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Thread: Practice quilts

  1. #1
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    Practice quilts

    I’ve searched but still have a question. Having just gotten my HQ Simply Sixteen, I’m doing a lot of practicing. Is it necessary to include batting in all of my “practice quilts” or can I just put two pieces of fabric together? My primary purpose is to practice designs not so much to test tension. I’d just like to hear what you more experienced folks have to say. 😊 There is a lot of practice in my future, so I need to be as economical as possible.

  2. #2
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I think it's better if you use batting. You get a more realistic feel for moving the quilt. You can quilt a practice piece, then just put another piece of fabric on the top and quilt it again. You can also get mattress pads at thrift stores & just add a piece of fabric on top.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  3. #3
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I agree with PP. In addition to layering a new piece of fabric on to your practice piece, you can get creative with your practice batting. Go to the thrift store and get old blankets. You can piece together batting scraps and you don't even have to join them, just butt them up together. Do you belong to a guild? If so ask members for their batting cast offs (scraps from trimming down) to practice with.

    Edited to add there are other ways to practice muscle memory for motifs. I draw a lot. If I have a motif I want to practice, I draw it over and over again until I can draw it without even thinking, kind of like signing your name. I also saw a blog once (can't find it now) where they set up a station for practicing the actual motion. They had two stations, one for movable machine (on a rack set up) and one for sit down. Wish I could find it as their setups were ingenious. It involved a pen and paper but then mounting the pen so you moved the paper for sit down and the other way was putting the pen in handles to mimic rack quilting.
    Last edited by feline fanatic; 03-06-2018 at 11:00 AM.

  4. #4
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Here is a pinterest link with a picture but Can't find the product on Erica's

    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/540572761496877061/

  5. #5
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    here's a you tube video with the same idea as above https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TD6AErE386g
    Nancy in western NY
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  6. #6
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    she tells how to make it on her blog http://edutach.blogspot.com/2015/09/...-practice.html
    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.

  7. #7
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    Another thing you can do that saves on fabric is use a practice piece twice. The second time use a different color thread so you can analyze where you have stitched. When you are finished with a practice piece fold over the edges and make a quick self-binding then donate to yourself, a friend, or a animal shelter to use as dog pads.
    Sally

  8. #8
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    In recent months, someone posted the tip that you can do practice quilting with paper towels. I have enjoyed doing this for learning new skills - for me it is feathers. I love that when I am done with one, I can just throw it away without feeling at all guilty.

  9. #9
    Super Member Teen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by selm View Post
    Another thing you can do that saves on fabric is use a practice piece twice. The second time use a different color thread so you can analyze where you have stitched. When you are finished with a practice piece fold over the edges and make a quick self-binding then donate to yourself, a friend, or a animal shelter to use as dog pads.
    This is a fantastic idea..... You are so smart!!
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by platyhiker View Post
    In recent months, someone posted the tip that you can do practice quilting with paper towels. I have enjoyed doing this for learning new skills - for me it is feathers. I love that when I am done with one, I can just throw it away without feeling at all guilty.
    Paper towels have so much lint, though? Seems terribly hard on a machine, unless I'm missing something here...

  11. #11
    Super Member jmoore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by selm View Post
    Another thing you can do that saves on fabric is use a practice piece twice. The second time use a different color thread so you can analyze where you have stitched. When you are finished with a practice piece fold over the edges and make a quick self-binding then donate to yourself, a friend, or a animal shelter to use as dog pads.
    This is what I do quite often...and sometimes I’ll throw a practice piece under my machine a third or fourth time just to check tension and thread behavior.
    attitude is everything...the rest will fall into place.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic View Post
    Here is a pinterest link with a picture but Can't find the product on Erica's

    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/540572761496877061/
    this is a great idea but I wonder what keeps the frame from sliding around.

  13. #13
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    If you do use batting, you can always donate your practice quilts to animal shelters for the cages.

  14. #14
    Junior Member MsHeirloom's Avatar
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    I started on hot pads, then table runners, followed by a baby quilt, then queen sized quilts. The 10' X 10" gave me free motion practice and also the opportunity to practice on a block. I have had my Tiara for about 5 years and absolutely love it!!!

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    This is a great idea! I ended up just putting a new piece of fabric over my last practice piece, but I love the idea of using a different color thread to compare my progress. Thanks for the idea. I’ll defin donate to the local animal shelter.

  16. #16
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by selm View Post
    Another thing you can do that saves on fabric is use a practice piece twice. The second time use a different color thread so you can analyze where you have stitched. ....
    I have done this often - but I have also been known to put a fresh piece of muslin on the top after several rounds to get even more use out of the practice piece.

    When I start to practice, I always start with either a dry erase board or paper then progress to the machine. The dry erase board and paper help me practice and prepare for those "I need to fill in that space" issues. If it is a big or special project and I want to make sure I got the pattern nailed down I sometimes do yardage - I put a busy fabric on the back and a plain fabric on top - do my practice (easier to see the quilting on the plain side as you go and not really evident on the busy side lol) and when done use the quilted fabric for small projects (bags etc) as gifts.
    Betty

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    http://notesfrommoosehaven.blogspot.com

  17. #17
    Super Member Krisb's Avatar
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    Directions on how to make the device. Home Depot may be seeing me today.

    http://www.sylviasstitches.com/2017/...tice-tool.html

    Seems like a great way to develop muscle memory for new designs.
    I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it difficult to plan the day.

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  18. #18
    Super Member CorgiNole's Avatar
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    You can also practice without thread - if on muslin, you can see the needle holes. Then add thread the next time through.

  19. #19
    Super Member Watson's Avatar
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    One thing I do with a practice piece is use a light colour on the front and a dark on the back with a matching light thread. That way you can see your stitches on the dark side really well to see how it is going in detail and you can see how they would blend in on a real quilt on the light side.

    Watson

  20. #20
    Super Member Darcyshannon's Avatar
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    This will help a lot. Hadn't thought of that

    Quote Originally Posted by Watson View Post
    One thing I do with a practice piece is use a light colour on the front and a dark on the back with a matching light thread. That way you can see your stitches on the dark side really well to see how it is going in detail and you can see how they would blend in on a real quilt on the light side.

    Watson

  21. #21
    Junior Member IrishMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic View Post
    Here is a pinterest link with a picture but Can't find the product on Erica's

    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/540572761496877061/
    Sadly Ericas closed their doors about two weeks ago after being in business more than 40 years. They were about 45 minutes away from me.

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