Monday, March 16, 2009

Tips from the inexperienced quilter

So the sickies have left the family and finally travelled to my body.  I was all confident and cocky that I hadn't gotten sick!  Welcome home little guys! ;-)
I'm the type that it takes a few days for something to sink in.  So on Friday I had the achey body, Saturday not so bad, Sunday I thought "that's it??" and this morning, it's back - head in a vice, really swollen glands, chest hurts.  Woe is me!  I need to quilt more.  That's what I did this weekend, and all those symptoms magically  went away!

So here's a sneak peak.  I finished machine quilting.  I thought at first it would be a disaster.  And it turned out just fine.  Actually, I'm really pleased.   
Things I learned:
1. get a pair of gardening gloves with the sticky dots on them.   I bought mine at the dollar store.  You can buy the same ones at the quilt shop for 10x the price if you'd like.  
2. get a pair of gardening gloves that fit a little snugly if you can.  I sewed my glove to my quilt.See the hole in the finger? hee hee! Actually, mine were huge, and after awhile of getting used to them, I figured things out, and had no more oopsies.
 3. After about 2 hours of quilting, I was in a lot of pain.  My wrist, forearm and shoulder were giving me warnings and so I took a break.   I looked on the net for some ergonomic tips and found this one, which made the rest of my quilting a breeze!  Turn your machine perpendicular to your body and quilt that way.  It made pushing and pulling the fabric back and forth so much easier and I wasn't twisting my wrist at odd angles anymore!

4.  Prefill about 8 bobbins of thread prior to beginning your work.  It really helped.  I usually don't do this, and it made things go so much smoother.
5.  when changing your bobbin,  take the moment to rethread your top thread entirely from the spool down to the needle.  Somehow, the tension may get compromised with the change of the bobbin, and ripping out stitching is no fun.  Especially with a cat that likes to eat thread.

Today, I'm hand sewing the binding!


  1. Oh, it looks lovely! I like your quilting, it looks like a topographical map! Thanks for the tips too.

  2. I do hope you feel better soon! I never would have thought to turn my machine - but thinking about I'm sure it would help! Your quilt looks beautiful - enjoy the handsewing bit and rest up!

  3. Anonymous 8:50 PM

    So impressive Andrea. I envy your completion rate & your sewing confidence!

  4. I just came across your blog today! Great stuff!


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