Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Things that make me go "hmm?"

Yesterday morning during my walk I saw a flash of brown, a big flash of brown, like the size and color of a great dane. I instantly feared for my life. I have dog issues, I'm not ashamed to admit it. It started when I was in kindergarten. My mom would visit a neighbor who had a german shepherd. It would be tethered to its doghouse and would bark incessantly and jump at me when I'd walk over there after school to find Mom. I was too frightened to walk around the perimeter of its reach to the house.

I froze in my tracks, looking where I'd seen the flash of brown and following the trajectory of where I might see it again. It was a deer, two deer, in fact, running through the neighborhood. They were pretty far from the woods, several streets away. Rabbits? yeah, they are a common sight, but deer, in our neighborhood, on the side close to the highway? Wow.

All my machine quilting skills can be summed up briefly: straight lines, or meandering. Before spring break I bought two books on machine quilting by Diane Gaudynski. I've been wanting to be able to do more than that because straight lines and meandering gets boring. I have a stack of quilt tops waiting to be worked on and I don't want to do the same kind of quilting over and over. I've been reading the books, but it's time to try it out. So, the other night I drew up a practice feather wreath and did something new.

This is my first attempt of quilting following Diane's instructions looking at the back of my piece:

Not too bad, right? That's because I had white thread in the bobbin. This is the top where I had pink thead:

Yikes!!!!! The pink thread shows every mistake, every wobbly line. It's not very encouraging to see this side. A year and a half ago I bought the mid-line Bernina 440QE sewing machine. It came with a stitch regulator, a BSR, a gadget that reads how far the fabric has moved since the last stitch so it knows when to take the next one and all the stitches are the same length. Consistent stitch length is a goal of quilters, so the BSR is a helpful gadget. I've quilted several quilts with it in the meander style and it is great. It's like learning to steer a car without having to learn how fast to drive. The faster you move the fabric, the faster it sews, you don't have to worry about the foot pedal.

Last night I drew up another practice piece and quilted it without the BSR so I had to steer the fabric and control the machine speed at the same time. Somehow, it worked a little better. Go figure. I'll keep practicing. I'll be comfortable enough one of these days to work on a "real" piece. Maybe.


AM Kingsfield said...

I think it's pretty! I'm so lucky I'm not a perfectionist.

I have dog issues too. No need to be ashamed.

greeny said...

I think I might have deer issues if they were IN TOWN! Sounds like they gave you a start.

Im with AM. I am not a perfectionist but as Ive said before, Im glad someone out there is.

YoLinna said...

I think I'm missing something..looks beautiful to me! And I AM a perfectionist.

I had a very similar dog problem growing up cept it was a doberman pinscher. I love german shepherds.