The JOY of Learning MT Gold

MarveLes Art StudiosBlogs, Tutorial 1 Comment

In this post, I want to share some of the process of creating this piece, the challenges, the problem solving, and ‘perfection’ issues I think we all struggle with!  The above picture is from the backside of Montana Gold.
Out came the ripper. You should still be able to see the tension issue even though I have begun picking out stitches.  Valuable lesson #1:  ALWAYS check your bobbin tension after 30 seconds into your free motion quilting motifs.  Just to be sure!  Because more than 30 seconds… and you could have alot of stitches to pick out! And what was wrong with my tension?  ME!  It was me ‘pulling’ the stitches.  Sometimes I do that, much like how you might change the size of crocheting or knitting stitches if you’re too tense, or too relaxed? Same principle here. It’s just like that some days with free quilting.  (So, settle down… relax, pay attention, & have fun!)  I ripped these out because not only were they unsightly, but the tight tension on the back was affecting the top of the quilt.  I wanted this quilt to be reversible, and that meant my stitches needed to look good on the back, too. 

At this stage of my quilting ‘life’ I feel like my quilting should look good on both sides.  (Especially when it’s for sale) But that has been a learning process! And with each project I complete, I improve upon one more little thing (or big thing!)  And, even more importantly, as I continue to build upon my skills, I also continue to understand the ‘how to’s’ of problem solving!  

I used Masterpiece 50 wt cotton for my bobbin.  It performs flawlessly in my  free motion, with a 40 wt cotton or trilobal polyester on top.

 And Superior Threads, 40 weight triblobal polyester was my chosen top thread from the “Art Studio” line by Ricky Tims.  

As to the yarn I chose for those free motion feathers.  Sometimes the yarn ‘skipped’ — it didn’t always ‘fill up the hole’ of the foot, but I loved the color so much, I just decided to deal with it.  And if the skipping was an issue, or noticeable, I went back and ‘patched’ it by stitching over the yarn again, with my regular free motion foot.  No harm… no foul!
Notice the slight skipping on the far right on this bottom feather motif?  Sometimes it happened… I just dealt with it!

 My stitches are not perfect; they ARE excellent, tho.  and I have started to realize something I don’t like so much… I couldn’t always see very good… So!
Valuable lesson #2:  When you can’t see… get new glasses!  Get better lighting… get a different angle of fabric under the machine… get the magnifier lens set adaptable for your machine!  Yes, I am at that age!

Valuable Lesson #3:  Not every inch of the fabric has to be ‘evenly filled up” — I used to think (and do that) for many years… but it’s more interesting (at least it is to me), to have varying stitches, and ‘poofs’ of fabric… which appeal to me greatly — more so, they appeal to my sense of creativity.

Valuable Lesson #4: “Stuff” happens!  Learn to live with it.  Move On! Do NOT let it rob you of your joy! I didn’t notice this little ‘nudgey’ in the blue yarn (I held the couching foot a bit too long – as I couldn’t see where I was at for a moment!)… but it’s okay.  I could have ripped it out… and might have, had I noticed it in time.  Ripping it out after the fact would have made it much more noticeable as I probably wouldn’t have been able to repeat the curve quite so smooth with alot of fiddley-diddley-dee. (That’s an official term, you know!)  


Comments 1

  1. Thanks for sharing that we can let some things go. I noticed when I was machine quilting my table topper there were a few "flukes". I did rip out some, but some that were not as noticeable I let go. Guess we sometimes have to look at quilting in the same light as faith. We need to Let Go and Let God work through and learn from some of our mistakes.

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