These are just some of the lessons that I have learned through trial and error in my quilting adventures. I hope you might find them helpful.
- NEVER QUILT AT NIGHT (at your days end whenever it may be). This may not pertain to you but in my own experience, I have learned that it is not a good idea to do my quilting after 8 pm. For one thing no matter how good the lighting is in the room, being late in the day, shadows can be cast and eyes are fatigued which make it harder to see what you are doing. Believe me, it is not fun to have to pick out freemotion stitching once you look at it in the morning and then say to yourself “What was I thinking?” or “This is not satisfactory!”. Fight the urge, and wait until you are fresh in the morning.
- IF YOU THINK IT LOOKS WEIRD, IT PROBABLY IS. This can relate to the quilting at night thing. You get your quilt design all layed out, drawn with your chalk/erasable pen, then you stall, wondering if it looks the way you intended. When this happens to me, I walk away for a short period of time, then take a second look at the project. If it still looks “off”, and the solution does not come to me right away, then sometimes I’m forced to table the project for the time being. Most times I can change it slightly or tweek the drawing to get the desired result but I will admit that there have been times when I’ve started over completely from scratch. What it boils down to, is go with your gut when doing your quilt designs!
- TAKE A BREAK. I am very guilty of not taking breaks while working on a project. You just get going on something and you don’t want to stop, right? Well you should… at least for a few minutes. Take a stretch, walk around a bit, do a couple chores, but walk away for a while. Your head will be much clearer and eyes fresher when you come back to the project.
- DO GET A SECOND OPINION. Husbands are surprisingly good for this. You can usually tell by the look on their face whether you are headed in the right direction or not. Often the other party (especially if they are not a fellow quilter) cannot visualize the finished project like you can, however that initial “Oh wow!, or Oh is that what you’re doing?” can save you from dreadful mistakes in the end.