Sunday, January 13, 2013

Duh!

Do you remember that long-ish ago saying? I sure do and unfortunately I really felt like that last night. I finished up the binding yesterday afternoon on a quilt and during the process Sunshine kept checking on me in my studio and asking if I was going to sew her "kwilt". Poor little thing has been practically begging me to finish it for her. I promised that if it wasn't too late after I completed the binding, I would definitely do it. Here are a couple of the pictures from when we pieced it together last March! This has been hanging on my design wall ever since waiting for me to find make the time to complete it. (Note to self....don't wait this long to make my baby girl happy ever again!)
The binding task on the other quilt was completed before 5pm so I picked out a backing fabric, cut a layer of batting from my scraps, put in some basting pins to hold it all together (way too cold and damp outside to use the spray), selected thread and set to work.

With my newly gained knowledge learned at Free Motion Quilting class last weekend, I figured this would be a perfect little piece to practice on. She certainly wouldn't care one iota if the quilting was perfect or not. Since I love swirls and it would blend well with the fabrics, I briefly thought of doing that but instead I decided to do something simpler, an easier meander with loops.

The quality of the quilting is literally all over the place. I started out making the curves and loops way too small (see the right side) but as I worked to the left I got a better feel for the motion and did a few loops that don't look bad at all. Originally I had no plan to show you this piece (I'm certainly not any good at this yet) but what happened later made me to decide to be real and honest and hopefully keep you other FMQ newbies like me from making the same mistake that I did.

Dinnertime intervened but I headed back upstairs once the dishes were dealt with and before the kidlets' bedtime to attempt to complete this task. Let me tell you, the movements were a quite a bit awkward, jerky and really rough (remember this) but the entire time I assumed that it was just because I am a total novice at this and just need a lot more practice. Like every thing else, one can't achieve perfection right from the start and eventually it would become a ton more natural and wonderful looking. At least that was my hope.

Well.........once I snuggled in the chair an hour later with my little missy while she ate her typical pre-bed snack of grapes and drank her milk, I read through the instructions for my new Supreme Slider. Yes I got one for Christmas and No I didn't use it this time as I hadn't even opened the package before then. So lets see...it says to use a large table to support your quilt (check!), be sure your chair is at the right height for me (check), lower the feed dogs and attach the free motion foot, etc.

Whoa! Hold it right there! That it was. Right there in front of me in Black and White. That smack-me-upside-the head moment. That was the problem with this mini quilt. I had totally forgotten to LOWER THE FEED DOGS! Duh! Double and Triple DUH! I had quilted her entire little piece with the feed dogs raised. No wonder why it was all jerky feeling and not smooth at all.

I felt like a real jerk. A huge (though not catastrophic) rookie mistake that I probably might not have made if I had actually taken a moment to read back through the booklet from class and mentally checked off the "To Do" list before I started. But let me tell you it is one that I'll definitely never make again. This gal only needs to learn a lesson like this once.

So there you have it...a true story and my confession to the Quilting Gods that be. Could I have kept this little secret to myself and have no one the wiser? Sure I could have. But not everything or everyone is perfect and that is one thing that I love about the quilting community. Most people aren't afraid of showing their mishaps, even the professionals some times, and it helps us to realize that we are all human and as long as we learn from our mistakes, it is ok to share with others and hopefully keep them from making the same boo-boos. Now go ahead and have a chuckle on my behalf and then double check that you remembered to lower your feed dogs. We wouldn't want the quilting world barraged with loads of similar confessions in the coming weeks.

And on a side note....the sign ups for the Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin 2013 are still open for a few more days so submit your name before time runs out....plus I'm inching ever closer to having 300 followers and when that happens I'll have a little giveaway. I'm off this afternoon for my 2nd Free Motion Quilting class and I promise to report on that hopefully later today or at least by tomorrow morning.

12 of you added your own colorful comments:

  1. I appreciate this post very much. Turns out FMQ is more complicated than it looks, doesn't it? I'm also devoting this year to learning FMQ and I am finding out that skill is only 1 of many components to a successful finish and having the right tools and set up is just as important. I look forward to the delighted smile of your daughter when she holds up the finished quilt. She is adorable!

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  2. Oh, I do that every now and then. My New Home works the same either way so I really do tend to forget with her.

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  3. What a precious quilt Michele and your daughter will love it! I had to laugh about the feed dogs not being down.....been there...done that. I'm like you, I don't mind sharing mistakes I've made as they will help others.

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  4. We've all had our 'duh' moments, and it's all good as long as we learn from them. Cute quilt! And what a cutie holding it.

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  5. I do a lot of smaller piece free motion quilting with the feed dogs up! Shocked you, huh. I feel better in control with them up, but I don't get a jerky response such as you have gotten. I love it that there are rules that can be broken and sometimes the broken ones better and other times the strict and narrow works better. Freedom of choice. Such cute photos!

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  6. when I used to quilt on my domestic I never took the feed dogs down, so it's up to the person and/or the machine I think. some like it, some don't.

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  7. My machine does better with the darning foot and the feed dogs up even though the book says to put them down. Guess it all depends as you get used to playing with your machine.

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  8. Sunshine and the quilt are both adorable! Sounds like feed dogs can be up or down, so good for you for getting it done!

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  9. LOL, totally been there, done that. More than once. I think the real moments in our journey, the ones that teach us really count! Thanks for sharing this one!

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  10. You made me laugh...with you I hope. Thanks for sharing.

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  11. Hahaha - your little one is a real cutie ;) Your quilting looks great...and we've all tried to free motion with the feeds up at least once!! When I first began quilting I thought, "oh yeah I saw this on tv, this is easy, I know what I'm doing"...and I almost burned out the motor on my sewing machine by what I at the time thought was called "crazy stitching" an entire quilt with the feed dogs...up.

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  12. Such pretty purple prints!
    I just have to keep telling myself--just keep going, just keep going.... Just keep practicing! My biggest fear is that I can't make it look as pretty and precise and even as I see in my head. And I have a small machine, so I'm doing the best I can with what I've got, and to teach myself.

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I enjoy reading each and every comment that you share. And isn't that what it is all about....sharing.