Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Stippling!

Or, a rough approximation of it. The pictures kinda suck, as my subterranean lair has no natural light.







Now, about an hour into this project this afternoon, I get a comment on my last post from my virtual machine quilting mentor, who said, "The aim is just not to cross your lines." And I thought, "TOO LATE, EGON SPENGLER!"



I crossed the streams; I looped; I made points instead of humps. I did everything wrong and and it was really hard, and it took up a whole spool of thread, almost. The back looks like shit up close, since there are several places where the thread looks strained, as though just the motion of pulling the quilt around was messing with the thread tension. At one point, the needle just plopped right out of the machine as I was sewing!

And I loved every minute of it. It was actually kind of exhilarating, especially as I realized that, as badly as I was doing, it was still okay. I get that baby bound and on the table and it will do just fine. A whole quilt done like that certainly won't win any awards, but my girls will love it anyway.

And if learning quilting has taught me anything, it is that no matter how much I suck now, if I keep at it I am bound to get better. How fun is it to know that not only do you have a ton left to learn, but that it is all perfectly accessible, given time and practice? You'd think I'd have made it to 40 having learned that already.

I did have fun, O Virtual Machine Quilting Mentor. I really did!

21 comments:

kendra said...

good for you! I too am just starting out and can totally relate. Thanks for the post I got a laugh and a smile.

lesthook said...

Ha! I looked at the picture and was so happy to see that I wasn't the only one to do that!Some of the quilts I see are so perfect and mine just aren't! But I love it and am getting better too . I think it looks great!

Vicki W said...

Good for you!

2ndAvenueStudio-Rachel said...

Looks good!
I think loop de loop is so much easier for a newbie.
Remember when you were learning to do cursive handwriting.. the drills?
all those circles? round and round...
"circle over.. circle under" is an excellent practice drill to smooth out the curves.. It is also the basis for an easy loop de loop..
size of circle doesn't matter and crossed threads are a non issue.
stipple is a bit tougher.. keeping your thread an equal distance from other threads and doing same size arches is a lot to keep in your head at the same time...
maybe not your head, but my head...

all that being said... I think you did really well, and the point IS to have fun. ..

Mam said...

Well done you! Your attempt is much better looking than anything I tried.

Anonymous said...

18 years ago I started machine quilting a lap quilt. Finished half of it. Unfortunately I could tell it was awful but didn't know how to do any better. I put it away. Last week I pulled it out and started " unquilting " it. Now I will try again...probably by hand this time as unfortunately my machine quilting has not improved that much ( not enough practice ).

Diane said...

Great job. Who cares if it won't win an award. You got the first one done and that's half the battle, each one gets better. Doesn't it suck that wisdom takes til we're at least in the 40's to kick in? But the fun we would have missed...sorry off subject there.

wordmama said...

I know exactly what you mean. I'm working on my first FMQ projects and, yes, I am getting better and more confident with each thing I do. I haven't been able to put up pics yet, but you'll see the same booboo's on my work. So what, it's quilted! And with each new design I see in a mag or blog, I think, "I can do that!"

Keep on keepin' on!

quiltaholic said...

Thank you so much for your stories! They always make me laugh, because I see the same things in my own quilting and it is nice to know I'm not alone in the struggle. Keep it up!!

Linda said...

Yayayaya for you! The first step is always the hardest they say. I think you've done a fine job!
Lurking Linda

soggybottomflats said...

I look at my attempts at stippling and laUgh. But then, I also have to realize that when my grand kids get older they will know that what they received is hugs from grams. I love your posts, keeps me laughing. Thanks for sharing, Elaine

Jane said...

Hey, that's ALOT of quilting and it looks great! Now...and I've tried this so I know it's true....they say to have a couple of drinks before stippling and it keeps you more relaxed and makes things go smoother! Try it next time and let us know how it works!!

Molly said...

Great job! It's nerve-wracking the first few times, but it gets easier. I find a glass of wine and some music helps :)
And you're right, there is always something to learn, something to improve on, and someone who will cherish every little stitch just because you made it!!

Copper Patch said...

At least you had a go. Good on you! This big fat scaredy cat hasn't had a turn at free-motion since I finished the class I did months ago. Tension adjustment phobia.... I think it's a real illness :)
Your blog brought a smile to my face. Refreshingly blunt - love it.
Abbe

Leah Day said...

Wow! Virtual Machine Quilting Mentor. I should probably put that on my business cards.

You've done a terrific job with this first piece. Serious, it's much better than my first stippling project.

I totally agree with Jane about the drinks. You wanna know why my videos come out so good? Rum, coke, and good editing software!

Cheers,

Leah Day

Anonymous said...

Just remember the six foot rule and everything will look wonderful.
Marilyn in Canada

Lindsay Jean said...

Fantastic post! I really love your writing style, and you consistently express the frustrations that I have with quilting. I've been at it for about 10 years, and I still haven't tried FMQ! You are very brave, and I love your blog.

Sandy said...

You crack me up, I love the way you look at things and I love your blog. Keep up the good work, keep on quilting and most of all, don't stop what you are doing. I look forward to reading and checking out your site.

Barb on cape cod said...

I am impressed by the fact that you FINISHED! I have many people in my quilting group that say "I can't do machine quilting". They don't even try. You will get better at it each time you do it. I think having some relaxing music playing helps a lot! Just remember, DONE is better than perfect! Barb from Ocean Waves Quilts.

Leslie said...

What a coincidence that I found your blog today. I too am just learning to machine quilt. I swear I used the same purple to practice on that you did! My hand quilting isn't that good, but I learned it didn't have to be perfect to be beautiful. Tomorrow I go for the actual quilt! Thanks for giving me some extra courage!

Tina said...

So, if you have a subterranean lair, does that mean there are evil plans afoot to take over the world? You will STIPPLE IT INTO SUBMISSION! Mwhahahahahaaaaa!