Saturday, January 28, 2012

GUIDELINES

I tell my students I have quilting guidelines, not rules. As you progress on your own journey, you will adopt your own guidelines. Here are a few I'd like to share as I wrap up my month as Miss January for the FMQ Challenge.

1. Quilt in a creative environment. Hang your favorite pieces where you can see them while you work.

2. Have a quilting plan, but be flexible. I preview the quilting pattern on a piece of upholstery vinyl using an air erasable pen holding it over the top. If I don' t like it I erase it and try another pattern.

3. Don't rush. It creates body tension and makes you tired. You can't do your best when you're tired and it's no longer fun.

4. Don't practice......quilt those tops as you finish them. You will have completed quilts and better FMQ skills with each one.

5. Learn to listen to your machine. It will tell you when something isn't right.

6. Don't buy cheap thread. It will not perform well and you will have wasted your time.

7. Keep chocolate on hand. It makes everything better.

I want to thank everyone who recently became a follower. I especially want to thank those 30 or so people who have been followers for the past 2 years and comment on my work. We all need encouragement. I really like questions. Sharing knowledge is important for all of us to learn. I look forward to the other 11 ( real) experts and their tutorials on SewCalGal. Happy Quilting!!!
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21 comments:

What Comes Next? said...

Thank you for leading the charge! Really enjoyed this months practicing and know I will use that leaf and swirl again. I also like your guidelines - especially the one about the practice pieces - that's the way I like to do it - practice on a real quilt - a real win win!

wackywoman said...

Great tips Frances, especially the last one. hehehe

Robin Quilts, etc. said...

I've been practicing my leaves and listening to my machine. Thank you for being a wonderful Miss January.

Teresa in Music City said...

Thank you Frances for all that you have shared with us this month! I have followed along although I have not been able to be as active as I had hoped. Your work is amazing!!!

danih03 said...

Thanks for the lessons Frances. I look forward to seeing more on your blog. Looks like a (real) expert made those pretty green feathers!

Béa said...

I really enjoyed this month with you, thank you very much for your great advices and tips. I was able to use your leaves in my last quilt and I am very happy.
Hugs from France.

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

Thank you Frances for starting this process of all of us. I have enjoyed your posts immensely. The leaves are fun to do; and I am becoming a bit more comfortable with it. You are an inspiration....take care.

wordmama said...

I love the idea of previewing designs on the vinyl. I hadn't thought of that.

kheli said...

I have been following and learning from you for a while, but this personal connection has made it EVEN BETTER!! Your work is awesome and your lessons are so helpful!
I totally agree with you on quilting your quilts instead of practicing. Each quilt tells a story and the progression of FMQ is part of that story! Thank you SO much!

Cornwoman said...

Thank you for being brave enough to start us out on our journey. There are so many of us, each with our own level of experience, confidence, aspirations and abilities. Corralling us into focusing on a starting point that is simple enough for even the most timid of us to attempt, while giving variations that would tempt those who are wanting or needing more is a delicate balance. And it gives us all the ability to see the potential variety of what can be done with just small, simple changes.

susan said...

Thank you so much Frances! Its been a great beginning and I hope to see you post from time to time. Thanks for your tips. I must confess, I've been saving some tops so that I can be good and ready ... I'd rather finish some of the sandwiches first...but I am working on sandwiching quilts so it won't be long now.

FarmNana said...

Thanks so much for your generosity! I've had great fun with the leaves and vines and all the variations, and learned so much. I'm sure I will come back here often to see what wonderful work you're doing. Thanks!

SewCalGal said...

Great trips Frances. Love the one about chocolate too!

SewCalGal
www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

Connie said...

Thank you Frances for the wonderful free motion quilting you have showed us this month! Great guidelines!

Quilty Stuff said...

Fran, I love the encouragement that you have given. You have started me on FMQing. I would love to become a follower of you. I can't figure out how. I am also new to blogging. Do I need a blogger account? I have a wordpress site. I hope I can get updates.
Michelle@quiltystuff.com
quency

Bouts Choisis said...

Thank you so very much, Frances, for being "Miss January" and doing such a great job. I wonder - was it difficult to go first? I have had such fun stitching leaves - and eating French chocolate - and drinking (the occasional glass of) French wine (they say it helps with FMQ - you know!)

deborah said...

Thank you so much for giving the first month's tutorial for the FMQ Challenge - I've really enjoyed it and I've learned so much from your video and your tips. Your work, time and talent is very much appreciated!!

Karen said...

Hi, Frances: I have just watched your free motion video on quilting leaves and enjoyed it a great deal.I found your blog through Marilyn, the other "wackywoman". Your quilts - and quilting - are spectacular!

teachpany said...

Thanks so much for your inspiration and support this month. I especially love your comment to keep chocolate available!! lol I'm looking forward to reading your blog.

Linda said...

I just recently started following your blog from the FMQ challenge through Darlene at SewCalGal. Thank you for helping us with FMQ'ing. I am enjoying your blog alot and your tips are great. I have been one of those that make practice pieces but am going to go ahead and quilt my quilts instead of waiting to get better. I'm going to jump in and yes, I'll get my tops done and I hope I improve with each one. What's that old saying, practice makes perfect. Well, I don't know about that but I'm going to give it my best shot!

Wabbit said...

Frances, thank you for the great tutorial for January! I really enjoyed doing it and now I need to learn to take better photos of quilting. I certainly agree with all of your guidelines and just had to keep telling myself to relax those shoulders!