Tuesday, November 17, 2015

10,000 hours

One of those irons I mentioned:
Ceci n'est pas un iron

My latest quilt crush, Maria Shell, is an amazing artist and a kickass machine quilter. I found her blog last year and liked her worked so much I blog stalked all the way through her archives (I'm not supposed to admit this in public, probably. Don't worry, no current restraining orders on me).

For years I've been meaning to learn how to machine quilt, but I never have even tried.

I have far too many of those someday things in my life. One day a couple months ago the muslin, batting scraps, and ugly fabric came out and I made a bunch of practice squares. I have several books, a whole internet of blogs and videos, and a set of class notes from Maria, which she very kindly sent out to all her blogstalkers readers, on request, a few months ago.

So I have been practicing. I try for at least some practice every day, although I don't always make that. I had a good run there but I've been flaky the last couple days (hey, I do my physical therapy exercises just about every day, too. I'm busy. I still don't understand at ALL how parents have time to do all the things they do.)

Yeah, I'm not very good. The top left of the first picture is the first free-motion square I ever tried. But it's kind of morale-deflating to see all these perfect bloggers everywhere with their perfect lives churning out perfect quilts, so you get to see some of my ugly I'm-just-learning stuff. Everyone's gotta start somewhere.

Yeah, someone's got some nasty tension problems

I put the U in uncoordinated. Yes, I actually trip over my own feet sometimes. You might say, "oh, but you knit so beautifully," to which I reply: knitting requires only two basic stitches, and now that I've done a few hundred thousand of them, yeah, I'm pretty good. Knitting is repetitive and once you get the essential needle clutch and yarn tensioning down, it doesn't require all that much hand-eye coordination. But dammit, if I spend enough time, I'll get this down eventually. Or I will finally find out whether I want to do it or not and get it out of my system.

Someone still has trouble with the whole "follow the lines" thing, but the freehand isn't all that bad in places


fillyjonk said...

Did you do all that on a *regular* machine? What changes did you make - walking foot, darning foot, dropped feed dogs?

I want to learn to machine quilt (the quilt shop I had used for longarming is closing, wah, and I don't know where I'll find another). I fear I will hate it and will find I can only do straight lines but those meanders and stars and moons you did - you can do that on a regular home machine?

(My secret retirement dream is to make space in my house, save up the money, and buy a longarm machine and learn how to use it.)

kmkat said...

I love your imperfect free form quilting! Imperfect means human-created.

Hippy Goodwife said...

Looking forward to seeing the next installment!

Maria Shell said...

You are doing AWESOME. Keep at it! It really is all about the practice.