Do I make a Free Motion Practice Quilt? Yes! I want to make mistakes or try new techniques on a free motion practice quilt rather than a quilt for someone else. It is important to have practice quilts.
When I am piecing a quilt, there are quilts that I like better than others. For example, I really did not like the Practice Quilt. The patterns were too chunky for my taste and my design did not manifest. Therefore, the quilt became an enormous practice quilt.
I decided that it was time to improve my free motion quilting feathers. I wanted to try 3 different methods to determine the best method. In addition, I wanted to complicate the space with undulating edges and spaces.
3 Feather Methods Practice
I started in the middle with a set ring pattern. My feathers looked a little like a peacock feather upside down. I wanted to make a smaller feather and then bump up for the next feather giving it a feather inside a feather pattern. I actually liked this pattern for the rings. I did make a mistake in the beginning with narrow feathers. Over time, my feathers started looking better.
The next feather space was a crazy wavy wide ring for feathers. I have learned that this is not a good way to go. Unfortunately, I went ahead and tried it. I wanted to make feathers by the bump method. You make the first one and then bump from the top, making an “n” to the next one, and then coming down to the spine of the feather. Several problems arose on this space. The space was too big. My feathers were reaching with no real consistent pattern that resembled a feather. My feathers tended to exit the spine at about 90 degree angle rather than a 45 degree angle. I did not handle the undulating waves very well. My feathers looked more like pumpkins than feathers.
Finally, I wanted to try a different feather in the shape of a paisley for the corners. By far, this worked better than any other method.
If you are interested in Free Motion Quilting, please feel free to read my tips and experience here.
The Purpose of a Practice Quilt
When I look over my quilt, I can see a multitude of mistakes. My feathers are completely wrong in the undulating ring of the quilt. I had skinny feathers and feathers going in the wrong direction and feathers crossing one another. If I wanted a show quilt, this was a disaster. But, I wanted a practice quilt. This quilt will be a lovely quilt for our home. It will keep us warm during the winter, but it is not a quilt that I will show people.
Please make practice quilts! They give you the freedom to learn and improve your quilting skills without any regrets.