20 September 2009

Yesterday's adventures

Never say that I'm afraid to show you things that (perhaps) should have stayed hidden! Yesterday I spent the day in a beginners' machine quilting workshop taught by Kim Bradley. I enjoyed the experience because everything I stitched was totally new to me. I have never tried free-motion quilting before (I know, it's sad.) This is my first piece with two exercises: apple blossom and leaves. Hmm.

The next three shapes are on this next piece: grape leaves, a blobby shape and a wavy line with dots. Double hmm.

This sample has line fillers (decidedly wonky) and my albsolute fave - pebbles. I love stitching those pebbles!

Then Kim freaked me out by letting us try feathers (with some other shapes like the ginko leaves). Awful. I was pleased that I stitched my name, though!

This is my second feather and I think some of the curves are actually curved on this one so that has to be an improvement, right?

In about six weeks we have our second lesson, when we'll be stitching a single sampler piece. Now that will be scary. I'd better get practising - Kim recommends at least 10 minutes a day, but maybe I need a couple of hours instead! Any tips from experienced free-motion quilters will be gratefully received in the meantime...


  1. Anonymous10:43 am

    Your samples are very good for a "beginner". Suggestion; if Kim says 10 minutes a day then do 10 minutes a day. Not an hour plus once a week, or several hours the day before your next class. Ten minutes a day my strech to 14 minutes day, but the secret is some each day so your hands can remember the moves.

  2. Kim Bradley11:04 am

    Erica the work looks awesome
    It photographs really really well.
    Huge pat on the back to you!

  3. I love free motion work, although I am by no means an expert. My tip would be to practise with a pencil as well. When you're on the phone, watching telly, in the checkout or bank queue. Keep that hand moving in feathers, leaves or flowers. Eventually it will be automatic.

  4. You have made a great start on your free motion quilting - I am sure you will learn a lot from Kim, she is an amazing teacher.

  5. My tips are to wear decent quilting gloves. The best brand in my view are Machingers if you can get them - if not let me know and I will try and bring some over for you. Thye help with grip - even more important with a big quilt. Also, play some nice relaxing music and remember to breath and keep your shoulders down when you do it it. After a while its as natural as handwriting. You look like you were a very good beginner to me though. And ofr extra tuition the vidoes by Past Thompson are great. I think Brenda has them.


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