Saturday, 8 March 2014

Challenge Results - Week 1

I did a lot of free motion quilting this week.  Most days it was longer than 30 minutes - and only on one day, where I had things to do in the evening, did I not quilt or sew. For next week, I plan to bring an appliqué project to work so that I can appliqué during my lunch on the days that I have no sewing time in the evening.

Quilted blocks
My free motion quilting (FMQ) did improve with daily practice, until I got over confident and started making mistakes. I love free motion quilting but it requires a lot of concentration. It's a great way to improve those "mindfulness" muscles!

I was able to FMQ the three blocks that I had marked in my Quilt-Along Project as well as the final four blocks. Then I'll be starting on the sashing and border. That will probably take me longer to quilt than all of the blocks put together. There are a lot of "piano keys" along that border! If I don't get too cocky, I could be pretty good by the end of this quilt.

I also completed two more blocks from my Frog Work quilt. I had a lot of problems with these blocks - I think that it's from cutting and piecing when I'm too tired. Considering the amount of re-doing I did, the blocks came out well.

Two more Frog Work blocks
Two more Frog Work blocks
One of the great by-products of joining the challenge is getting to read everyone else's posts. It's so enjoyable finding ideas and tips on the internet. Quilters are so generous with their ideas and their learning.

What I learned:
  • Overconfidence leads to mistakes - humility and mindfulness are key!
  • To actually quilt or sew 30 minutes a day requires some planning - like having a project to pick up at lunch time when the evening isn't available.
  • I do have to be careful what I sew when I'm tired. Re-doing blocks is not at all fun or efficient!

18 comments:

  1. I should practice some FMQ and turn some of my tops into quilts. Love your quilt and your blocks!

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    1. Thanks. That's why I'm learning FMQ - eventually I want to get to my "good" quilts!

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  2. I understand about being tired and sewing. That is when I make all my mistakes.
    I did that a lot this week.
    Kathleen Mary
    http://kathysnest32.wordpress.com/

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    1. I guess it's bound to happen if we're trying to quilt every day. That's why it's good to have many projects on the go - you can do the easy stuff if you're too tired. The trick of course is to realise that you're tired, before you start making mistakes :-)

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  3. Glad to hear you are enjoying the fmq, Andree! What a thoughtful goal. Your quilt and blocks are all very pretty. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and what you learned this week!

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  4. I hear you about planning and not sewing when tired, Andree. I always wonder at other mom quilt bloggers with little kids who whip up so much at night - that's certainly when I, too, have the longest uninterupted stretch on any day, but I'm not very alert and detail oriented by that time because the kids have worn me out! I'm working on making myself find time to sew in the day before the sun goes down so I don't end up redoing. I had to rip a few pieces just last night, though, when I did take advantage of the quiet : P

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  5. It's not easy being a mom and making time to quilt. I'm lucky that my kids are grown up - still living at home but very self sufficient. That means that I can quilt right after supper, otherwise I don't think that I could manage it!

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  6. Free motion is on my list of things to learn in my lifetime, I like that you make time to quilt and practice, that is what I need to do.

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  7. I've made quilting sandwiches from fabric that I really don't like or that I've recycled and then practice on that. Eventually, when I think I won't be too bad, I start on a practice quilt. It makes a big difference to have spent time practicing.

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  8. I hadn't thought about it before, but mindfulness and sewing/quilting is a necessary combo for good work. Your quilt is looking great and thanks for sharing your "lessons."

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    1. Thanks Mary. I find mindfulness very difficult to achieve so it's nice when I can do something that actually needs concentration. That's the easiest way to mindfulness for me.

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  9. As with all things practice seems to be the key! I have those same issues of making mistakes when tired,because instead of giving it up for the day I just keep pushing on. Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting!

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    1. Hi CeLynn (love the spelling of your name!)
      Even though I should know better, I'm still amazed at how much better I can be with consistent practice. Of course, knowing when to stop is just as important to good work!

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  10. Your quilt blocks are so pretty! It's looking great!

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  11. FMQ is a good choice for this challenge, not too much at time but regularly :)

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    1. Bonjour Bea, I agree - it's just too bad I haven't been able to keep up with the regularly part.

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