Quilt With Us

I just want to hear what other quilters are doing. I have not gotten involved with any quilting groups locally because a) We travel a lot and I can not be a reliable member of a group and b) I am very self-conscious of my work and would be intimidated by all the more experience and much more talented quilters out there! Sorry, but that is how I feel about it! Everything I know about quilting I learned on my own.
I have read some of the long arm blogs and I am offended when I hear them bad mouthing some of the quilts they have quilted for other people. I could be that person they are bad mouthing or even someone I know. It doesn't matter if I know them or not--I know that I would be mortified if I knew someone was blasting my quilt. Whether it's perfect or not, I put a lot of heart and soul into whatever I make and my heart would be broken to hear it criticised in cyberspace. I guess that's why I do my work in relative obscurity. I admire people who put themselves "out there" for public scrutiny! No one has to see my work except the recipient of one of my quilts and hopefully they are not going to be too critical!

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Hi Angela, It seems you are very critical of your own work. Probaly very nice work. If not a guild a small group of friends who quilt is nice, I find I learn from classes still. I quilt mostly alone and have numerous unfinished projects, i love to start quilts and like most am a fabriholic. Go to a quilt group sometime as a visitor. I love how our quilt group loves show and tell and are very supportive of even new quilters. The learning, and laughing at our mistakes sometimes, is part of the fun. Nice to meet you
Hi, Irene. I guess I am critical of my own work. I need to get over it and get on with it! I have a quilt that needs quilting and I am hesitating to start the process because I am learning free motion and don't want to mess it up (It's a really cute top!) Maybe I'll pour a glass of wine and turn on some good music and just go for it!
I guess all of us quilters have a fabric addiction. I have a bunch of fabrics just waiting to be turned in to fabulous quilts! My problem is I love to crochet, knit, tat, cross stitch and always have 3-4 projects going at the same time. Knitters also have yarn addiction so I'm up to my ears in both fabric and yarn! Life is good!
I must sound very critical of myself in my writings. Really I'm pretty laid back but I do like to do nice work. You know, if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right kind of thing.
I am lucky I have a husband who encourages me and looks the other way when UPS brings yet another delivery of fabric (or yarn)! I have a large room down stairs that I have pretty much taken over with my quilting stuff. The dining room table is where I do my cross stitch or knit my socks and my husband has his place to eat and I have mine, but the rest is covered with my stuff and he never says a thing! I do think he is happy when we have dinner guests because then everything gets put away (for a little while anyway!).
I was going to go to the local quilters guild meeting for the first time this week, but my husband bought tickets to our local Snowdown Follies, so maybe next month.
I'm glad there are others out there that like to do the things I do!
Angela - I also have a tendency to be too critical of myself...I often say that I'm a frustrated perfectionist, because there really is no such thing as a true perfectionist! One hint that I might give you is to practice on some "not so good" material with your quilting, before you start on your really nice top. I've done that, even practicing the same quilt pattern on my "practice" piece.

I've taught some quilting and embroidering classes and I always try to treat my students as I would want to be treated if I was learning something new, and I always encourage them either in their choice of colors, piecing, or even in the effort they are putting forth to learn something new! I love to teach and watch the light bulb go off in someone's head when they "get it"! I am mostly self taught but have taken some classes because I figure there's always something new to learn.

And just remember that most people have never tried to learn to knit, tat, cross stitch, quilt, or any of the many talents that you have! Hang in there, and just brush off the critical people - they aren't worth your time.


I've been quilting for years and just barely started "free motion" myself. I tried several times on my regular sized machine and it was just insanely retarded! Not enough throat space to turn the quilt and I ended up frustrated. My sweet husband let me buy an industrial Juki for Christmas and it made all the difference. I'm with "practice" a LOT before you work on that cute quilt top. I made about a zillion quilt sandwiches and practiced for weeks before I felt like what was coming out of my machine was normal! LOL

Also, I finally caved in and bought a silicone "slider" and a pair of quilting gloves. I cannot tell you how much they improved my work! The silicone sheet goes under your needle and across the bed of your machine and reduces the drag of your quilt-making it waaaaaaaaaay easier to move around, and the gloves help you grip the quilt from the top so you don't lose control of it. I honestly thought both things were for uptight quilters who had some anal need to have all the tricks and tools and figured I would do just fine without them. (sound familiar? LOL) But now I don't go anywhere near my long arm without them!

