal” modes, I will draw (blue water solvable pen) out the “quilt pattern”, ie. Blocks.....and then quilt it. That way I can try a variety of different motifs to see which ones I like best. Then I can wash out the blue lines and have a great quilt for: dog or show and tell......

  11. #11
    Super Member EmiliasNana's Avatar
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    I'm pretty much the same way, but think it is the first hours of "practice" on the quilt top that makes me relax and enjoy it more. On the other hand, sometimes it goes downhill after a couple hours and that is telling me I am tired and it is time to quit for the day or at least for a few hours and do something else. I have a Tiara and have been quilting on the same quilt for almost three weeks and I am "over it". LOL I still love the quilt but can't wait to be done. My stitch speed is slower than most as I am meticulously going around applique and adding in details, but its looking good and close to the end...........ugh.

  12. #12
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    I'm absolutely in love with the quilt in your avatar! Did you make that?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Daffy Daphne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RuthiesRetreat3 View Post
    I'm absolutely in love with the quilt in your avatar! Did you make that?
    Thank you! Yes, back in the 1990s when I could still hand quilt. It's completely hand pieced as well. My daughter asked for a quilt that was "all bright colors and white." Its's still her favorite.

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    Daffy

  14. #14
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    That quilt is stunning, Daffy!! My word, look at your talent!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daffy Daphne View Post
    Thank you! Yes, back in the 1990s when I could still hand quilt. It's completely hand pieced as well. My daughter asked for a quilt that was "all bright colors and white." Its's still her favorite.

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    Daffy
    Beautiful. Your hand quilting is wonderful and the density is perfect.

  16. #16
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Daffy, thanks for the close ups... beautiful quilt!
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak T.H.I.N.K.
    T – is it True? H – is it Helpful? I – is it Inspiring? N – is it Necessary? K – is it Kind?

    Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.

  17. #17
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    Omg my quilting is disastrous. I feel like the piecing is beautiful and then I totally ruin them with my quilting. 🤦🏼*♀️ I have a Brother Nouvelle 1500. I put two pieces of batting in, maybe that’s not helping with this one but they are so heavy to manipulate smoothly and I feel like no matter how I position myself, it’s a fight. I try not to take myself too seriously but the struggle is real!!

  18. #18
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    My feed dogs were up. Oh goodness. You couldn’t make this stuff up, ladies!!

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