Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Back to School

Today I have been working hard as a fiber artist person!
I spent a long (really Long) time crocheting this morning.  My goal was to use up enough red wool yarn so that the box where I store the reds would easily close.  So I started what I thought would be a bowl, but it then morphed into a throw rug, and by the time I set it aside,, it was still growing!

This afternoon, I wanted to sew, but I am still "blocked".
Recently, I have noticed some blogger friends who participate in the Free Motion Quilting, (such as Patti, "Retired to Quilt" here)  (Isn't that great, to have such a passion-- but really you need to start quilting Today! Don't wait!)
So, It turns out that Leah, here, at the Free Motion Quilting Project, is amazing. 
I have also added her link to the side-bar, with the logo.
One of the features of her blog is that she has a large back-list of demos that feature various free-motion quilting motifs.  So, I decided that I would "go back to school" and learn to do some new patterns.  I don't know when or where I will use them, but that isn't the point.  I just need to stretch myself to learn something new.  And it turns out  that I don't really know too much about free motion quilting.  Mostly, I tend to do a meander, or some stitch in the ditch, combined with some meandering...

I started with the chronological order of Leah's demos. 
The front and back fabrics I cut to 7" square, and the batting to 6" square. 
Then, I watched the little you-tubes she has with each pattern, and made notes in my sketchbook.  Then, I went to my sewing machine and tried them out.
 It was surprisingly tiring.  I learned that I need to develop a lot of fine-muscle control to be more precise in where I put the stitches.

I also learned that my sewing "table" (a door that is set over two saw-horses) bounces when I sew at a medium speed, but doesn't bounce when I go fast.
I think it is hard to let myself do things that don't have a finished outcome.  Maybe that's the result of having been a studio potter who had to have finished items to sell, or from having the shop and doing so many samples for kits. 
However,  today, I think it is valuable to try to develop some new skills, -- who knows when I'll encounter the perfect opportunity to put them to use.

1 comment:

  1. sometimes, when you're a bit 'stuck', learning a new technique kickstarts your creativity. and besides, no learning is ever wasted, is it?
    i understand what you mean when you talk about having to have a finished, purposeful object when you're done, though. sometimes (always?) i feel like i'm 'wasting my time' by making something without a purpose. or not finishing it because it truly was just a 'learning experience'. not a very healthy outlook, i'm sure!
    i'm planning to make some placemats, and i think they will be perfect for trying out some of these quilting exercises - see? a great combination - small projects, practising something new, learning a new skill! it's a win-win proposition!
    thanks for sharing!


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