The quilting is done and binding is on, so I guess it is time for the big reveal. I had a great experience doing the quilting on this project and I learned lots. I hope this will encourage many a new quilters to give a new technique a try. Here is what I learned about me and free motion quilting:
1. Take time to practice on scrap fabric before applying the stitching to the project. Since I was nervous, I thought I would set my machine speed to a slower setting. This did not go so well. So glad I was sewing on my scrap fabric. I ripped it all out because it was so bad. So I turned up the speed a little and found the right speed for me. However, the practice scrap did not give me practice going over seams. I had to play with my foot pressure until I found the right combination for smooth sailing over the seams.
2. Mark the quilt. Mari made the suggestion of marking the borders so the looping will come out more even. And it worked! My loops are not perfect, but putting in some chalk markings really helped me keep my loops more consistent.
3. Don’t be afraid to put the needle in the down position and take a break — especially doing loops and meandering. If you are getting stressed and rushing, your loops and meandering will not look right. So put the needle down and walk away if need be, get a drink of water or whatever and come back to the project once you’ve had a chance to relax.
4. Have a plan. Meandering isn’t supposed to look planned out and that is a good thing. But as I was coming into areas like corners and around the leaves, it really helped to take a short break and think about how I was going to meander in and out of those areas.
5. It’s not going to be perfect! So what? If your expectation is perfection, you will not try or if you do try, you will not be happy with the results. My meandering isn’t perfect, but it is better than my first attempt and hopefully my third will be better yet. This was my first attempt at loops and it wasn’t horrible. The important thing is that you are trying and the more you try the better you will get.