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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Feathers Free Motion Quilt Project

If you have been following this blog, you'll know that I have neuropathy from the chemotherapy drugs I received.  The neuropathy surfaces for me as numbness in my hands and feet.  I'm grateful for that as I could be burning pain as it is for so many people who have received Taxol or Abraxane in their fight against cancer.   I have no feeling in my finger tips and my little finger and ring finger of my left hand (I'm left handed) are completely numb.  This causes me to not have great fine motor skills in my hands, and my free-motion quilting suffers because of it.

Thus, I decided that the best way to handle this was to re-learn machine quilting and just practice, practice, practice.  That's the key to good quilting (and almost everything else) anyway, so when Maria Elkins put up SewCalGal's challenge on her website, I joined in as well.

Each month, a renowned free-motion quilter gives tutorials and has us practice an element of free motion quilting.  This month was Diane Gaudinsky.
Usually, I would use the same or similar color thread when practicing on muslin because you won't see the mistakes quite as badly, but since I knew I was going to have to put it up on the blog, I did it in a variagated embroidery thread in the top and Superior's "Sew Fine" (love that stuff) in the bobbin.

I'm lousy at echoing.  The top piece is the sample I did this week.  The sample at left is doodles I did with Shirley Stutz in a class I took with her in I think about 2006 or maybe 2007.  I did a much better job there.  Shirley's a great teacher and I enjoyed every minute of it.  I was also using my beloved Bernina 153 which I sold to a friend when I upgraded to the 440.....and Carol...if you're reading...please remember I get first dibs if you ever decide to get rid of it...that machine was superb and beats the pants off my 440.  So...I'm working on quilting...working on drawing....and hoping that just maybe I'll be able to improve.


Tammy said...

Hello Lisa, Your feathers and echoing are marvelous especially for a left handed lady with numbness in her left hand. Holy smokes.. you are an inspiration. Wow, I'm in awe of you. Bravo .. well done on the Feb tutorial and Happy Leap Day!

Maria said...

Truthfully, your newer feathers are much more dynamic.

Judy Warner said...

I think you are doing an amazing job. Your newer feathers are more dynamic, as Maria says. After reading your description of your physical problems, I thought for sure that the first was a sample of what was to be done in the class. Like I said at first, you are amazing.

Lisa Broberg Quintana said...

You guys are too kind! Tammy and Judy, the echoing really gives me trouble....I get trapped on the inside and don't have that wonderful flow that (koff koff) Diane Gaudynski has....the koffing is because I KNOW I can't compare myself to someone who has been doing this for a long time and a lot of the time....I need to study some more on how she does it...unless you guys have suggestions!

Maria, thank you. I guess the others are a little stiff, aren't they? :) I do have a little trouble with the smoothness of the arc, but I guess in comparing the two, I've always had that issue! It is fun to be able to compare them.

Shirley said that we should always date our sample pads so we can actually see how we progress....and I think she is very, very right!

Linda quilter said...

You have done a remarkable job. This is not easily done for those of us who basically have no physical limitations/problems. Good for you for hanging in there to relearn something you obviously love to do. The resiliency of the human spirit never ceases to amaze me. You go girl!

Robbie said...

Way to go!!! You're doing great!!!! What progress!!!

Lisa Broberg Quintana said...

Thanks Linda and Robbie...I really do believe that the only way one can really get the hang of it is practice.

It's like what my husband said when he was doing tri-athlons. He'd see lots of people at the start line with very expensive carbon-fiber mono-coque bicycles which cost thousands of dollars. He used to get great enjoyment of passing them on the hills of CT with his basic Fuji with Campi components....he said, it's not the machinery, but what's under the hood.....

So, fancy dancy machines with stitch regulators aren't going to do anything for you if you don't practice. I have a friend in Cincinnati who does fabulous work on a 1970s Viking. Lisa