Wednesday, June 9, 2021

A New-to-Me Skill

 I moved to the best neighborhood for me! On my block and within a couple of other blocks there are at least half a dozen quilters. My neighbor across the street is a master quilter and she's pushing me out of my meander comfort zone rut. She loaned me a little booklet about taking meandering to the next level by adding elements to it. 

I always thought I couldn't free motion quilt except for meandering because I can't do FMQ spirals or feathers. It never occurred to me to build on a meander to expand my FMQ repertoire. My neighbor is very kind, but as a former teacher she also has expectations that I'll practice and improve. She suggested drawing the motifs to get the muscle memory. I found that not helpful so I made a muslin and batting sandwich and just started stitching. 

First exercise: add a loop to the meander.


Second exercise: add double loops or figure 8s to the meander.


Third exercise: add hearts to the meander.


Whoo-hoo! I can do this!!!  Now granted, it's a table-runner sized practice piece, not the bulk and weight of a quilt to maneuver, and I have the benefit of a stitch regulator on my Bernina. But I'm amazed that I could jump right in and do this, and I know I'll definitely build on this new skill by practicing on donation quilts. 

Speaking of, did I mention my great neighbors? I was making a donation quilt for Hands2Help when I learned of a need in my neighborhood for a comfort quilt for someone dealing with cancer. Instead of mailing my Coral Strippy HST quilt to Happy Chemo, I'll give it locally. And I've already been practicing my new quilting skill on it. Look: hearts!


So many more possibilities... I'll continue to work through the exercises and practice the motifs, and enjoy both the process and the results. 


Link up: Quilt Fabrication

13 comments:

  1. Congrats on learning new quilting skills!

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  2. Congrats on learning a new skill! Nice work, Jan.

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  3. You are doing fabulously expanding your quilting skills!! It’s great when you have a break through, isn’t it? I’ve had that on Sophie and can’t wait to get her up and running again.

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  4. Your quilting hearts look beautiful!!!! You are so blessed to have found this neighborhood of quilters!!! Glad you found a local person who needs a quilt! Postage is getting so expensive!

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  5. Way to go Jan, you did great! Keep up the practice:)

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  6. Jan is a terrific new neighbor and student! We challenge each other. She has stretched to improve her skill set of free motion quilting and soon will be showing you her spirals. What a wonderful color artist!

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  7. Hi Jan, what a great way to learn and practice your free motion quilting. It really is about practice and you are rocking :-) I hope that you'll consider joining in the fun at Free Motion Mavericks - it's a great place to share. Take care.

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  8. That's excellent! Building on the skills you have confidence in is such a smart way to add to your tool kit and you have clearly already mastered the hearts. I'm so happy you have found such a wonderful neighborhood and community

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  9. Congratulations on expanding your free-motion quilting skills. You'll gradually find new motifs to add. Stars, simple flowers (daisy like) plus the hearts and loops you'e already mastered. There are lots of resources to discover new ideas. You may even try some feathers or spiral some day. I, meanwhile, have misplace my darning foot, so I'm stuck with the walking foot until I find it or buy a new one.
    Pat


    Pat

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  10. Go, Jan, go! Good for you for pushing past your comfort zone to add some new motifs. Loops like this are really hard for me, so color me impressed :)

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  11. sounds like you moved to paradise!! what fun to have that many quilters close!

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  12. I feel so honored to be the blessed person who will treasure your quilt. Thank you.

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