I’ve been wanting to write about quilting class all week but about all I’ve had time for is working on my homework. And I’m not getting very far on that either. Oscar is doing what all the hip kids are doing these days – transitioning to one nap a day. This seems to mean giving up sleeping altogether for another favorite activity – tantrum throwing. Guess I should have read that *entire* baby book.
So anyway, last Saturday’s class we saw everyone’s projects. We put them up on the design board, stood 10 feet away and checked everything out. This is how I discovered that I sewed 2 blocks out of place. Oh the shame! So I’ve had to rip those out and sew others in. The other thing I’ve been working on is resewing many of the joints together because stupidly I had too big of a stitch going (y’all were right) and as a result I had gaps forming everywhere. So now after all that work I’m back where I thought I was 2 weeks ago. My kimono quilt turned out fine so now I have two pieced quilt tops ready for quilting. Here’s my Plain Spoken quilt so far.
Weeks talked a lot in class about the importance of quilting. How so many quilts hanging in quilt shops aren’t even quilted but rather just pieced tops. And how the quilting is as much a design element as the piecing design and color choices. She had a neat suggestion for my kimono quilt… to loosely quilt a floral design over the nani iro portions of the kimono, then to do a dense quilting over the center part as that would be representative of the tightly woven material of obis. Then to not quilt at all on the thin tie part in the middle. I think it’s going to be very cool! For my other quilt which is very horizontal I’ll be doing the horizontal wavy pattern that FunQuilts uses on this quilt design. It is very similar to a traditional wave pattern found on japanese fabrics.
Right now I’m practicing quilting on my machine at home because at $25/hour I don’t think I’ll be able to do much quilting on the Gammill machine at the FunQuilts studio. I’m practicing by doing a basic swirly stippling pattern on the quilt I’ve been working on for Oscar. I pieced it together last Spring and have been slowly (read: not at all) working on stitch in ditch quilting – boring! So I’m just swirling right over it. I’ve got my darning foot in, my feed dogs dropped and I’m trying my best to get an even smooth swirl.
It is so frickin hard! I didn’t think it’d be so difficult. The trickiest part for me is trying to get used to the fact that going slower doesn’t actually slow me down because I have no feed going. I instinctively ease up on the power foot as I approach an edge or a tricky bit, wanting to pause to decide where to go next but it doesn’t do anything but make my stitch much longer because I’m still pulling the quilt through but my needle is going slower. I’ve got to get the hang of that. Also I’ve had a few close calls almost pulling my fingers right under the needle. I need to be more careful or this is going to be a bloody disaster! Not something you want to be doing on too little sleep!
Next week, we get our hands on the Gammill and learn how to do binding using a neat little Clover binding tool. I’m hoping to have my Oscar quilt quilted and its binding cut so she can use it as an example and I can get some hands-on help.