I don't own any of my earliest quilts, so though I know for certain my first one was pretty bad, I can't really compare them with my current quilts. I certainly can compare my machine quilting though!
I started quilting in 1997 and for years (as in 12 or so years) I was convinced that hand quilting was the only proper way to finish a quilt. As in, machine quilting was cheating. Yep, I was that terribly judgemental hand quilter :(
Then this quilt took me 6 years to finish, mostly because I kept putting it away for months at a time because the hand quilting was taking f.o.r.e.v.e.r.
|Pattern from A Quilter's Ark by Margaret Rolfe|
For Christmas one year I decided to make a bunch of small wallhangings as gifts and I machine quilted them all. It was a breakthrough moment! I could make 6 gifts and actually finish them in time for Christmas and I really liked the way the (very minimal) machine quilting looked.
That was the year my husband gave me a new sewing machine for Christmas and shortly after Christmas I ordered a walking foot and a darning foot for the new machine and set about trying to learn machine quilting. Enter Craftsy, with their many machine quilting classes. The first one I took was Machine Quilting, with Wendy Butler Burns and I've since taken Craftsy classes with Cindy Needham, Angela Walters and Christina Cameli. Those links are affiliate links.
This was one of my earliest attempts at free motion quilting. I had no idea what I was doing...I was just trying to imitate the quilting done on the quilt in the magazine. I confess I can't remember which magazine or who designed it. Sorry!
My Scrappy Log Cabin quilt took me over a year to quilt (again because I kept leaving it for other things!) and I saw a lot of improvement in that time. The spirals on the left are one of the first blocks I did and the spirals on the right are one of the last blocks. What a difference, right?
Back when I was working on it, I shared pictures of both my early spirals and later spirals to show my progression, and I remember that someone commented and said something along the lines of, "Your quilting doesn't make me feel woebegone." I loved that! First of all, woebegone is an awesome word that we just don't use often enough and second, I was sharing progress pictures to show that it is possible to get better at this fmq thing. It seems crazy hard when you start and it seems like everyone else is better at it than you are, but it is possible to improve. I loved that my quilting gave her hope!
So those are the earlier quilts...and now it's time for the newer quilt for comparison :)
My Denim Hexies mini quilt is my most recent heavily quilted piece and I'm amazed by the difference in my quilting!
It's still not perfect. There are elements that aren't shaped as nicely as I would like and places where the travel stitching isn't right on the lines like it should be. Overall, though, I absolutely love it!
I couldn't resist creating a collage of those early spirals and the denim hexies flow quilting.
So that's my Then...and Now. What's yours? Write up a post about it and link it up so I can celebrate with you!
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