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Thread: Really Scary

  1. #1
    Super Member jmabby's Avatar
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    Really Scary

    I'm quilting my first quilt doing stippling. I keep doing it over, tearing out and doing it again. I have done shadowing, stitch in the ditch, diagonals etc. I read you just have to do it and will get better, but how do I get over it is a bad job, rip it out. I hate quilting, but love to put together the quilt tops - I can't afford to have them done by a quilter. Can some of you tell how you learned to stipple? Thanks

  2. #2
    Super Member orangeroom's Avatar
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    Too bad you can't locate someone in your area that you trust that will trade piecing for quilting. That would be ideal for you. Maybe you could attempt to find someone like that. They supply you the fabric and thread - you piece for them. You supply your quilt tops, batting and backing - they quilt for you.
    Go forth and sew!

  3. #3
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I made up a dozen practice swatches about two feet each side, using cheap muslin and batting scraps. I cannot imagine starting out on a real quilt, much less ripping out the stitches every time!

  4. #4
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Contrary to popular belief, all over meander is not always the easiest thing to do. I recommend making a practice sandwich and marking it with a design that you like with chalk or water soluble marker. Then try FMQ by following the marked line. You may find that is more to your liking. Even when I FMQ on my domestic, I was never a big fan of all over meander. I avoid it whenever possible now that I have LA. There are too many other FMQ designs I like better.

    Also remember, looking at quilting when you are only a few inches away and concentrating on about 18 square inches at most leaves room to be very critical of yourself. Believe me, when you do a whole quilt and even it it has tons of mistakes it is very hard to find them when taking in the whole quilt visually. What you see when you are 5 inches away, you will not see when you are 5 feet away. Quit being so hard on yourself.

  5. #5
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    What about making a set of placemats?
    or baby burp cloths?
    or a simple table topper with just printed fabric top and bottom?
    etc?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  6. #6
    Senior Member grocifer's Avatar
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    Google Leah Day and scroll down until you see Free Motion Quilt Project. She has done several video's on stippling that are very good. Start with lesson 1 and you will learn a lot. She has been posting one lesson per week.

  7. #7
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    Stipple or meandering is not always the easiest design to start with. I can be hard to keep the loops smooth and even. I found it easier to do an all over pattern that had places to rest before the next motif. A good one is stars with loops between them. I put little triangles of masking tape on my quilt top at regular intervals. The triangles were for the center of the simple 5 point stars that we all learned to do in grade school. You just do the star around the tape and do a loop of two over to the next star spot. A simple flower or leaf shape with loops between is easy too. Good Luck!

  8. #8
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    My heart breaks every time I hear of someone starting quilting on a real quilt they intend to keep.

    All of the free motion quilt patterns take time and practice. You need to develop a rhythm, a "muscle memory", and a sense of where you've been and where you need to be on the quilt - and do it all at the same time. Equate it to somone leaning how to drive a manual transmission with no lessons and starting them at the top of a mountain pass.

    Put scraps of fabric and batting together and practice on those until you are comfortable. I have tons of little scrap sandwiches laying around with practices of this and that motif. If there is a new motif I want to use, I'll practice it 3-4 times or more if necessary, before I attempt to put it on my quilt.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  9. #9
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I draw, and draw, and draw, every time I want to learn a new pattern. I use cheap paper and I use a white board. This develops the muscle memory, and really reduces the stress of mistakes.
    Sadiemae

  10. #10
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I totally agree with the others - practice on something first, scraps that can be thrown away and not ripped out or a dog bed or a present for someone who doesn't appreciate anything anyway, LOL. Don't let your FMQ and the seam ripper get acquainted. I'm not sure whether you're trying stippling or meandering. They're basically the same, except that stippling is very tiny loops that fill up a space so that it is very flat, while meandering is the larger loops that fill up a whole quilt. I don't care much for meandering, and found that swirls, spirals, leaves, etc. were both prettier and more fun to practice with. Good luck.

  11. #11
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    I was my LQS recently and found a panel that had many different quilting patterns printed on the fabric. There was enough of each to give you an idea of how to do them (could be reproduced on different fabrics) and enough variety for almost any quilt. They weren't all basics either. I haven't had a chance to work on it yet, but plan to sandwich with pretty fabric and batting to make a real quilt, then donate to charity. It will be a great practice piece, but still functional when done.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Nancy Ingham's Avatar
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    I agree with all of the great advice that you have been given. I bought a twin size quilt (it was store bought not hand done) at my local thrift store for $1.00, washed it clean, and whenever I want to practice a quilting pattern I bring out that quilt and practice away. It has worked great for me and I feel more secure starting on my quilt after just practicing on my practice quilt. Good luck, and try to have fun with the process.
    You can choose to live your live as though nothing is a miracle; or as though everything is a miracle!

  13. #13
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    Stipple or meandering is not always the easiest design to start with. I can be hard to keep the loops smooth and even. I found it easier to do an all over pattern that had places to rest before the next motif. A good one is stars with loops between them. I put little triangles of masking tape on my quilt top at regular intervals. The triangles were for the center of the simple 5 point stars that we all learned to do in grade school. You just do the star around the tape and do a loop of two over to the next star spot. A simple flower or leaf shape with loops between is easy too. Good Luck!
    0

    Great suggestion Tartan ... I'm more of a visual learner, so by chance would you show us a picture here as to how you do it. I have the idea, though would like to see those tape triangles and how you work around them and onwards to the next. Please? Pretty Please? and with sugar on it (or splenda, if you'd prefer!!)
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  14. #14
    Super Member happynana's Avatar
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    And also what it looks like now is not what it will look like after it is washed! It will crinkle up around the thread and is much more forgiving than you would think.

