Well I'm getting there! I'm so happy! I've got quilt number four done and I think I'm really getting the feel for my new machine. I know it seems as though I blew right through a few quilts but I know myself and I just had to dive in and get a feeling for how this thing works or I'd never get anywhere with it.
I'm really happy with how this turned out - and you can REALLY see the improvement. Two things that I think would help the look of those feathers...blending thread and slowing down a bit. I freaked out yesterday because I began to have skipped stitches when going to the left...but someone on the APQS forums suggested maybe I had my quilt layers pulled too tight and I think he was right. I loaded up some practice this morning and - no skipped stitches.
I LOVE the back of this. All the more reason I feel like I should spend more time choosing my thread. It blends really well in the back. I'm not ripping because this is my quilt...but I think in the future I'm going to spend more time carefully thinking about the entire quilt on a whole and how the thread will look. I think the only way this would have looked better in the borders was to nix the feathers. This thread just isn't right for it...I'm learning you sometimes have to make a design sacrifice based on the materials you choose to use.
Anyhow, I'm thrilled, and I think I might even do the Dresden quilt next. I'm going to take some time on it and really quilt it up special. I feel like those first initial four quilts really helped me to get acquainted with my machine and it's quirks...I feel prepared to do some more detailed quilting.
Here's my practice piece from this morning...
I slowed down the speed and tried some pebbling...this is at about 2-3 stitches per inch. Here it looks sloppy but imagine it with white thread on white fabric. I think it will create an effective impact.
Feathers are better - I'm just ITCHING to get those feathers down. They are my absolute favorite thing to quilt and I want so badly to play with them on the long arm.
Even thready as this is here I still like it. White on white...using a blending thread I think it will look good even in this rough learning stage.
So that's where I'm at folks! Part of why I bought the long arm was to focus less on patterns and finished projects and do a little quilting for others to earn a little extra fabric money. I have had a lot of inquiries and I'd like to complete a few more tops that I have waiting for me and then I will feel comfortable taking in some of your tops for edge to edge simple allover designs. I can't thank you all enough for the kindness and support along the way - it's been a wonderful experience so far and a huge part of it is because of all of you!! :)