Monday, December 7, 2015

Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen Day 6 - FMQ practice

When the chemist was little she desperately wanted to do ballet. Gradually she amassed the necessary equipment. She had the tutu, the leotard, the shoes, the tights. She lacked the hair, but that is another story! You never would tell from her long blond locks today, but she was a baldie for ages, poor child. She also had the imagination. You could tell that in her head the spotlight was on, while she swanned gracefully about the stage. Then she went to her first lesson.
What she learned was that putting on all the paraphernalia didn't mean she could do ballet. Not even close. She gave up almost immediately. Which was ironic, since she had one of those books with a cassette tape to read along with. The story was about a ballerina. It had a very unsubtle message that one day the lead ballerina will definitely break her leg at the critical moment, and because you have practiced diligently, you will be chosen to replace her in the end of term concert. We used to do a lot of very long car journeys to visit grandparents, and this story was a favorite. At one point I could recite it in my sleep. To this day we still quote Mrs. Kaye, the ballet teacher, who was always telling people to "Practice, practice, practice!"

Sadly, Mrs. Kaye was right. Good teachers and good equipment definitely make FMQ easier, but I find that to get better, I need to practice. I keep intending to have a stack of quilt sandwiches next to the machine and to do a little FMQ every day. Alas, I share a lot of genes with the chemist, and sometimes I prefer the scenes in my head where all my stitches are perfect, to the reality at my fingertips. In the real world I lose concentration, get tired, and sometimes need a lot more practice to get the designs on my fabric to bear any resemblance to the designs in my head!
Nice free-flowing stitches on the practice sample
After all the practice samples I had been working on, I was, frankly, getting just a little smug. I was fairly happy with the stitches I was making. So I moved on to an actual pieced top. And froze. My shoulders got stiff, my hands were moving more jerkily, I was forgetting to breathe. Oh the stress! Needless to say, the stitches accurately reflected all that loss of relaxation.
Much tighter and stiffer stitches - this is for real, eeeek!
More practice I guess...Right, Mrs. Kaye?

1 comment:

  1. Can never have too much practice! Man I used to be so cute!