Sixteen corners awaiting a trim
Unfortunately, the black binding
|Bonus Skill: My machine quilting
When binding a recent quilt, it became painfully apparent to me that my mitered corners (to put it kindly) lacked precision. The third corner was a little better than the second, and the fourth corner was the best of the lot-but "best of the lot" isn't really a rousing endorsement in the skills department. While my sewing stitches were straight and true, the corners were, well, lumpy.
To continue to practice on mitered corners–one quilt at a time–would be futile. First of all, mitering four corners isn't really a lot of practice. And second, the time between finished quilts would mean that I'd be rusty anyway.
Since I don't enjoy randomly working on skills, cutting some fabric squares and stitching on binding until I improved had no appeal. I know myself well enough that I would never do that. I like to be making something.
Enter My Own Personal Potholder Challenge! By reducing the "quilt" to nine square inches, and making potholders in sets of four, I needed to make sixteen (count 'em up! SIXTEEN!) mitered corners in one sitting.
The improvement was dramatic, but I wasn't complete satisfied. So I started immediately on another set. By the time I finished that set, I was confident, satisfied, and skilled. Plus, I do have some lovely shower gifts now at the ready.
A side bonus was that I also worked on my machine quilting–which, not surprisingly, also improved. By working on a smaller scale, I found it easier to be a little more innovative than when I'm working on a larger quilt. Big win all around.
And I'm wondering, how do you motivate yourself to improve? Share with the SewDaily crowd. We're always in the market for new ideas!