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    Lessons learned

    So today is the day I started my first attempt at quilting. Since I went into this blindly, this is what I learned today. This pertains to me only and in no way am I saying this is for everyone.

    A sewing machine with the capability of stopping with the needle in the down position is very highly desirable. I have a cheap Walmart Brother machine that works well but not for quilting. Every, and I mean every time I stopped, it was needle up. What does that mean for me? Not a straight line in the quilt. I would stop to adjust the quilt and it would shift. Sigh.

    I need a bigger sewing table. I have a small folding sewing cabinet that my son bouht me a few years ago. Worked out fine for the curtains I made and the table runner and such. But not for a quilt. What does that mean for me? Not a straight line in the quilt. The quilt (lap size no less) kept sliding off the table so all the weight would pull on the quilt and move the material from under the walking foot, and why, because the needle was in the up position. Sigh.

    Placement of hands is important. As I went along I noticed that my hands would be all over the place. There was no consistency with how I moved my quilt. It would catch on the table, machine, me, the dog, you name it. It would not slide well. I couldn't get a decent grip on the material to move it under the foot. What does that mean for me? Not a straight line in the quilt. My hands were all over the place because I was constantly letting go of the quilt so I could haul it up off the floor, the weight of the quilt pulling it down because there was no room on the table and the needle was in the up position. Sigh.

    Slow and steady wins the race. I would have bouts of lead foot-itis with my foot pedal (or is that petal). I would have a nice steady rhythm going and next thing you know I am speed racing like I'm in the Indy 500. It was never my intention to go fast. But my stride was constantly interrupted. What does that mean for me? Not a straight line in the quilt. I would have a slow steady pace going, the quilt would roll off the table because it was too small so I would have to let go to haul it back up, losing my place on the line because the needle was in the up position. Sigh.

    I was going to do a cross hatch design since it was my first time and it seemed like the easiest. Now I am realizing that one way diagonal lines look fine. This was not an intentional design choice. What does this mean for me? Not a straight line in the quilt. No sense in adding more crooked lines facing the other way. I can accept this design. Sigh.

    I'm tired, in pain from being bent over for hours, and only have half of the lines sewn. Tomorrow is another day. I am going to set up the folding tables I bought for cutting. I'll put my machine on them. I may even get another smaller table to make the "L" shape to support the quilt. In the meantime, I am going online to check out machines, buy quilting gloves and maybe even the sewing silicone spray so it slides easier. Let's just hope it doesn't slide easier onto the floor. Sigh.
    Hugs,
    Joanne

    There are no mistakes, only happy accidents. - Bob Ross

    A girl needs to surround herself with TONS of happiness.
    Happiness = fabric!:icon_woohoo:

    #2
    Re: Lessons learned

    I hear you. I had an older, perfectly usesble, Brother, and replaced it with a Brother Project Runway that has needle down setting, a knee bar to lift the foot, and a speed control. The great thing anout the speed control is you can floor the pedal and it won't go faster than it is set for, so you don't have to find the "sweet spot" in your pedal pressure. IMHO these things are crucial. I also sew for my DGD, and I like all the fancy stitches and buttonholes this has to offer.
    My friends call me Peggy
    The government calls me Mary Margaret

    Proverbs 13:22 A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children.

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      #3
      Re: Lessons learned

      The machinger gloves are worth every penny...........and they don't cost very much.

      Leah Day has some great suggestions for quilting......

      Free Motion Quilting Basics - YouTube
      "I'm putting together a list of 100 reasons why I am NOT relentless!" - Sue Heck, The Middle

      Leonard: For God's sake, Sheldon, do I have to hold up a sarcasm sign every time I open my mouth?
      Sheldon (intrigued): You have a sarcasm sign?

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        #4
        Re: Lessons learned

        Hang in there! And remember what Bob Ross said about "Happy Accidents"!

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Lessons learned

          Get the Machinger gloves. Roll the quilt so you are working w/a small item and it's easier to control. Before you ever start trying to fmq, always make sandwiches and practice first on those. I have been fmqing for over two years and still do this. I buy muslin at Joanns w/a coupon and use my scrap batting from when I make quilts. Works great!! Oh, and if you have a speed adjustment on your machine, adjust it lower. I put mine at about halfway when I am fmqing.

          Good luck!
          pat.

          No rain....no rainbows!


          sigpic

          If you can't be nice.....BE QUIET!

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            #6
            Re: Lessons learned

            Glad you got it quilted and it sounds like learned a lot. We need pictures though!
            Loosely based on a true story.

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              #7
              Re: Lessons learned

              Originally posted by soul60s View Post


              Slow and steady wins the race. I would have bouts of lead foot-itis with my foot pedal (or is that petal). I would have a nice steady rhythm going and next thing you know I am speed racing like I'm in the Indy 500. It was never my intention to go fast. But my stride was constantly interrupted. What does that mean for me? Not a straight line in the quilt. I would have a slow steady pace going, the quilt would roll off the table because it was too small so I would have to let go to haul it back up, losing my place on the line because the needle was in the up position. Sigh.
              You will learn so many things as you go along to make quilting easier for you.

              I just saw a Fons and Porter episode recently that had a tip for lead footitis. A viewer had sent in her idea to keep from going to fast. She attached a small piece of wood dowel under the bar on her presser foot so that she could not go fast. It worked like a governor in cars and trucks. You might give it a try!
              Donna

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Lessons learned

                I know when I get started FMQ I am going to feel your pain. I do have speed control and the needle down position and I'm very thankful for that.
                ~ Tracy

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Lessons learned

                  soul60s, I haven't laughed this hard in a long time. That being said, my machine also does not have the needle-down feature, so I feel your pain.
                  Michele

                  to the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world...

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Lessons learned

                    Soul60s - Thanks for sharing ... and diving right in to quilting. Wish I would have read this before I started decades ago because I went through the exact same problems ~ only then there was no needle down position so I had to remember to hand crank the needle down.

                    This just proves history repeats itself.

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