We All Learn From Each Other, Right?!
I follow several quilting blogs, many written by people I consider friends. We may never actually meet, but they cross my mind often and give me a smile. Luckily, I get to sew and quilt with my bestie every day. I find that I often learn something from those quilter friends – each and every one of them.
We All Learn and Quilt Differently
Sue and I are not expert sewers or quilters. Nope, and we never will be. We don’t even have the desire to be, but we will continue as long as it’s fun. And it is, every time we get to sew together. Also, we’re still learning something new quite often. Recently, my friend Chris from Chris Knits was talking about her August OMG finish. She mentioned that she had a lot of threads to bury when she finished quilting with her walking foot.
That comment stuck with me for days. I often use the walking foot crosshatch design, most recently on the Pixel Heart quilt. I start and end the stitching in the batting before/after quilting the flimsy in the center of the sandwich. This eliminates the need for burying any threads. Unless, of course, you run out of bobbin thread in the middle of a row because you forgot to check how much thread you had left. Even though you knew you were going to run out any minute. Truth from personal experience more often than I care to admit.
Let’s say, though, that I didn’t want this design to go edge-to-edge. Maybe my piece has a border where another design would make it shine. Then I travel from one row to the next to avoid having any threads to bury. Do you do that too?
I forgot to mention that I use a piece of masking tape to start my stitching. It runs from corner to corner, and then I attempt to stitch next to it for the first row. Attempt because recently the tape was the exact same color as the fabric (see that first picture!). Let’s just say that first stitching line was a little ~wavy~. Then I use the guide or the walking foot itself to measure a somewhat consistent distance from the first line. I have to admit that sometimes I just eyeball it!
I Learn From Long-Arm Quilters too!
Sandra at mmm Quilts recently shared a couple of quilted pieces that also struck with me. The first picture on the left made me think immediately that I’m glad I didn’t have a long-arm quilting machine. Seeing that long expanse of a quilt top waiting to be worked on just made me anxious. Yup, there it would be just waiting for me to have some inspiration . . . Now you can see that Sandra found her inspiration, and a lovely one at that! Some ruler work coupled with FMQ really make those plus signs signs don’t you think? You must check out her finished published project!
The second photo on the right is a brilliant tip Sandra shared, and one that I really need to grab and run with. She auditioned some quilting patterns using her Clever chalk marking pen. Now, I have and have used the chalk marking pen before. It works great and the marks just brush off. Here it is being used for marking Tea Flowers, helping with HSTs and working peachy keen.
Anyway I never, ever would have thought about using it to audition quilting patterns. When I looked at Sandra’s picture and read her post, it was just SO very obvious. I told her she was brilliant (another obvious point) and thanked her for sharing her tip. I suspect she thought I was nuts as she didn’t realize she was sharing a tip. My point here, to make it perfectly clear (and one might say obvious) is that you never know what you don’t know! One casual comment can simply change another’s whole way of (quilting) life.
Another Lesson to Learn
That last sentence was the perfect lead-in to my most recent life-changing quilting moment. A clamp. A simple, spring-loaded clamp.
I have been complaining about needing a clamp for over a year. Seriously. Over a year! I’m surprised Sue didn’t pick one up and throw it at me. Anyhoo, we were shopping early one Sunday morning (picture an empty store all to ourselves) and we managed to find this gem. Granted, it was after the sales clerk pointed it out to us. We had searched that isle three times, but somehow it did manage to come home with us. It has changed my quilting life forever! No longer will I have the quilt top falling on the floor, making me stop quilting, perhaps even uttering a word I shouldn’t. I could go on and on, but I am sure you get the idea!
Three Last Learn Shoutouts
I have to give Beth at Cooking Up Quilts one last shout out for the floppy feathers. I really feel that pushed me down the FMQ path, and I thank her for that! More about that topic is found in the link – I don’t want to bore you with the details again. ~smile~
For the second shoutout, one more quilting friend sent me two drawings to build on and expand my success with swirls of late. Vicki of Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting really enjoys quilting these hook swirls:
Vicki said she learned this technique from Angela Walters, and that she uses it often. I think it was so nice of her to share this with me, and give me examples of one, two and three hooks. She also shared the overall look coupled with how to move about, which is just priceless. She’s a good egg, don’t you think? I found myself drawing this on my mattress when I woke up during the middle of the night. It put me back to sleep! HAHA!
This is just the tip of the iceberg regarding all the things I’ve learned from other bloggers or my bestie. The biggest, most obvious, duh moment that I learned from my bestie is when making the sleep sack longer for our sweet boy. I was going to make a pattern, put in a longer zipper, pick up some new cuffs that were nice and soft. It was not going to be a quick project. Sue said can’t we just take the bottom off, add a piece of fabric and call it a day? Brilliant, I say! Why do I have to take the hard route?!
We even had a sweet supervisor for that sewing event. That’s back when he was just a baby, and we could hold him, and he wondered what the heck I was doing! What tips have you learned that changed your quilting life?? I would LOVE to hear about it.
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