In quilting this, I learned a bunch of things:
- Basting was a must. I started with pins, and the first time I put it under the presser foot, I knew that was a bad idea.
- Quilting gloves were a life saver. I generally hate not being able to feel what I'm working on, but in this case, I was much happier being able to move the material where it needed to go. Got a lot of mileage from a pair of $2 gloves.
- Thread breaks on my machine if I pull the needle too close to the front edge of the throat plate. I still need to learn to keep the needle up to speed and not move too fast.
- Need to clean out the bottom gears from time to time and make sure the needle is in tight after tipping the machine over. That was a lesson I won't soon forget.
- Small areas and small designs are a lot easier to quilt than big ones. Doing the seaweed on the melon green area was nerve wracking. In part because I didn't have a good view of the whole area while working on it. The little 4" squares were so much easier to deal with.
- Things look a lot better from a distance than close up. I finished with several bits of seaweed and was sure I'd be ripping them all out. They were wobbly and not how I envisioned. But when the quilt was spread out and I took a step back - they looked great. I bet I couldn't even find the "problem" seaweed at this point.
- Practice. Practice. Practice. Every design I finished looked or stitched up so much easier than the first bit. I was panicked when I first sat down to quilt, and by the end, was much calmer, even when starting a pattern I'd never tried before.
- I think the fully quilted white space looks better than the ones with something in the middle. I need to remember that for the next project.
- High contrast thread shows the quilted design better. Duh. I was so unsure of what I was doing, I matched the thread pretty close to the fabric. Good, because my I-don't-know-what-the-hell-I'm-doing stuff is pretty hidden. Bummer, because the sections I did well aren't really visible. I guess I can't have it both ways.