June 30, 2007

Can a young dog learn new tricks?

So, it's good to try new things, get out of your comfort zone, stretch yourself... right? 'Cause I'm doing a lot of that right now and it's frustrating. I know this comes as no surprise, but I do not like to feel like I'm not good at what I'm doing. (Shaddup, I admitted it.)

I took my first stab at machine quilting last night. The picnic quilt is done, and I decided it would be a good quilt to learn on. Its for us, not a gift. And it's meant to be tossed on the ground, spilled on, yada yada yada. The pattern is straight lines, so I can do this on my humble Brother. Right? Wrong! The first line - border to first row of squares went just fine. I flipped it over and thought, yeah. I can live with this. But the second line of stitching? The one that actually went between two rows of patches? Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! I spent an hour last night carefully ripping that line out. Apparently, when your squares don't quite match up, (as is always true of mine) hand quilting is much more likely to look good... But, I don't want to spend weeks hand quilting my picnic quilt. I'm going to be much less likely to be willing to toss it on the ground if I do that!

So, re-grouping. I decided to machine quilt the outer box on the machine. (Between the border and the center patches.) I've just finished, and it came out looking just fine. Now I'm going to go back in and embroider asterisks where blocks join, a modification of a tied quilt. I am really not a fan of tied quilts, but I think the embroidery will look good. On the back, it will be sprinkled with little stars. And it will take a couple of hours, at most. Growing, stretching, learning...

What? That doesn't sound like stepping very far outside my comfort zone? Yeah, you're right. The rest of it is work stuff, though, and we don't talk about that on the weekend.

1 comment:

Brit said...

sounds like my first machine quilting experience. I've stayed away for year and only recently started straight lines on placemats, and table runners and doll quilts.

Still afraid...