Welcome back to week 3 of the Free-Motion Meandering blog hop. I’m continuing to practice my free motion quilting skills by working my way through Angela Walters new book, Free-Motion Meandering. I haven’t been able to practice as much as I would have liked to this week (who knew February was going to be so busy?). But even so, I am constantly surprised and delighted how much progress you can make with a little practice.
I really enjoyed this week’s designs: Paisley and Leafy Meanders
This is a design that I love and I practiced it quite a lot over the summer. Since I was pressed for time this week, I warmed up with it a bit, but I didn’t spend too much time, since I kind of worked it to death over the summer.
The Leafy Meander
A variation of the Paisley Meander is a pointier version called the Leafy Meander. I find this motif a bit harder, due to making sure that you get that little point at the top. So, I practiced a bit on paper first, and then checked back to Angela’s step-by-step drawings. It was then that I realized that I had been doing it, well, if not wrong, then…differently. For both the paisley and the leafy designs, I was going back to the base of the design every time that I echoed it. This is fine, but can really cause a build-up of thread near the base.
After following along with Anglea’s drawings, I realized that she just echoed the design, keeping a consistent distance between the lines at all times. This turned out to be a lot easier, and frankly, it covers more territory quicker. And I love a design that stitches out quickly.
I filled up my light blue swath of fabric with this meander, and was feeling like it was just starting to click, so I just kept on stitching. Like many meandering designs, you have to really pay attention that the leaves don’t all point the same way. I realized at one point that a bunch of mine looked like they were starting to lay on top of each other, so I made an effort to echo back and change direction.
Sometimes getting that leaf shape is easy, and sometimes…not so much. I eventually realized that I need to pause at the point of the leaf, or else they tend to round out. I definitely need more practice, but this design is a lot of fun and builds quickly.
I also want to go back and practice my paislies in this more spaced-out way.
Next week we will wrap this blog hop up with Flower Meander and some Improv Quilting. I’m a little nervous about these designs, so I need to be more diligent about carving out time to practice. Just 15 minutes a day should do it! And I can always find 15 minutes, right?
If you are joining in on machine quilting practice let me know–and if you would like a copy of Free-Motion Meanders, there will be a giveaway next week!