I think learning is a key to every day life. If you aren’t learning something that you thought you already knew you really are two steps behind. To say that I thought or think I know everything about machine embroidery is about as farfetched as the idea that I could also be an engineer (way to much math…who really needs algorithms?) That being said I hope by reading my list of lessons maybe you will not make the same mistakes I did, or if you do they become a comedic addition to your life.
#1 How to follow directions
While this may seem obvious to everyone else, I am more of a ‘meh, I will get to that part later’ kind of person. Truthfully this was my first experience stitching out an Anita Goodesign. I own more of their collections that I would be willing to admit, but until recently I did not have the capability to stitch them out. There I have a defence. One of the directions I did not follow was the amount of fabric I should use for each block. My thinking was that each block was about 12×7 and the only two items that mattered in that regard were the background and batting. While not reading this step actually made the quilt look better at the end I know for their future quilts to leave 1/2 an inch on each side for assembly.
#2 How to properly thread my machine
This may seem like another duh moment, and I will probably never learn to slow down when I do anything. BUT I have learned that if I slow down for anything it is when I am threading my machine, and also when I put the bobbins in. While most of these blocks were easy to finish, some of them gave me a few problems because I missed one of my tension disks. This is a shout out to Diane at Viking Sewing Gallery, who I adore, and received cake pops for all of her loving patience and guidance. Otherwise, I would be a pile of nerves trying to figure out these problems.
#3 How to properly use the applique technique
If you have read my previous posts you will see that I recently jumped head-on into the world of machine embroidery. That being said I had not really done much of applique with my machine. Honestly I thought it was way harder. The main lesson I learned is that not all tools are created equal. Here you will see a image of my FAVORITE applique scissors. The Inspira Double Curved Embroidery scissors are amazing to work with.
I had previously worked with the traditional duck-bill applique scissors but I found them to bulky and hard on my hands. So, if you have tried applique on your machine, or if you have never tried let me tell you to try and try again. It will make your experience ten times better if the tool fits your style and hands.
#4 How to use Instagram
Before I started this project I already had an Instagram, but I did not use it, and I did not know that it made posting to both Facebook and Twitter a one and done affair. The last few months I have been on a Facebook fast, I was loosing so much time to boredom surfing, and so Instagram makes it really easy for me to just avoid that completely. I also learned how to play around with hashtags. This will date me when I say I remember when a hashtag was called pound.
#5 How much batting quality matters
As a quilter I already knew how much batting could make or break the look of a finished quilt. I also knew that I LOVE pure cotton batting. What I did not realise was true differences in each cotton batting. I recently finished a roll of batting that I had bought last christmas (2016) and it had a very plush feel to the cotton. The next roll I chose was not as plush. I started this quilt with the previous year’s batting, and while it was nice I kept getting loose pieces of batting pulled to to top of the blocks. By changing to the flatter batting I definitely saw a change in the quality of my blocks.
Thank you for stopping by and continue reading in Part 2!