Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Desire for Success

In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.     – Bill Cosby

Entering work one day this week I saw this inspirational note written on the whiteboard. This hit home with me in my attitude toward my free motion quilting. I really want to succeed at this FMQ thing and am determined to try it on the quilts for the new baby.  It will not be perfect but I am going to get over it!  Even if it is my first grandchild, I need to let go of this "it has to be perfect" syndrome I have. She will not notice uneven stitch size and by the time she is old enough to discern the quilting quality I should be better at it.  I will, however, be sure to use a thread that does NOT contrast with the quilt.

To decrease my "fear of failure" and increasing my chances of succeeding, I took another class this past Saturday at my local quilt shop In Between Stitches in Livermore, CA.  The teacher was Jill Schumacher, "Quiltmaker to the Queen" and she teaches heirloom free motion quilting.  I lot of the info was the same as what I learned last month in OK from Mary Ann.  Both teachers said not to sweat even stitch size so I guess I really should let go of that hang up of mine.  "Fear of failure" has been replaced by "tolerance of imperfections".

I did spend a lot of time prepping for the class.  Jill marks the majority of her quilt tops and I had to prep and mark six 14" squares of top, batting and backing sandwiches, two with horizontal lines, one with a square grid of horizontal and vertical lines and one with a grid of diagonal lines.  This was to practice sewing straight in multiple directions without the feed dogs engaged and without turning the quilt.  We used our best penmanship to write our name and anything else we wanted within the lines, just like in grade school when you were learning cursive. We then stitched over the lines and learned cute, creative ways to dot i's and cross t's.  We traced a feathered wreath, a fleur-de-lis design, and another circular pattern and practiced the continuous stitching to produce them, noting where best to back track and stop to minimize glitches in our flow of motion. Here is the back side of a sample of  my attempts.  The front still has the markings on it.

I had to also make an Ohio Star block. We also used clear thread to do practice stitch in the ditch on this pattern. Here it is.

Jill also addressed lazy L loops and simple loops like Mary Ann did and I got a bit more practice in those.  I will probably aim for a style in between the relaxed Mary Ann approach and the more rigid precise Jill approach so I am very glad I took both classes. They each had a lot to offer and both teachers were so encouraging.

In terms of other progress on my baby quilts.  I finished all six of the pieced blocks on the little witch quilt, bordered the six image blocks in a soft green, a soft orange, and a soft lilac.  The lilac ones I'd first bordered in a color that matched the purple of the pieced blocks but that was too jarring in the overall quilt so I removed the borders and replaced them each with the softer lilac.  Although my first grandchild will be an October baby I really wanted the quilt to say "halloween BABY" and not "HALLOWEEN baby" so no bright oranges, no loud greens, and very limited strong purples.

I am still using the same purple I removed for the thin strip separating my sashing type border from the pieced blocks but that is the only place I am using it... just as an accent in the "bevel" of my frame.

Here is the border fabric I picked from my stash.  The scribbles are remind me of kinder, gentler, spider webs like around the image blocks and I think it is serendipitous that it has yellow, lilac, and pale orange in it. Even the yellow is on the pale, subdued side.  I want this baby to sleep and not lie awake!

I continued to knit baby socks this week, too.

Completed projects:  
  1. Knitted second yellow and blue baby sock
  2. Knitted pair of grey and grey turquoise socks
  3. Overcome fear of FMQ 
Ongoing projects:  
  1. Pink squares baby quilt-  back, FMQ myself (eek!), and bind 
  2. Little witch girl quilt to be- ready to be bordered
  3. Duck, Duck, Goose - completed binding-  will FMQ (again, eek!) by self
  4. Doll quilt - attach binding and call it good
This week's stats:
     Completed  projects - 3
     New projects - 2- 2nd yellow baby sock  and pari grey ones new and completed 
     Currently in progress - 4
     Those in closet - many enumerated in earlier posts and not repeated here

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


  1. I got excited that the word "Ohio" is in your blog post:-)

  2. That purple frame around the pumpkin kitty panel is just perfect... and border fabric is too! I am super excited to see how it turns out. Also, way excellent on the FMQ from the free motion class... I think you might be a natural! I can't even believe there was a WIP Wednesday and I missed it entirely - I blame baby-related distractions.

  3. Great quilting! Thanks for linking up to WIP Wednesday.