Hey, y'all. Since our last Bitch Session (patent pending), I caught what I believe to be the Swine Cold and spent several days languishing on the sofa feeling sorry for myself. Once the Porcine Malaise had passed, I decided to finally bind the dreaded Ikea quilt. Remember how much I used to hate binding quilts? Now I love it, and find myself itching to get back to it when I have to stop. I wonder if that will ever happen with pin basting?
Also, while I was in the throes of the Porky Punk, my new Arrow 601 sewing table arrived. Yep, that is the absolute cheapest model of sewing table available. My machine just fits inside the opening, with a little coaxing, and now gives me something approximating a flat surface for my mad experiments in machine quilting.
Last night I happened to check in with my Virtual Quilting Mentor, and found that she has been musing on my remarks about stippling from this post. I was wondering about the pattern that seems to emerge in pictures of stippling that I've seen, and saying that without knowing ahead of time what you are supposed to be creating, just diving in and trying to sew some squiggles and see what happens seems daunting. Leah decided to create some meandering designs with a motif in mind, so that you have something to think about as you stitch. Two that she came up with were "Little Hands and Fingers" and "Alien Fingers."
I decided to give this approach a shot today, with some interesting results. Here is my attempt at making a hand:
Which quickly devolved as I went along:
After that, I just went back to trying to meander with style (which is what I've decided stippling actually is). And, I started doing a LOT better than any of my previous attempts:
Leah was also wondering why everyone wants to start with stippling, and I think it is because there is something appealing about a stitch that is seemingly random. Since we don't have to make regular shapes, it seems that we have more freedom to fuck up and still be pleased with what we've done. It was pretty sad when I couldn't seem to make more than one hand, but after several attempts, I had a better feel for how to move the quilt to make the kinds of curves I've been wanting.
So, the best advice I can give, if you've been wanting to try stippling and haven't been brave enough or if you tried it and gave up: make yourself a big stack of 10x10 or 12x12 quilt sandwiches out of some scraps, and just experiment. Give yourself permission to screw up. But do it over and over and over and over until you figure out what works for you.
And if you do try it, send me a picture. I promise not to laugh or throw fruit.