A new and challenging skill.

Last Friday I finally got around to one of my retirement promises to myself. I have a whole list of new skills that I would like to get under my belt and some of them are craft based. I’d been to visit Yarnia (it’s a great name for a wonderland of yarn) to buy wool and discovered that they ran courses there at the shop. Happily some of them are one day courses which suits my somewhat itinerate lifestyle at the moment.

I really liked the idea of the ‘Free Motion Quilting’ workshop with Kate Higgens. It fitted in with some ideas for projects that I’d had for a while. I had been thinking of hand quilting them but why not be ambitious?

By lunchtime on Friday I was thinking maybe I was a bit over-ambitious …..

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The other course members were very warm and friendly and the atmosphere was totally non-threatening. Kate proved to be a great teacher; skilful and positive and encouraging, she gave us lots of  examples and time to try them out. Tips and pointers were all very well paced and I felt very well supported in my jerky attempts.

And they were jerky! I seemed to have lost control of my right foot, which meant my machine was determined to race away at top speed while I wanted it to be as slow as possible so that I could guide the fabric smoothly. I had the wrong wadding and I couldn’t get the tension right; my stitches were abnormally small and any self respecting spider would have been ashamed of the way the sewing picked pathetically across the fabric.

Things improved a little when I decided to invest in some proper wadding and a little more when Kate suggested I tried a new, sharp needle – it hadn’t occurred to me that it would make such a difference! I did manage to stay on task most of the time and not be distracted by all the glorious yarn surrounding me and calling me to knit. Eventually there were  a few glimmers of hope as the day wore on and I occasionally produced a few stitches or even a whole sequence that looked vaguely presentable. I did make the decision to persevere and was determined to carry on at home.

Things have improved over the week; I’ve gained some semblance of control over my right foot and today a new and proper FMQ foot for my machine was delivered and that’s helped too. Finally today I feel that I can share some photos of my improving attempts and not be totally ashamed of them. I’m looking forward to continuing to improve and will spend some more time on becoming perfect (!) in the coming weeks.

Oh – and it’s back to Yarnia tomorrow armed with my ‘jelly roll’ and ‘charm pack’ for another new experience. I can’t wait!

5 thoughts on “A new and challenging skill.”

  1. Your ‘attempts’ don’t look jerky to me…
    A lovely skill to learn. Both my boys still have quilts made for them by my mum (who like me was challenged when it came to sewing!) I’m almost inspired to have a go myself after I have finished my level 2 training course, done my Reaction First Aid completed a channel crossing by sail AND ferried my 16 year old to various places…

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