Recently I have been doing mostly stitch in the ditch quilting and not very much free motion. When I quilted my bathroom quilt I knew I had to do some free motion quilting but I have let my skills get rusty and I didn't want to do something that would beyond my skills. I ended up with a quilt that I am not very satisfied with. I love the bright colors and the interplay of pattern and color but my quilting makes me really unhappy every time I look at it. I meant the quilting to be liberated and what it looks like is poor craftsmanship. On Frieda Anderson's Wednesday blog this week she said the most important thing is to practice, not just once in a while but to keep at it.
So that is what I am going to do. I put some narrow borders on this 12 inch block and decided that I was going to use it for a protective pad on my hutch so it is not something I have to be afraid of spoiling. In the past I have found that I can practice all I want on layered up muslin and batting but I don't really improve until I quilt something that I actually want to use or give away. This was a perfect practice piece. It didn't take long, it was fun to do, I have something finished to use and I like it. It's not perfect; it isn't something that anyone will ooh and ahhh over. I am not sure how much I can expect to improve. My hands and eyes aren't what they used to be and shoving a quilt through my Bernina is HARD WORK but I think it is probably worth while. Besides, who says I have to finish everything in a big hurry; when I get tired I can stop and come back to it later.
I have a stack of practice sandwiches from years back that are stuck away and I only look at them when I am looking for something else I was looking at them and they look OK. I remember they were fun to do so I think I am on the right track. I will do some more practice on small stuff and then I am going to do some FMQ on the quilts I have layered up that I have been putting off because I have no interest in quilting them.