Monday, March 3, 2014

It's a challenge

  The McTavishing lessons / practice is a challenge for me.  I spent the afternoon viewing the videos, looking for more, and then facing the paper.  I won't show my first attempts, so don't even ask.....they are in the shredder already.  But, finally, I began to see how these designs come together.

                                                                                     In one of Karen McTavish's videos, she is drawing the design and describes it as cartoon hair, and waves her arms around.  Then she says, "Farrah Fawett" hair, and I get it.  Flips, and curves, and waves....... I remember that era!

   So how to get those flips, and waves?  She uses a lot of "S" lines to begin.   But studying a bit more of her quilting,  I began to see the letters  J, C, and U.  So, now I see them....can I draw them?  Sure, not a problem.     The challenge came when I tried to combine them.
    I kept  drawing the same wave.  The trick is to remember to change the direction and throw in a curve going against the first wave.  That is easier said than done for me.  I think I just have that one track mind, and all my "muscle memory" knows is swirls.  So I will be filling up a few more pages as I practice this week.

   The second thing I noticed about her patterns is the illusion of depth.  Some lines move toward you and others move away.  Those little filler c's  seem to be the trick to getting the depth.
  And finally, the spacing.....not too good here.  Her spacing between the lines is more even.  Mine is all over the place and probably will be when I stitch.

   Stitch....did I say stitch?  Yeah, I decided  to try on the machine to get a base line of what I would be facing.

   This is about a 10 inch square that I tried.  By the time I got to the edges, I was frustrated.  I was lost or in a spot and did not know where to go.  It looks nothing like my drawing.  The spacing is all over the place.  And the waves disappeared.
   OK, I have a challenge here.....back to the drawing board.  I remember being frustrated with learning to do feathers, so I guess the same is going on here!  More drawing, and practice batts needed......happy stitching.

  I am linking to the Linky party at Amy's Free Motion Quilting Adventure.



21 comments:

  1. I think you have it! Maybe just add another line in some of the wider spaced groups….and fill in the blank spaces with some C's. Looks good!

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  2. Looks great! One thing that seems to help me with the design is to have a defined area to fill instead of working out from the center of an open fill space. This happens naturally when we're working on a quilt, but is absent when we are practicing. So I draw a square, circle, or triangle on my practice piece.

    Thanks for linking up and joining the party!

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  3. I think you have done well, Debbie. You have really analyzed and broken down the design and what you perceive as your "problems", but I think you have it!
    I plan to try to follow along, but I won't be linking up. I have done a little McTavishing and find it very like the doodling I used to do on my school papers. So I don't try to do it just like Karen's--I resort to my doodling style. : )

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  4. Wow...so impressed! I have been working on my free motion quilting skills and want to learn this so thank you for sharing what you have learned. Your sample looks great!

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  5. I love your sample! I started drawing on paper today. Hope to try it on the machine soon. Hope mine comes out half as good as yours! I'll link up on Amy's blog if it's good!

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  6. This looks good! You should have seen my first attempt at McTavishing a few years ago. If you look at Karen McTavish's work, it is not always evenly spaced. Doing the different letters helps a lot. You'll eventually develop your own style. ~Jeanne

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  7. look very good for me for a first attempt !

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  8. It looks good to me. Perhaps you are being too hard on yourself?

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  9. Your sketches and your practice piece look great. I can't wait to get started too.

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  10. As a never mastered it - yet- FMQ er, this is really interesting and I can understand it far better now seeing how youve worked out where your going lol so many thanks for that!
    I think you look to have a real handle on the notion and yes soon as I read farrah fawset I could 'see' it too!
    Mind you I wont hold my breath at being successful when I try it but will be watching with renewed interest to see what you get up to!
    : ) Lyn

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  11. Wow... that looks good to me! Esp for your first go at it.... you're amazing!

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  12. I'd be proud to say I had sewn that, don't be too hard on yourself, it looks great. Knowing you and your FM style, you'll have this down in no time.

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  13. I would be proud to have mine look that good. I need to go over the videos again before I start.

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  14. Just heard about the quilt along but was wondering if yours was done one home machine or long arm? Honestly I love the way yours turned out. For me I am always most critical of my stitches while I'm doing it but when you take deep breath and a step back it ends up looking magnificent and your absolutely looks amzazing not i need to start. Drawing here I come. Thanks for sharing

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  15. i think your practice looks great! i'm still in the "drawing" stage, but i'm having the same problems you identified: spacing issues, my curves flattening out, getting "lost". and this is just on paper! i'll keep drawing and by the end of the week want to try stitching!

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  16. I've been drawing for 2 days now. Actually, I think the very first drawing I made looks better than an of the others that have followed. I'm having a problem with staying with one continuous line. I checked out a lot of videos online & can glean from each of them. I figure if I keep at this FM I will find a technique is stuited to me. Yours look fantastic & your practice piece looks like you've been doing this a long, long time. Great work!

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  17. I think you have the shapes going the right way.... looks great to me. I think you just needed a break.
    Hugs

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  18. Hi Debbie -- Visiting from Amy's and just wanted to say "WOW" ! One thing I've learned is that although I'm extremely frustrated by the time I finish my "McTavishing" -- the others that see it don't see what I saw !! I think you've done a FANTASTIC job -- really. Keep up the great work!

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  19. Your work is already beautiful. I'll be interested in watching it change as you practice more.

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  20. I am really impressed by your drawings and the stitches too! I like how you " analyzed" the McTavish technique. Much better than what I did: jump in! I will follow your lead and work on paper first... :-)
    Esther
    esthersipatchandquilt at yahoo dot com
    ipatchandquilt dot wordpress dot com

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