Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Just Having Fun

I have written about the trials of learning to long arm quilt and now it is time for me to talk about the fun.  Lots of fun.  First, being more comfortable has removed the vise grip I have had on the arms of the machine and the hunched shoulders.  Next has been working on some quilts that are not for show.  First was the prayer quilt I highlighted in my last post where following the printed design on the panel was a freeing experience.  Thinking of the needle and machine as a paint brush and adding details that would enhance the picture was very relaxing.  Just saying to oneself,' just do it' is permission to accept that like a painting you are creating an impression not a detailed botanical drawing.  I has always read that the eye completes a non -detailed drawing and sees things that are not necessarily drawn.  Now I understand.

Today I finished a baby quilt which was a cute panel I picked up.  Cheap and cheerful as the saying goes.  So I applied the same theory of abstract details and here is what I got.  The giraffe smiled, the elephant become more lively, the teddies's cheeks became fatter and I just had fun doing what the panel suggested.

For someone just starting to quilt a panel is a good idea to just loosen up.  A baby quilt is not a big investment and can be donated as this one will be to the local hospital obstetrics ward.  It is a win win situation.    I have done about 40 such baby quilts and the panels are the most fun of all.  The panel suggests how it could be quilted and with all the busy pictures, stray wobbles are not noticeable.  Of course they are not anyway but as you work you see THEM ALL.  Ignore them.  Step back and look at how the quilt is developing.  You will be surprised at how a few details change everything.  

Remember as a child following the lines was the way to learn?  It applies here and is a good opportunity to develop your free motion skills, travelling skills and your eye for the detail that makes a quilt come alive.  Eyes that are just a black printed dot with some outlining become eyes that see. The circle does not have to be perfect; what eye is a perfect circle?  Quilting creates texture and that adds so much life to the fabric. 

So try a panel; do a baby quilt; find a place to donate it but have fun.

No comments:

Post a Comment