Yesterday I went to my first free motion machine quilting class. Here's how it started.
Stitching front to back and side to side to get the idea of controlling the direction and length of stitch. My next challenge was to write my name. Then lots of stippling practice. Stippling is a continuous meandering curved stitch path and I can't say I'm thrilled by it, but at least it's a way of training the right hand-eye coordination.
Probably the most useful part of the teaching came before all this. It was about setting myself up at the machine to make the task as comfortable and stress-free as possible. To that end I have a pair of rubber-tipped cotton gloves on my shopping list for today--they made a huge difference in helping me move the fabric without straining. And I'm going to have to have another look at how I have my machine set up in the studio to make sure I can sit easily while I sew.