Previously pictured in progress here and here, this is the quilt I quilted on Betty, my old White sewing machine. It's my first attempt at free-motion quilting (FMQ) a large-ish project. And I'm pleased with it!
And, as usual, every quilt has its lesson.
What did I learn this time 'round? Well... a few things actually.
Lesson 1: I learned the value of a good marking tool. After fussing with a regular HB pencil, a so-called quilting pencil, and a new but-soon-dry-as-the-desert quilting marker, I finally settled on the wonderful chalk pencil to mark the quilt with my quilting designs. It doesn't even compare with the rest. The heavens opened up, as I recall.
Lesson 2: For my next project, I will be taking a new approach to FMQ designs.
Part A: I ended doing gobs and gobs of unpicking because my quilting lines were designed long and smooth yet SO often ended up wobbly and crooked. Given Betty's minimal throat space, it was quite tricky to maneuver the quilt along these lines. Shorter lines would be far less challenging for Betty and me.
Part B: A little more space between the quilting lines themselves would also help. Then I wouldn't have to fret so over the fabric buckling. I was constantly checking for buckling and bunching on the backside of the quilt and it had a negative impact on my flow. It seems to me that more space between quilting lines is the answer here. That's my theory anyway. Still have to test that out in my next project though.
Lesson 3: I love the modular quilting design idea. By that I mean working in a small area on a discrete motif, as opposed to an all-over quilting pattern. Being limited by my machine's tiny throat space is not necessarily a bad thing, it just means having to think differently about how to accomplish the quilting. Modular quilting designs are one solution to the space problem.
Lesson 4: This project shows me the potential of my simple old machine. So what if it's old? I am not limited by it. IT is limited by ME! I'm supposed to be the one with the brain after all.
Lesson 5: Except for batting and thread, I could probably make 20 more quilts from my scraps/stash alone. Like really, I had everything for this lap quilt in my house! This is an old, old lesson. An oldie but goodie.
Lesson 6: If you want motivation to finish a quilt, plan to give it as a gift for a big day like a wedding or a birth. There's nothing like a deadline to set one's butt astir.
Yeah... So I think that about covers it! I hope to get started on THIS colourful one soon. Poor thing's been waiting most patiently in the wings... I think I may need to set a deadline of some sort, eh?
KITTEN UPDATE: Thanks so much for your kind input on the kittens. Of which there are now three (I named the third "Twigs")! We've put out food and water for them. They aren't touching it from what I can tell. So the mom must still be around?... They've begun to meow at me when I look in on them. Am I scaring them? The Humane Society said to give them a call if we decide to hand them over. Also, after last posting, Lo reminded me that Elle (my eldest) is highly allergic to cats. That fact had totally fallen out of my head, if you can imagine!!! I'm so worried about the poor little things. I just want them to be safe and alive...