Here's a fun website
where you can get both (she has a small shop) and see a new "free motion filler" every day! The girl who owns the blog is really cute and down to earth and she challenged herself to create a "new" free motion filler every day for a year. She's in the 100's now, and each one has a tutorial and video with it for free! It's Leah Day Designs if the link doesn't work.
Thank-you so much for the info!
I know I need to practice and I just finished doing my 2nd quilt sandwich. The problem is I want to just jump in and do an actual quilt!!! My quilting time is limited by a lot of other "life" things, so I find myself chomping at the bit to get on with it!
I will check out the web site. She sounds great... a new free motion filler every day for a year-WOW! I tried some McTavishing, some pebbling and some of Diane Guadinski's techniques. I have a lot to learn. Stippling just does not come easily to me! I'm getting better, but you know how it is!
Congratulations on your new machine!
Thanks for the congrats. You sound a lot like me...I "jumped" from a regular digital sewing machine into an industrial machine and thought I was just so smart! LOL Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my new machine....NOW...but for a couple of weeks it really kicked my butt! I had to make some adjustments to it because it was literally TOO fast and TOO powerful to control and I felt like an idiot. My husband was convinced that the kids were going to come home from school one day and find me pretzeled inside it. He said "Well, that "huge" throat clearance you wanted will come in handy when they need to insert the Jaws of Life to get you out of it". But we're now friends for the most part.

Stippling! Egads. It totally baffles me too! I cannot draw to save my life and trying to "flow" in equal proportions and in the right directions without crossing over myself or backing myself into a corner-it's crazy making! It's like that portion of my brain is broken. When I stipple I still use a washable marker and draw myself a dotted line...dot to dot...and sometimes little arrows so I know where to go next. Because I'm also like you in wanting to jump right in there and just VOILA' make stunning quilts, practicing felt like detention and using my progress to gauge how long it would be until I was good at it, I'll be about 85. So...I draw and mark so I can jump right on it! Whatever it takes to get my way NOW. Ya know? LOL
Oh, yeah, drawing! That's a whole 'nother thing! I obviously did not pay attention in art class! I can not draw to save my life! You should see me draw feathers! It would make a two year old's drawing look good! I know what you mean about direction and crossing over the lines when you're not supposed to. Oh, I'll get the hang of drawing a leaf, then you have to draw it upside down---foooorget it! I never knew it was so hard to draw a football shape. Or a circle. My footballs look like pears and my circles look like potatoes. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I can't tell East from West. Change directions on me and I am lost. Maybe I need to be thinking left and right when I quilt too. Hmmm.
I've been having trouble with the bobbin thread wrapping around the bobbin holder shaft. You worry about being a pretzel, I worry about being stapled to my sewing table. I guess we all have our challenges.
Enjoyed hearing from you. You sound like you enjoy this crazy world of quilting. Good for you!
About the bobbin...when it's doing that, take it out and flip it over. I know it sounds dumb, but the guy who sold me my new machine INSISTED that when I pull on the thread coming out of my bobbin, it needs to turn in a "clockwise direction" (that would be to the right hehehe) rather than a counterclockwise direction (that would be towards the left). If I have it in wrong, the bobbin thread can't be taken up by the needle the way it's supposed to be.

But not all machines are the same and yours might need to spin counterclockwise. So the next time it does it, flip your bobbin over in the case and see if it goes away. Then note the direction that your bobbin needs to spin to work well.

Your description of your drawing skills had me laughing my head off. I am JUST like that. I have to draw things on a chalkboard all the time for the children in my Sunday School class and I almost always have to tell them what I've drawn, because it isn't evident to them....sigh. ("No that is not a tree, that is a woman with curly hair!")

Templates honey. Templates are our friends.
Hi there!
I was wondering how you are doing on your industrial machine. Have you quilted any new quilts? Would love to see some pictures of your quilts and your machine.
I have been finishing up some unfinished projects (not quilting) and am now ready to get back to quilting.
I am LOVING my industrial machine...after I took it back and got a servo motor put in it so it didn't try to EAT me! lol I've done a few projects on it, I need to take some photos and update my album.

Like you, I've been sucked into side projects-tearing out ALL of the grass in our yard and starting over for one...don't ask...LOL! I got invited to participate in a "boutique" this next weekend...something new for me in the quilting arena and I've been trying to blast through a bunch of table runners and baby quilts so I have some kind of inventory. I'm so nervous excited that I'm sick to my stomach. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaa

I'll get some photos up in the next couple of days...but if I show you mine....you gotta show me yours!
you are definitly not alone. There are a lot out there that don't love to show off things they make. It comes from the heart and that can be broken by naughty words from others. I belong to 3 groups and one of them i started myself {patchworkposse.com} There are a few ladies who come and enjoy the friendship, and rarely bring anything to show. It hasn't been a big deal, and they still share their knowledge with others. It is great!

Since I have joined this group, I have seen nothing but kind and warm comments from everyone. Maybe I viewed that other blog when someone was having a bad day. So enough of that, I will focus on you nice ladies and all the wonderful things you bring to the quilting world. So on that note, I just have to tell you that I finished a quilt today for my Dad for Father's Day! It was actually made of fabric I bought from Connecting Threads a while back and is made using the "Virginia Fireflies" pattern. It turned out pretty cute and you can hardly tell that my corners don't meet (unless you look real close!). Now I can start a baby quilt for my new neice (Grace) born on April 27th!


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