Posted by: Fern | June 12, 2008

A (Somewhat Wonky) Learning Curve

My darning foot arrived yesterday, as soon as Declan went down for the night I got into the sewing room, armed with a stack of small quilt sandwiches and started playing with some free-motion quilting… at least I did after finally working out how to attach the damned thing. I’m not joking, it took me almost an hour of staring at my machine, desperately Googling and generally looking lost before it clicked that I had to unscrew something. Oops.

PICT8299Lets just say that it’s not as easy as I thought it was going to be! I’ve been looking everywhere to find a way to make my stitches neater and the whole process a lot smoother, but all I can find is advice to practice, and lots of comparisons to how you have to think of it as driving a car – completely useless advice for someone who isn’t even entirely sure which way you have to turn a key to get the engine started, let alone what I have to do with pedals and throttles. It’s very strange to get used to, imagine everything you ever knew about machine sewing and throw that all away; I keep on forgetting that I have to keep the fabric moving, I’m still actively having to stop myself from turning the fabric when I want to go in a different direction, and I keep on forgetting to breathe as I do it, somehow thinking that if I hold my breath then magically my stitches will become perfect, a tactic that so far hasn’t done much more than make me light headed.

Last night I freehanded and did some quilting around the designs on the fabric that I was using, this morning I did ten minutes following some pre-drawn stippling lines that I’d pencilled onto my sandwich. So far I love how it looks, and I think once I relax into it a bit more it could be very theraputic, I just know I need quite a bit more practice before committing to anything more than samplers. I might make up some coasters and placemats so all this work isn’t going completely to waste, but the project I originally intended to make (a new nappy bag) may have to wait a couple more months until I’m more confident.



  1. The photo of your work looks goregous. Look forward to seeing how the nappy bag comes up.

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