Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Practice, Practice, Practice

I'm beginning to think about preparing to start to commence studying a possible plan for quilting this recent Rocky Road to Kansas.  Yes, my brain is NOT focused, and every time I get on a direction, some diddly nothing changes my direction - what's with that???

Here are some samples, and disappointments, or I should say, "not yet successful designs."  I was thrilled with the first McTavishing  (diamond on the right) but by the time I got to the bottom, hypnosis seems to have taken over and I totally became "lost" in the design!  Yes, I remember about half-way finished, "perhaps I need to stop for a few seconds" but I didn't.

The diamond on the left is OK and I might use it, but in softer threads.  The wonky triangles in the top middle look interesting and not as difficult as I thought.

The wiggly lines in bottom center have the right "feel" for my scrappy stars, if I use a soft blue/gray thread.

I've not machine quilted since ??? spring -- hey, a person gets rusty!  It's amazing how much improved a design becomes with a little practice.

This second practice piece is almost a total loss!  The "wormy" thing on the bottom left has possibilities.  I was using my own imagination which has a mind of it's own every 2-3 seconds! Even poor practice results are better then no results at all.  If you are not appreciating my dark thread, remember that a thread that blends will alter your surface dramatically.
My practice pieces are saved in a 3-ring binder in page protectors, just like PatsyThompson suggests.  Many times I can't think of any design, but that practice binder always has reminders.

I am also practicing designs from, by Leah Day.  I own her big beautiful book, and added a spiral binding to it.  Free tutorials of all her designs from her book are on her site. These two generous machine quilters have given so freely.


  1. I have the hardest time choosing quilting designs! I need to learn from you to do more experimenting. I really like the diamond on the left in your first practice piece!

  2. I learned a valuable lesson this year. I had a lap top I loved and had it specialty quilted, gorgeous feathers etc., no space left unquilted :) just in case I had to have chemo along with radiation. Lucky dog, I didn't but when I washed the quilt it was just quilted. none of the lines showed anymore. It just looked like all over quilting. I sure it depends on the batting but unless I don't intend to wash it, I'm sticking with geometrics. Love the lines and they always show beautifully.

    Great practice quilting though! If you quilt it they will come!
    Sharyn in Kalama

  3. I had said last year that I needed to sart doing practice pieces. I have been storing (printed out) "quilt stitch inspiration" pictures in a binder but need to also try doing some of the designs on fabric (BEFORE I try them on a quilt!) and putting them in the binder too.

    I love the work of PT and LD and am hoping to try using some of Angela Walters "modern" designs this year too. With FMQ, pratice makes confidence!


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