What was the hardest thing for you to learn when you first started to quilt besides putting on the binding. I always had to have my husband get his square out to make sure eveything was straight etc.
I had a HORRIBLE time trying to cut a strip of fabric that didn't have a "chevron" in the middle where the fold was. I would carefully line up the selvages, square up the fabric, and cut. Then I would unfold my strip and over and over again it had a bend in the middle. I finally got help from a more experienced quilter that told me that the selvages didn't have to be perfectly aligned. This made all the difference.
Free motion quilting. I had another quilter say you had to do it every day to get used to it and that each time you would need a 30 minute warm-up before you seriously started FMQ - It took me probably 3 years to even try it since it sounded so intimidating. My stitching is not beautiful but it is so much easier to move a quilt through the machine being able to go forward, backward, left or right verses stitch in the ditch and turning the whole quilt at every corner!
I feel that I am still learning but I guess the most difficult part was making the sandwich and putting it together. In the early days I had to baste with needle and thread and not much room to do it. I still can FMQ very well so that is still on the lower end of the learning curve.
Like nanajayne, it is putting the sandwich together so all is smooth and wrinkle free, I just don't have the room either. Haven't mastered it yet.
AND, I think one of the hardest things for me was to stop buying every gadget, doo-hickey, and "this will solve all your sewing/quilting problems" items that came along. I mean really, why did I think those tiny suction cup thingys would ever hold a ruler while looped over my finger. Puhlease! What a sucker I was. But on the other hand, some of those things did work out for me, like my purple gloves. Love those.
To me, quilting is like life, you just keep on learning until you die.
I guess the thing I still don't do very well is press. That's why I am a fanatic about pinning because my pressing leaves a lot to be desired. another thing I have trouble with is getting my binding to make a nice square corner. Sometimes they are beautiful and sometimes they're not.
The most difficult thing for me is to 'get started' on finishing the quilt tops that need to be sandwiched and quilted.
I also have trouble with the sandwiching and the actual quilting. I've only done 2 quilts, so I haven't had much practice.
I agree with most of the above. Sandwiching, FMQ and finishing it up. It took courage to jump into those. I didn't know you could "send a quilt out" when I started and I thought I just had to quilt it. I never considered doing it by hand and my early machine quilting is terrible. I want to rip it out and do it over. But, I've learned lots since then. I also avoid every new gadget I see. I seldom use a specialty ruler more than the one try. We live and learn don't we. I never stop learning.
After over 40 years of quilting, I frequently feel like each new quilt is my first. That's because I tend to be a little loosey-goosey with many quilting guidelines. Like matching seams exactly, like pressing to the same side, like precision cutting. And that pesky math! Measuring for borders in the middle and ends, squaring blocks before adding sashing. I think that's why my brain seizes at the thought of paper-piecing.
I try and make a conscious effort to follow the guidelines, knowing the end result will be nicer. But there are many detours of my conviction during the process. The end results are some mismatched corners, easing of border seams, cut-off points and other assorted departures from perfection.
I don't get nuts about the imperfections. I keep improving with each quilt; I'll get there. Or I won't. Either way, I'll keep happily sewing.
Yeah!........dian57. I have always loved to sew and still do..........until I get overly fussy about minor things. I no longer have the patience for such things. I still strive for perfection, but realize that I will never get there and accept that. Keep enjoying and quilting,...Sew long
Since I have only been quilting for a short time - just 2 years- I still have vivid memories of everything being hard ~LOL~ -but thanks to the good people at this forum, I learned so much so fast. I really had difficulty reading a ruler - esp cutting the angles. I admit I am a perfection...so letting go of some very rigid rules of construction/sewing is (still is) probably the hardest lesson for me to learn. I love to sew....but I look too closely at my work.
OK, please don't judge me too harshly, LOL.
I sewed for a living - I smacked, pulled, and tugged trapazoidal needlepoint canvasses into square with lots of steam and a blocking board with nails. I made sure they stayed straight and square with my welt cord, and by lining my silk and velvet backing fabrics with stable muslin, and sometimes stuffing more in some corners than others. It was my livelihood. Odd shapes were not acceptable.
So during piecing, those corners and points had better match up. I am unable to accept less from myself, LOL.
It's why I don't do longarm quilting for others. I could, and I do for 2 friends, but other than them, I no longer expose myself to the stress of knowing "if they just had a seam guide, they'd be so much better" or "don't they know to fit the border to the quilt" or whatever comment would be trying to burst out of my mouth.
So I'm a cut accurately, piece carefully, press well, kind of woman. I can't help it.