06 August 2008

Practice makes semi-perfect

I pulled out my Complete Guide to Quilting last night, bought when I first ventured into the quilting world. I know I said to someone, if not here, that I was going to start out small and leave quilting until I was a sewing pro. I obviously changed my mind. But at least I'm starting small, with a not-too-ambitious project, right?

I have a plan too. I'm going to make a comprehensive list of everything I think I need. I am going to buy all of the parts all at once. I am going to take my time and do this carefully, as the prep time will be worth it in the end. I am researching, and referencing, and learning things as I think about them. I'm feeling confident.

Last night, I found some old pieces of fabric, and practiced my running stitch on them, as if I was making a quilt block. Thought some practice would do me good. As it turns out, practice is not what I need so much as patience. In sewing these blocks together, I started out paying careful attention to what I was doing. My stitches were neat and even. I marked the fabric along the line I needed to sew. I was happy. Then, I got distracted, lazy, bored, arrogant. Take your pick. I stopped marking, I tried sewing, freehand, in a straight line. It wasn't all bad, but far from good. Still, at the end, I had assembled 6 small blocks into two-thirds of a quilt block. It was then that I learned another lesson. Cutting accurately--VERY ACCURATELY--is important. As are proper seam allowances.

So, as it is, practicing sewing doesn't hurt, but I need help with my patience.

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