While I admit I have learned a lot in the past 5 years of machine quilting, I still have a lot to learn.
1) Understand the difference between "negative" and "positive" space. I had to look these up in a drawing-techniques book. In short, "positive" space refers to the part of the quilt your eye is drawn to--the colorful quilt block. The "negative" space is the back-ground of the blocks, or the sashing where they connect. (In the blocks below it is blue).
2) For starters, I had to get over my fear of ruler work. Both Judy and Angela separate dense sections of free motion quilting using straight-line rulers and bump-back feathers.
Here is my attempt at practicing continuous curve quilting. If you look at the bottom LHS corner, you can see I also did continuous curve quilting, but it is lost in the tight micro-swirls; yet in this center square it stands out. Why?
4) I have a mid-arm, not a long-arm machine. I frequently thought, well, I just can't do what others do because my quilt-throat reach isn't long enough. Well, after watching Angela quilt her motifs on a home sewing machine, I realized that I don't have an excuse. In her class, she says she uses echoes (or as I understand it picture frames) to separate micro-quilting work spaces. They also use feathers to separate areas (with echoes around them). I have yet to try that.
5) Straight lines and organic/curved lines create contrast. No doubt about it. Look at the back of this quilt! I wouldn't be able to tell from the back that this simply is a scrappy quilt using two techniques (Angela Walter's dot-to-dot--just one of them; and a back-ground filler).
|This is the back of my Scrap-A-Dealy-O Laye Cake Quilt. You can see the contrast created between straight and curved lines.|
|Front of my Scrap-A-Dealy-O Layer Cake Quilt. Look how the swirls appear to tuck under and over one another. I couldn't have done that without getting over my fear of back-tracking.|
|Sooner or later, I'll get this pattern written up.|
|Until then, enjoy the quilting. This turned out better than I expected, thanks to reading Judy's book and Angela's Craftsy classes.|