Getting the Hang of It

I’m almost done with the sea glass quilt.  I quilted the second half today, and joined the two halves together.  Now all I have to do is quilt across the middle seam, and bind the quilt.  (I wrote about auditioning stitches and quilting the first half, but none of that really comes into today’s post,)

sea glass quilt on tree

I love those batiks!

sea glass quilt on gate

I started this quilt three or four years ago, right after my mom gave me her sewing machine.  After I started it, I saw a lot of other designs that appealed to me more, and I moved on.

Picking it back up wasn’t easy.   I had used all kinds of different fabric for the blocks – some of it was puckered or too loosely woven.  Even though I had used a lot of pre-cut strips from a jellyroll of batiks, I hadn’t cut the lengths carefully.  The block sizes varied, and so did the seam directions.  Now I know to choose similar types of  fabric, press the seams uniformly, and trim the blocks to square them up.  When I thought of working with those irregular blocks from a few years ago, it seemed like starting over with new blocks would be a lot easier.

But I like to finish things, and I thought I could at least practice free-motion quilting.

I used to just stick to straight stitching, but I am really getting to like swirling around with free-motion – I don’t have to drag the quilt all the way through the machine with each seam, turn it, and repeat; I can put more quilting in each block and move the quilt gradually.

My stitching went more smoothly on this part of the quilt, but I noticed that I made fewer, bigger spirals in each block.  I wish I had measured the average size of the spirals in the first half, and tried to duplicate it in the second half.

I also learned that I need to keep better records – a lot of times I think I’ll get back to an unfinished project the next day, but something comes up.  By the time I get back to it, weeks or months later, I’ve forgotten  what size the pieces should be or what settings I was using on the sewing machine.  I would save myself a lot of time if I wrote down the details – and then if I could find what I had written!