Thursday, April 30, 2015

More thoughts on Conquering your Fear of Quilting on Real Quilts

I recently asked the followers on my Facebook Page what questions they had about quilting and got more questions on how to get over the fear of it than anything else.  My last blog post was an essay on how I feel about fear and quilting and what I do to get myself past the fear and to the fun part... the actual quilting.  I think that everyone is different though and what works for me might not work for some of you.  My Grandma had much more of a struggle conquering the fear of ruining quilts with her quilting then I did- it took her longer to get over then I did.  She has found ways to get herself ready to quilt and get comfortable and excited.   Below are her thoughts on fear and what to do to make yourself more ready- hopefully some of these ideas may help if fear is still your worst enemy.  I still promise there aren't any monsters under your feed dogs.... :)

Grandma Says
every post needs a picture and you got to see her brother in the last post

When you are asking for help or suggestions about how you should quilt a project you often get the comment, “just let the quilt speak to you”. I have stared at quilts for long periods of time and have never heard an answer. 

Each time I finish a project and am ready to quilt it, I always have the fear of ruining what I have just made. We spend a great deal of time and money turning out beautiful quilt tops and then we are faced with the fear of ruining it with our quilting. This is especially true with novices like me. 

I have found a few things that have helped me to break through the mental block. Instead of looking at the entire quilt I try to focus on just one block, usually something from the center, and try to think of how to quilt just that one block. That is an easier decision than planning for the entire top. I also get an idea of how dense my quilting will be. The amount of quilting you do in one block needs to be consistent in the overall project, so if I am going to do a lot of quilting in the first block then I need to do a lot of quilting in all the blocks. 

One other thing I have found helps me a great deal is to test the design. I have been able to purchase a piece of plastic. It is about 1 inch thick and is 12 x 12 inches. I taped the edges of the plastic to keep it from harming the fabric. I can lay it on my project and with an erasable marker I draw different patterns to see how they look. This previewing is very helpful. 

I am also a fan of marking my quilt. Once I have decided the pattern to use I will take a template and mark my quilt. I go one block at a time. With the plastic templates I like to use a marking pen that can be removed with water. I always remove the mark as quickly as I can after use. I also like the new templates that have come out recently that are made of mesh and marked with a chalk pounce. They do a lovely job and there is a very broad selection of patterns. If you are afraid to start FMQ, try marking to give you the boost to go for it. 

Lastly, I highly recommend Molly’s advice to draw out patterns on paper. If there is a particular pattern you want to work on, then draw it over and over again on paper until your brain gets it saved. FMQ is the most gratifying part of the quilting process and spending the time to do this training will pay off. Like always relax and enjoy the process. Quilting should be one of the great pleasures in our life. 

I think there is lots of wisdom there and hope you found some good tips.  May is just around the corner and it is my favorite month... Both my guy and I have our Birthdays in May and of course we get to celebrate our Moms and there is also Quilt Market.  To celebrate the supportive women I have in my life- my mom and Grandma- I thought I would share more of their wisdom with you all in May- both Mom and Grandma will be sharing their thoughts on a few more subjects this month and I will give you my view of Quilt Market- as well as a few more Book Giveaways- cause even though it is my Birthday soon- I feel like giving gifts to all of you!!  Hope you will come back and enjoy more of the fun throughout the month of May. 

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