Saturday, January 7, 2012

2012 Sewing Technique Challenges

I have been working all year to be able to create a block like this.  The corners all meet nicely.  I didn't lose any points.  The block is the correct size. (This is a 12" square BOM for my traditional guild.) For my first year quilting, after a 30 year hiatus, I have been working at getting better at quilting basics. 

This is one of the first blocks I did last year.  The seams are crooked and the points are not great.  The colors are very strange in a "What was I thinking" sort of way.  It is a far cry from square, and it ist not the right size.  I am so glad I didn't let myself get discouraged.
In the past year, I have tried many, many things outside my comfort zone, and have learned to embrace many of them.  I especially like intuitive, improvisational quilting.  I learned to do curves so that my improv pieces would have more interest.  I learned to make fabric the Victoria way (15 Minutes Play).  I even worked on some applique. I got pretty good at fusible machine applique, but the little bit of stiffness in a lap quilt is off putting to me.
That brings me to 2012.  This year, I have a few big things, to me, that I want to get much better at.
1.  Y seams.  There are so many quilts I want to make that I don't start because they involve the dreaded Y-seam.  This year, I will conquer that fear.
2.  Hand Applique.  I love the look of applique, whether modern, traditional, or primitive.  I am just not good at it.  My points are non-existent.  My stitches are always too visible.  I don't like the idea of glue or starch and pressing, so I am going to have to learn good needle turn technique.  I also need to get the correct thread to help reduce visibility.  Then, I need to learn to make those pointy points.  I really want to make the Rhapsody quilt I have designed, but I need my applique technique to get better. 
3.  Hand Quilting with perle cotton and big stitches.  I have done a few small pieces using this technique, and I am not really happy with what happens on the back.  I can get the front to have fairly nice even stitches, but the back is not great.  I read on a blog the other day that Warm and Natural batting (my favorite) is not really good for getting these nice even stitches on the back. I need to learn something call the rocking motion with the needle. I will continue to work on my hand quilting this year.
4. Color.  I would like to work on getting out of my color rut.  I don't know how successful I will be with this because I really like to work with certain colors.  I plan on doing more charity quilts this year, so I am determined to experiment with color on these.
That seems like enough to tackle for this year.  I will continue to work on my traditional piecing and my intuitive/improv quilt techniques throughout the year.  The quilts on my list of 2012 "Want to Makes" has some of all of this.
What techniques do you want to work on this year?
Joyful quilting, everyone.


dianehobbit said...

A well thought out list of what you want to achieve. Practical certainly makes perfect. I want to spend 2012, finishing off lots of projects so that I can move forward next year . Good luck, will enjoy reading your blog to see your work in progress.

Stephanie said...

Hand-quilting and applique are on my "someday" list, most likely not for this year.

I just started my first foundation-pieced project, as a way to use some scraps. That's been on my "learn to do this" list for a long time.

Mostly, like Diane H., I want to FINISH as many WIPs/UFOs as I can this year. That's the biggest thing on my "sew this" list.

Nifty Quilts said...

You are ambitious! I just hope to get a few quilts quilted, and to keep having fun.

Sarah Craig said...

I want to experiment with new techniques in FMQ on my quilting frame!

sheila 77 said...

You have an interesting list. I agree with you about the problems of the back of hand quilting and it would be good to solve that as some pieces (like mats) can be reversible. I'd like to do curved piecing and I'd like to make things for our home (cushion covers, more mats, hangings).