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Trying something new

Trying something new

Old 07-28-2019, 07:22 AM
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Default Trying something new

I find it easy to be come almost, but not quite complacent, with my quilting skills. I am always trying new designs or becoming more skilled with PP or foundation piecing or even with patchwork of modern designs.
However once I find a particular way of doing things that works well for me I don't really vary in any direction. I do applique the same way all the time and don't really look for a different way of doing things. I have pin basted or use a spray basting with additional pins for 20+ years with good success. I am pretty good at stippling so I don't do much else anymore and so on. I rarely venture into a new technique of doing something that is different or new. It may not be new to some or even many but outside of my comfort zone.

Well this morning I decided that I would try a couple things new or not tried in a very long time. First I made my blocks using strip blocks on a foundation paper. Something I have not tried before. Second I used Elmer's School Glue to baste a small quilt with. The whole idea with this little quilt project is to try something new as much as I can. Third I am trying to freehand a design onto each of the 8" blocks in the quilt. I am a bit shaky on this part more related to health issues that make my hands jerk than anything else. So I stopped to give my body a chance to settle in for the morning. Lastly, when I get to the binding I want to try a different binding technique. I have a long way to go to get there but I figure if I stay at this little quilt I should have it finished within a couple weeks.

Like I said in the beginning, how complacent, or comfortable with what we do that we do not stretch our skills. I know I have stayed safe in my quilting for a long time, making the more accurate quilt than the learning kind of quilts.
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Old 07-28-2019, 07:45 AM
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Good for you! I have to push myself to do new things, but push I do.

About a year ago now I was gifted with a beautiful new-to-me modern machine. I had the decision to use it exactly as I had my old vintage machine or to use its features. Some of the tops I've done were just to learn/use those features.

With my vision changing I have to try new or at least different construction techniques.

Recently I pushed my rather stodgy self with a bag of fabrics I saw at the Goodwill. I could see that while I would never have collected those fabrics, there was a quilt in there.

From this board I've tried a number of things, one thing is not pressing my binding in half before putting it on. I'm sort of meh about my results so far, but yesterday I cut some flannel for a backing and binding and I think the non-fold method is the exact thing I need with this thick flannel.

Also this past year I've been doing more with gripping rulers after a thread on this board. I had tried them when they first came out and didn't like them, but now my 6.5x24" Quilters Rule is my go-to for cutting strips.

I've developed techniques that work for me, I'm happy to try new ideas to see if they work for me or not. Some do/some don't, only way to know is to try!
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Old 07-28-2019, 07:51 AM
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Personally, I think we are are own worst enemies when it comes to judging our own work! Most people (non-quilters) wouldn't know HOW you did what you did, and would most likely think it was lovely. I am a very inexperienced quilter (don't really quilt, just piece and send to longarmer) but I won a first place ribbon in two shows on a quilt I made for my DIL. I was floored! Not my "best" work, but a stunning quilt, and that is what the judges saw. Trying new things is how we learn, even if we think we already know it all, lol! You go girl!
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Old 07-28-2019, 08:25 AM
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Confession time here. When I first started quilting and had no idea what I was doing, I use to cut my fabric by using the measurements on my cutting mat, not from the ruler. Only used the ruler as a straight edge. Lots of lining up the fabric with the grid lines, counting out the inch increments, hoping I was in the right spot for a 1/4 inch mark. So being right handed, I started cutting on the right and working left. Then I saw where you used your top ruler to measure the strip you wanted to cut, probably here on QB. Light bulb over the head moment! So even though it took some relearning on my part, I switched it all around and then started cutting from the left. Took a bit to retrain my brain but eventually I got it and my cutting was a lot more accurate. Then after doing it that way for a few years, I saw someone using a Slidelock ruler and I loved the way it gripped the fabric as you were cutting. It went on my Christmas wish list that year and DH came through. But guess what, now I had to retrain the brain again to cut from the right. So in this case, the something new was really something old, just way more accurate.
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Old 07-28-2019, 08:56 AM
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I like to try new things, and new gizmos. I'm a sucker for a gizmo! I recently got a 2.5 x 12" creative grids ruler. How have I lived without it? So handy, for what I do. I watch a lot of you tube videos and if something new appeals to me, I try it. I am working on precision, (not perfection) after 15 years of quilting! Really trying hard, and using a Sally Collins book as my inspiration. I keep it open to the page to encourage me. I think precision will make it all easier for me.
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Old 07-28-2019, 09:14 AM
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​For yrs. I would only make a quilt with 2 colors. I've changed that. LOL
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Old 07-28-2019, 01:40 PM
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I try to learn at least 1 new thing every year.
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Old 07-28-2019, 02:28 PM
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Oh learning new things is sooo good
for the brain. My motto is to keep on learnin!
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Old 07-28-2019, 04:00 PM
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I will only try certain things. Otherwise I stick to the way I have always done things. That has helped me be more accurate and precise. I am able to make my donation quilts faster and better. A lot of things I do now I don't even have to give much thought, just comes naturally.
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Old 07-29-2019, 02:24 AM
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Taking classes helps me keep my brain tuned up, too, although I try to avoid those that require buying yet another new tool. I've been quilting over 40 years and find that one of the best things about it is the almost daily opportunities for learning and trying new things. Sometimes using even a different type of fabric can be a learning experience.
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