Now, thanks to my amazing neighbor and friend Donna (from Add the Right Touch) I'm taking steps to make my dream come true. Donna owns Add the Right Touch Quilting and she's teaching me how to quilt on a longarm machine! And I mean teaching me from the ground up....everything from the business, to oiling the machine (it get's oiled every day!) and loading quilts. Not to mention the quilting itself and the computer program behind the machine.
Donna knows about my plans to one day add quilting services to my business, but she's not concerned about the competition. She simply wants to pass along her love of the craft. I told you she's amazing. She is willing to share her knowledge and I'm so fortunate to be able to learn from her.
Here are a few things that I've learned so far.
|Quilting on a sunny fall afternoon. #loveit|
- Always cut your batting 6 inches bigger than the quilt top on all sides. I learned this one the hard way. I had my backing big enough...but not the batting. Whoopsie!
- When doing free motion quilting don't look at the needle. Instead, look ahead of the needle to where your want the stitches to go. This lesson made a huge difference in my quilting. I could see the improvement right away.
- If you go too fast the thread will break, but if you fmq to slow then your lines are all wobbly. This is my biggest challenge right now, just learning the flow of her machine and figuring out my own speed and rhythm.
- Be true to yourself. My own quilting style has always involved lots of loops and swirls. They are my favorite. Donna was teaching me a new design that I had never done before, and long story short I got down to the last two rows of the quilt top and was still struggling with this design. You would have thought that I had never quilted before (it was that bad). Then I accidentally got myself stuck in the corner of a block, and I automatically did what I would have done on my domestic machine - I added in a loop and moved along to where I needed to be. Guess what! Adding in that one little loop suddenly made the design work for me. For remainder of the quilt I altered the design to include loops and they were so much better and I was no longer ashamed of the quilting (I'm telling you those first blocks were awful). I still look forward to trying and learning new designs, and I know it takes lots and lots of practice to master a new design. But this was a nice reminder to myself that if a design just isn't working for me then it's okay for me to change it to something that does work for me.
This was the design that kept giving me challenges. This is one of the 'better' blocks I did before adding in the loops.
Another photo of the design pre-loops.
I figured out I could add loops!! This one isn't close to perfect by any means, but it made me happy.
|The finished quilt top|
|The back. It looks fantastic from this distance. ;)|
- Kat :)