Practicing on printed panels

posted in: Free-motion quilting | 5

fmq01I’ve been concentrating so much on piecing this past year or two that I realized it’s been a really long time since I’ve done any free-motion quilting. I think I’ve been subconsciously avoiding it and procrastinating, even though I have quite a few tops that I need to quilt. The good news, I guess, is that in the midst of my procrastination, I got my desk area cleaned up, pared down, and all tidied up with the new computer in place. But, now that the desk is cleaned up, I finally decided that I needed to do some quilting today.

Since it’s been so long since I’ve used my George, I pulled out some small pre-printed panels and thought it would be a good idea to practice on them first. This let me play with the tension, try out different threads, and practice quilting straight lines with a ruler.

fmq02One of the benefits of using a pre-printed panel is that I wasn’t worried about ruining anything. Another bonus is that it gave me practice quilting along a specific lines that went in every direction. Boy, I’m really rusty, so I was off the lines quite often! I also realized that when I’m quilting towards myself and then back up, I repeatedly started back in the new direction a stitch too soon. I found this to be a very useful discovery, so I concentrated a little harder and was more purposeful on the second panel I quilted. I think I got a little better when I really paid attention.

Speed is also a factor for me. I often move my hands too fast but run the foot pedal too slow so the stitches were too long. Another good reason for me to do some more practice!

5 Responses

  1. Marti M

    Love the panels. Where did you find them? I have been looking for panels to practice free motion quilting and so far have not found any that I really like.