  15. #15
    Super Member BluegrassGurl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99 View Post
    I made up a dozen practice swatches about two feet each side, using cheap muslin and batting scraps. I cannot imagine starting out on a real quilt, much less ripping out the stitches every time!
    I wholeheartedly agree!

  16. #16
    Super Member tatavw01's Avatar
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    doodle on paper

  17. #17
    Super Member tatavw01's Avatar
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    doodle on paper it works

  18. #18
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    QuiltE, I would love to do that but I am computer challenged. I even have to get help to do pictures. I put the tape triangles spaced evenly on the top. They will end up in the pentagram shape that will be created when you do the simple star line shape around it. You could use other shapes like the price dots for yard sales etc. It is basically to get even coverage of quilting on the quilt. I am slooowly trying to improve my computer skills but it isn't easy.

  19. #19
    Super Member SueSew's Avatar
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    I'm only learning, but I warm-up then do it the best I can. I never rip out work unless I am confident I can do it better. It is what it is and you will wreck the integrity of your fabric by pulling and resewing and endless needle holes. Enough already! Be proud of what you can do because it is the best you can do. God give me the grace to accept the things...etc. Of course, if you want to quilt your first time like the mothers of machine quilting - Gaudinski or whomever, knock yourself out.
    SueSew
    "If it's messy, eat it over the sink!" Mom

  20. #20
    Super Member annesthreads's Avatar
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    When I was feeling much as you do a year or so back, I emailed Leah Day in despair, and she was kind enough to reply. Her advice then - and I've heard her say the same thing again since - is just get a quilt on your machine (or a practice piece) and quilt it. Don't undo your work don't fret about the imperfections. When you look at the whole quilt, they're often impossible to find anyway. I think she's right - now I look at a quilt that, at the time, I thought was a disaster, and it really doesn't look that bad. And if you can just relax into the quilting without stressing too much, you're probably going to find your rhythm more easily than if you're tense. I've done much better with FMQ since I decided to stop worrying so much about the results. I start by confirming that the tension is basically OK, do some warming up on a practice piece, and off I go! Admittedly, I haven't tackled a really precious quilt, but I'm moving towards the point when I'll be ready to do so.
    Would really recommend Leah's Quilt Along, which someone else has already mentioned. She explains things very clearly and is so encouraging.

  21. #21
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nancy Ingham View Post
    I agree with all of the great advice that you have been given. I bought a twin size quilt (it was store bought not hand done) at my local thrift store for $1.00, washed it clean, and whenever I want to practice a quilting pattern I bring out that quilt and practice away. It has worked great for me and I feel more secure starting on my quilt after just practicing on my practice quilt. Good luck, and try to have fun with the process.
    What a FABULOUS idea!!!!
    No one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank
    Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheQuiltedPig

  22. #22
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I agree with DogHouseMom. PLEASE don't start on a "real" top until you have lots of smaller practice items under your belt. I'm sure that there are one or two naturals out there, but most of the rest of us needed hours and hours of practice before attempting a real quilt.

    Quote Originally Posted by DogHouseMom View Post
    My heart breaks every time I hear of someone starting quilting on a real quilt they intend to keep.

    All of the free motion quilt patterns take time and practice. You need to develop a rhythm, a "muscle memory", and a sense of where you've been and where you need to be on the quilt - and do it all at the same time. Equate it to somone leaning how to drive a manual transmission with no lessons and starting them at the top of a mountain pass.

    Put scraps of fabric and batting together and practice on those until you are comfortable. I have tons of little scrap sandwiches laying around with practices of this and that motif. If there is a new motif I want to use, I'll practice it 3-4 times or more if necessary, before I attempt to put it on my quilt.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  23. #23
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    QuiltE, I would love to do that but I am computer challenged. I even have to get help to do pictures. I put the tape triangles spaced evenly on the top. They will end up in the pentagram shape that will be created when you do the simple star line shape around it. You could use other shapes like the price dots for yard sales etc. It is basically to get even coverage of quilting on the quilt. I am slooowly trying to improve my computer skills but it isn't easy.
    Tartan .... you do really well! We're all, always learning on this computer stuff! If you could just take a picture of one that's all set up, I'd appreciate it. I think I know what you mean ..... buttttt know how wrong I can be, when I start painting pictures in my mind! Thanks!!!!!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  24. #24
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    youtube actually has dozens or more tutorials i found them very helpful they start at beginner and go to advanced
    start here she can take you a long way
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39I5A3iyCtw
    Last edited by annies-best; 03-15-2012 at 07:05 PM.

  25. #25
    Super Member nstitches4u's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grocifer View Post
    Google Leah Day and scroll down until you see Free Motion Quilt Project. She has done several video's on stippling that are very good. Start with lesson 1 and you will learn a lot. She has been posting one lesson per week.

    I second this. Watch her videos and practice, practice, practice.

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