Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bat Out Of Hell!!

I had some troubles while machine quilting my scrappy circle quilt and I've been really assessing my quilting skills (or skilz as my kids would call them). I really enjoy the fabric choosing, designing and cutting part. And hand sewing the binding while watching TV on the couch is my absolute favorite pastime. I love getting the big mat out on the kitchen table and cutting away while I'm right in the heart of my home. I'm fairly certain all my squares and strips are accurate because I L.O.V.E. squaring things up!

But, when it comes it the actual sewing I get sloppy. I sew waaaaay too fast, I don't pin nearly enough and I sometimes get a little wavery when going down long strips. My Mom used to call it, "sewing like a bat out of hell." I'm also not very good at machine quilting yet. My machine gets stuck in one place because it's not moving all the fabric and then I pull it and then it goes waaaaaay to fast and skips stitches, etc. I don't know if it's my machine or me, but quilting is not as easy for me as it seems to be for everyone else. Does this happen to anyone else?

I'm starting a new quilt with the ORB group soon (pinwheels!!) and I'm going to do an experiment. I'm going to sew very, very slowly and be very, very careful to make sure I've got all my materials lined up nice and straight before I start. I may even pin a little more. Yes, I WILL pin more! I even made a reminder and taped it to my machine.

I think that I'd also really like to minimize the amount I machine quilt and learn to integrate some hand quilting on my quilts. I love to embroider, and I think I've made it clear that I love to be sitting on the couch .....

If anyone has some tips or sites with great tutorials on machine quilting or hand quilting I could check out please let me know. I really want to get better at that part. And if you are cruising around blogland check out this cool giveaway over at Wayne's Manor.


  1. Thanks Molly! My biggest fault as a quilter is getting impatient and flying through something. I've joined a few bees this year and I would likely recommend it. THere is nothing like cutting into someone else's fabric and sewing together a block for them to make you slow down. I sew better for them then I would for myself. i'm so glad to have met you in Flickr land and I am so looking forward to PINWHEELS=D

  2. Yes I'm still struggling with the machine quilting bit but the say practice makes perfect so I'll keep trying. I love to hand quilt though and have hand quilted most of my quilts so far. Just wish I was quicker at it.

  3. I am a beginner myself so not a lot of wisdom to impart... However, for what it is worth.. When sewing normally, I use the needle down position when I stop so I can stop often when needed and adjust the next bit properly without the fabric moving away. When free motion quilting (which I have only done on one quilt) it is like Catherine says, you will need a lot of practice and it will get better. It also helps to get comfortable with an even speed and get used to moving the fabric about (with rubber gloves for gripping!).

  4. I am just like you about loving the creating part of a quilt and the finishing part but I too get bogged down on the quilting part and try to rush through. It does pay to go slower because you do a better job and it actually goes faster because you don't make as many mistakes. I also found that if I do not rush I actually enjoy it more. The gloves helped me a lot too.


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