Once upon a time ago, in 2000 or 2001 I started to quilt. I just made that decision and stuck with it... No lessons "just do it." I also was going to do it all by hand.... I joined a guild just becasue, really.... I thought I could learn and do - I took my first class with Karen Kay Buckley - not a beginers class. (She came to teach at my guild - as a newly joined member, I promptly signed up for all of the classes being offered.) I did not even know that the needle stayed on top of the project... (I had been a cross stitcher) There were so many things that I did not know(like how to chose fabric), but I did not know that I did not know so I trudged along.... (I never finished the block.... & it no longer lives with me to remind me of that fact.)
Then a gal in my guild gave me her old sewing machine - circa 1960's Kenmore - top of the line back then & she kept everything even the Consumer Reports magazine write up on sewing machines. Very cool & I did not know any better about how much sewing machines changed in the mean time.... It was in a cabinet - I took the whole kitten kaboodle to the repair shop.... :o)
My first pieced project was also "advaced." It was a kaliedoscope by Bonnie McCaffrey she was also hired to teach and to give a lecture at my guild. (She taught right before I joined, but lectured and sold patterns on my first day...) I bought one & went to town.... I finished it, it was paper pieced, I did not remove the paper... remember I was in "Just do it" mode and did not know what I did not know. Apparently, that was an unwritten instruction that someone buying that pattern should have known.... (I have no idea what happened to that project - but it did look awful!)
Where am I going with this? (I am getting there!) My next project was a stack and whack.... Again, I did not know anything about buying fabric & did not bother to read what Bethany Reynolds had to say about it. Instead, I was working from the "I love that fabric" point of view! (I chose a pink and lavendar bows on cream print with gold accents- I liked gold back then.)So the piecing turned out pretty good for a novice, aside from the fact that it did not look like a stack and whack - no contrast between the bad choice in stack fabric & background fabric (cream with gold speckles). I was happy that it also did not look like a bra. However, the quilting "RUINED" my top! (I used a gold metalic thread.)
My second & last attempt at S&W was a Stack and Oops. I forgot to unfold the fabric before cutting it. So while the first three repeats looked great the last three did not... Since I cut-out enough triangles (Yes, I got that far before figuring out my mistake!) for a king sized bed quilt I tried to match what I could - make lemonade out of my lemons..... "FUGHETABOUTIT" I set them aside & started on something else.... The birth of a UFO! (Since then I trimmed the triangles, all 1 billion of them, into squares for a scrappy Irish Chain. Thanks Bonnie for the inspiration.) BTW My fabric selection for the second S&W was 100% better than the first!
Back to my story.... around the time that I messed up royally on my attempts at quilting, a friend introduced me to Sunshine Quilts. I have been using a long armer ever since... Even on tops that should not have become tops & that definately should not have been sent out to be quilted.... GEESH, what was I thinking? (My cats love their quilts though!)
Finally, what have I been getting to... I did not quilt the cats... Our very own JudyL quilted them. As well as several other of my quilts. I use other long armers too & I still try, on occasion, to quilt my own stuff & I still HATE it....
With all of that said, my fiancee is giving me a sewing machine that is younger than me (Brand New, unless there is a very nice "trade in" available! Lets be realistic....) & I promised to try to quilt on it.... I am currently sewing on a Featherweight - so my new sewing machine is older than my old sewing machine.... (my current excuse for using a long armer....)