Do you ever get really, really frustrated when your sewing skills just don't measure up to the project at hand? Grrr. Yesterday was such a day.
But let's back up. First off, one of my Angled Campers recommended a new kind of batting to me. Although I'm perfectly happy with my go-to Warm & Natural batting, I opted to try Dream Green because it's made from recycled water bottles. I'm using a throw sized package (60" x 60" piece) that saves 7 plastic bottles from the landfill. That doesn't sound like a whole lot to me, but it's certainly better than nothing. The batting was sent free, in exchange for my review, from Quilter's Dream company.
When I basted my Love in Starbright Stars quilt, I noticed that Dream Green feels just slightly thicker than Warm & Natural. It's not flimsy and stretchy (like some low end battings), but felt pleasantly substantial under my hands. Dream Green will probably be warmer than Warm & Natural since it's 100% polyester. Generally I prefer cotton or other natural fibers for batting, because natural fibers are breathable and thus less sweaty. But, again, I'm excited that this product recycles! If you went all-in with a queen-size roll (94" x 30 yards), you'd save a whopping 200 bottles from the landfill.
Before I made my review, I wanted to do some free motion quilting on Dream Green batting. Those starbright stars would look so pretty with echo star quilting, right? Right.
This is where I get grouchy.
I've tried to free motion quilt straight lines before... and quickly
abandoned ship in lieu of an easier plan. When free motion quilting,
you drop the feed dogs and guide the quilt under the needle by hand.
This allows for easy changes of direction without rotating a quilt,
which is a must for a small-scale star echo pattern, like this one.
But gosh-golly-gee, I can't keep my lines straight! I can't keep them straight, evenly spaced from the seam lines and I can't keep them straight even on their "own" true path. Wobbles. Grumbles. Grr.
After battling that first star, I decided to go back to all over straight lines with the feed dogs engaged. I could just leave the lone quilted star, which would look cool "behind" the straight lines anyways. And move on.
Only, it hit me that I'll never get better that way. For me, it takes committing to a Real Quilt to improve my free motion quilting skills. I'm just not going to spend hours on a practice piece. I'm not! This is a charity quilt, a beautiful charity quilt, with gorgeous fabrics and colors and interesting piecing. So... if the quilting is a little wobbly, how many children would even notice?
Straight line free motion quilting is possible (or so I've heard). I'll improve only if I try and try again. Wish me luck! And patience. Here goes!