Practice Piece On An Orphan Block
Life in a small town can get very busy, and pulls me in harder than I'd like sometimes. The balance between quilting & blogging, and taking care of the every day things is tough. One thing I've found that helps me is having an online Craftsy class to watch in my spare minutes. We all have those dead minutes we're waiting for something, and this keeps my brain engaged about quilting even if life prevents me from actually doing it. I download lessons to my iPhone, and they're ready when I am.
I take advantage of sales, and this past weekend Craftsy had all their classes at $20 or less. I might also say it takes me forever to decide which might be a really good one for me because there are so many. I watch the preview clips, read reviews, and ask friends. How I decided to buy this one is not like that.
I was standing at QuiltCon a few weeks ago, and the friend I was with said something in passing to a woman walking by. It was Jacquie Gering so my brain was saying "Quilting Rock Star" right? She turned and smiled, and then had a quick chat while apologizing that she was late for her class. She was so nice, bubbly and sincere. Really! When I was looking through classes, I picked hers.
A quick story about my previous adventures with machine quilting: I had been FMQ (free motion quilting) for some time before I even realized what SLQ (straight line quilting) was. I remember thinking to myself, "It's just straight stitching! What's so hard about that?!"
So I tried it with my Pfaff at the time, and wasn't quite so cocky afterwards. There were some puckers in my work, yada yada yada. That was one technique I wouldn't be mastering for a while, and I filed it away to pick up another time.
Bring It On Jacquie!
That time had arrived. The lessons were very thorough, and though Jacquie is just as lovely in the lessons as in real life, she really gets down to business teaching. I appreciate that. Stitch length was right in the beginning, and I was happy to hear part of it was mechanical and part visual preference.
There was a lot of information about using a walking foot, a dual feed, or integrated walking foot. I have 3 machines with all three so it was wonderful to hear.
Janome technically has a dual feed foot as above, and a seam gauge bar that fits into it. This was the machine I would be working with as it has the widest harp (distance from needle to inside of machine).
After several lessons online, I grabbed an orphan block to do a practice run. Wa-lah! What a change in my work! Suddenly I had evenly spaced lines without a pintuck among them, and no curling.
I used a scrap of my bamboo/cotton for the batting, and 50 wt So Fine thread by Superior for stitching. What surprised me was the amount of thread--nearly a whole bobbin full for just the single block!
I'm finishing this piece up while already starting the next so I'll be back this weekend with more about the class. It's one I would not hesitate a moment to recommend to my closest friend. And it goes without saying, I do appreciate you clicking through the Pink Doxies' link when you make a purchase with any of the advertisers. It generates a small amount of income to cover costs here, and costs you nothing. Thank you.
QQQ Hop starts Friday, and the giveaway list is very tempting! Aurifil, Quilter's Dream, Island Batiks, Martelli, etc. Stop back to tour the studios and sewing spaces of some qwazy quilters (mine included!), and find some ideas to use in your own. Oh, did I say there will be a giveaway here, too? I did--I did! And it happens to be some fabric that hasn't hit the quilt shops yet, and you could be the first to own! Thank you, Northcott, and Seams to Be Sew.
See you very soon!
Come on, Doxie girls.
We're off to sew.