Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I might actually be getting the hang of this machine quilting thing...

After almost 15 years I've become a pretty good quilter. I'm no [insert name of the most fabulous quilter/designer you can think of] but I can hold my own pretty good. I am self taught and have been able to teach myself everything I've wanted to...for the most part.  

But anyone who knows me well, knows I hate machine quilting.  It stresses me out.  I dread the times when I have to quilt something myself.  I'm worried about it not looking perfect.  I'm worried that this project I've worked so hard on will be ruined by my lack of skill.  I'm worried about people looking at it and thinking "she did THAT?!" 
Get to the point...right?  Well as you know I've been working on some samples for a shop that is going to vend at Houston Quilt Festival.  Among the things I made, I completed four miniatures.  When I said I'd do them I never stopped to think who was going to quilt them...not even for a second...what a dummy. 

Things are crazy at the shop right now.  My BFF for life is quilting day and night trying to get samples quilted so they can be bound before we leave for Houston.  So she doesn't have time and besides they're 16" x 20".  Who would ask someone to pin a tiny quilt to a huge Gammil to quilt it?  I would!  But I didn't.
I put on my big girl panties and quilted all four miniatures by my big girl self!  Would you like to see them?

The first one turned out a little wonky so tilt your head ever so slightly to
straighten it out (stitch in the ditch and diagonal quilting in the outer borders).



The second one came out a little less wonky...sort of
(stitch in the ditch and more diagonal quilting).



My third attempt is where I branched out and tried to be a bit more creative. 
It's not perfect by it'll do.  I should have done thread color changes.


My fourth and last attempt I think turned out the best.  I really tried to go all out for this one. 
Because let's be honest...before this was quilted, it was just OK.  Now I'm tickled pink with it.


So maybe I'll never be as good as Judi at Green Fairy Quilts, Mary of Quilt Hollow, or Margaret of Sewing & Quilting Gallery.  But I know now I can quilt a miniature without having a coronary.  And who knows?  Maybe someday I'll actually have the nerve to touch the longarm machine that resides in my dining room.

14 comments:

paulette said...

All of them are gorgeous!! I think you have it...now head on over to that long arm!! LUCKY YOU!!
P

Pam said...

I despise quilting on my domestic machine. I had nothing but tension issues with my machines unless I was doing straight stitching. I got frustrated with the amount of time devoted to it that didn't show in the results. I enjoy using my mid arm. I bet you will too once you bite the bullet. Your quilts turned out great, by the way.

Stray Stitches said...

You go, girl!! Great job on all of them! Time to tackle that long arm machine and show it who's boss :)

LynCC said...

These look great! Keep up the terrific work. :)

Karen said...

I am good at the quilt making process except for machine quilting. So join my club. LOL! I have taken a couple classes and have practiced. I just do sort of get by machine quilting.

QuiltNut Creations said...

awesome job Monica! I love your little quilt

Sandie ~call me crazy said...

I think you did a wonderful job! I love them all! You have a longarm in your dining room? Sounds like fun to me!! LOL Have a happy day!!

Darlene said...

Hey, you did an awesome job! They all look fabulous. The other night I was chatting with a friend and sharing that I have a deep fear of doing crosshatching. LOL

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I would wear a long arm out!!!! Love all your little quilts and so glad you found the big girl panties.

Deanna said...

Good for you! They look really nice and the red/white one is particularly effective with the crosshatching. I am not a very brave machine quilter either, but have discovered that even I can handle simple, straight lines.

Quilt Hollow said...

YOU.....(big letters there!) are not giving yourself enough credit! You have done a fantastic job! Isn't it amazing at what a bit of quilting does to a so-so top? Another blogger calls it "frosting" and I have to agree that your tops are now frosted!!

Jen said...

You got it! These look perfect! Great finishes!

Taryn said...

Good for you getting those quilts done all by yourself. I used to be fearless with the machine quilting but I lost my mojo somewhere. I guess I should just get over myself and give it a go, right?

Sheila said...

They are all adorable , and your quilting is excellent !