I finished my first quilt of 2013 the other day – hooray! My Scrappy Starburst for one of February’s classes at gather here was a lot of fun to put together. From designing something that would involve 2 different methods of making HSTs (half square triangles) to the actual construction of the quilt to everything about the binding, this has been such an enjoyable project to work on. My free motion quilting still leaves a lot to be desired, but the only way to improve is to keep at it and practice. I’m glad I stuck with it despite reconsidering my decision to stitch rows of wishbones about 1/3 of the way through. I kept messing up and ripped out all my stitches at least a dozen times. Eventually I got the hang of it, and hey, though it’s far from perfect, my stitching here is an enormous improvement from my first attempt at wishbones.
Speaking of improvements, I am getting better at machine binding. I’m finding it easier to stitch in the ditch of the binding and am more consistent when doing it. I’m also getting better about being more consistent with my seams in the back and getting neater corners with this method. You know, when I was in art school, we were always told that it’s a poor craftsperson who blames his/her tools for their shortcomings, and for the most part I agree with that. However, there’s something to be said for having the right tool, the one that works the best for you. I’m not one for advocating for one brand of sewing machine over another or anything like that. In fact, I’m always curious to hear what machines people use and what they think about them and how they work together. But I have to say, binding a quilt on my Juki is such a vastly different experience from binding on any other machine I have used before. It’s like maaaaaaaagiiiiiic. The stitch length stays at exactly what I set it to; it doesn’t vary and waver like when I bind on my old machine. And the quilt just glides through with such ease. It takes me a few minutes as opposed to an hour or so like before. One of the reasons I hated doing machine binding before was because my machine fought with me every inch of the way. Now? I LOVE it so hard. It is really, truly the right tool for me. Speaking of which, gotta go and get a little sewing in before bed….