Thursday, March 18, 2010

a little free motion circling

This is my first attempt with free motion quilting.  I used my new (cheap) darning foot and practiced on some scrap before starting on this blanket (I'm having trouble deciding if it should be called a blanket or quilt because I didn't piece any part of it but I am quilting the layers together).  I admit that I don't have the patience for exhaustive testing.  I believe that you learn best from doing and you learn more from doing wrong. So I just jumped right into quilting the blanket and fiddled my way through a couple of rows.

I have seen pebble designs before as well as stippling techniques where important features were emphasizes in circles.  I thought it would be neat to try circling around each of the elephants in a continuous motion to tie all of the elephants together.  I circled each elephant about three times because I think it hides the crooked and uneven parts.  I think it also adds a modern and improvised look to a semi-structured technique.  I will just need to quilt more than I had originally planned so the layers don't shift in the wash; I think my circles don't take up as much space as I meant for them to.

It was actually going very well (and fast) until something happened with my needle and it embedded itself into the plastic on the darning foot.  I purchased my darning foot online for $7 which should have been a clue that there would be problems.  This darning foot has the needle hole completely surrounded with plastic.  I have seen other darning feet in tutorials that don't have this front piece of plastic, so of course I decided to remedy my problem by clipping off that tiny front part (the problem might also have been user error but that is always my last choice of solutions).  It was a bit of a chore to trim off that tiny plastic piece but I did manage to find the foot after it flew across the garage (I needed both hands to chomp down with the heavy-duty scissors).

I guess three broken needles in one night is my limit, so I quit for the night and will begin again today.  Patience is always renewed after a full night's rest . . . hopefully my machine feels the same way.

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