This is it! The last of the last in Quilty Habit's Sewing with Certainty Series. We started off back in November by reflecting on our abilities as sewists and quilters, then listing goals we wanted to work on to help improve our weaknesses or to be brave and attempt techniques we'd previously been afraid to try. I set four goals, and here's how I did...
1. Try longarm quilting: DONE!
The "Holiday Road" quilt that I made my parents for Christmas featured my debut longarming work. It was nothing fancy, but it came out really well for my first foray. I used three different motifs and even stitched a whole bunch of meaningful words about our family's annual camping traditions into the borders. (Isn't it funny how schools have virtually given up on teaching cursive handwriting, but it's about the easiest thing ever to quilt?)
Taking the class has gotten me really excited about longarming. There's a very good chance that a new machine will be joining me at home in the not-so-distant future!
2. Practice machine applique & hand embroidery: DONE and DONE!
3. New-to-me quilt binding technique: DONE!
Quick disclosure: if there is one thing about quilting that I hate - really truly wish I could skip - it's binding. I have a mother who adores this last step; she breezes through creating strips and then happily settles down in a chair, needle in hand, cup of tea at her side, for the rewarding and enjoyable task of binding her finished project. My mom taught me to quilt; if you know me well, you know that I'm like her in many ways, but this isn't one of them! I like to do anything and everything I can by machine to avoid hand sewing, and binding is definitely one of them. So when I came across this quick and easy machine binding tutorial by Ashley Hinton of Wasn't Quilt in a Day, I immediately pinned it for future reference. And now I've used it. You can see a detail of it on one of the doll quilts I made in the photo below.
4. Get better at FMQ: um, yeah, about that...
You may remember me saying "I'm also going to try and get creative with some free motion quilting on the doll quilts I'm making.... After all, if they don't come out perfect, my kids sure aren't going to notice and I'll be setting that great 'keep practicing and you'll get better' precedent that we parents/teachers are supposed to." Let's just say I didn't set any precedents. I did try curved lines (which you can also see in the doll quilt pic above), and they look lovely, but I was still too scared to FMQ! Another day perhaps.
Overall, I'm happy with what I accomplished during SWC. Branching out just in these little ways has given me confidence to try other things - I signed up for a bee, which I thought was for sure out of my skill set but is so far turning out great (as long as no one asks for paper pieced blocks any time soon ; ) and I just tried curved piecing for the first time ever on my blue Mini Quilt Color Study. Here's a quick snapshot of it - not too bad, right? Now I have to figure out the quilting... and bind it.
You can find all the great Sewing with Certainty topics we've discussed here.
Thanks so much for the great series, Jess!
For those of you who haven't been linking up with SWC, what's a sewing goal you have this year to master or even just make a first attempt at? How are you doing with your goal so far?