It's been a while since I've successfully machine quilted a quilt larger than a wall hanging. (never) I tend to do something easy, like straight lines or meanders. People always say I'm so creative, but the truth is I can follow a pattern so I just look creative, but I can't "see" the way to quilt something so it's not just another pile of boring fabric. I can't look at a quilt/block pattern and "see" plumes of sweeping feathers placed just so, or "see" how to fill an empty space where two blocks meet. I have and browsed many times "Quilting Makes the Quilt" and can see possibilities, but have no talent for transferring examples to ideas for my pieces.
I've been pondering this while working on a quilt I've been commissioned to make for Christmas. I only have two weeks to finish it. My friend picked out the pattern and the fabric and I've put the top together. She wants me to quilt it (as opposed to sending it out to a long-arm quilter). The pattern is 16" sawtooth star blocks with secondary sawtooth stars where four blocks come together. There is plenty of open space for nice quilting patterns which I could buy at the quilt shop (since I can't imagine them on my own). But that's another thing, I'm not sure I've got the skill to machine quilt a pattern without making mistakes. The quilt is for an 8 yo she isn't quilt savvy so it'll pass the 20 yards at a gallop test, but will it pass the "I'm proud of my work" test?
My goal, therefore, becomes: pick out a quilting pattern for this quilt that I can do easily, and be proud of, and is not just straight lines.
I got the quilt layered and pin basted so it's ready to go. I set up my new sewing computer with the chosen thread and the stitch regulator (the reason I bought my new machine in the first place) and made a test piece. I'm still shaky and the lines aren't very smooth. I'm very nervous about starting the actual quilting. How much more practice do I do?
13 hours ago