I think I have used free motion quilting to finish a piece to or three times. Prior to this, I have practiced for a big total of maybe 20 hours and that is a generous estimate. So I am not sure how I came up with the grand idea of " Let's go ahead and do a large piece to REALLY get some hours in.
As I was basting this beast, I was starting to worry about my decision. Did I stop to reconsider? Nope. Sat down without a clue of how to decide on a design and decided that each section would be a different marking. (Yes, getting crazier by the minute). With the help of a book by Leah Day , I just took random patterns and started sketching away changing as my abilities allowed. The first few sections were painstakenly slow and my shoulders were killing me after a few hours. I was not liking my choice at all. It was big and hard to move under the machine with any accuracy. I was making a nasty mess of my beautiful quilt- skipped stitches, lousy tension and areas I needed to rip out. I just wanted to quit.
The next day, I decided that the basement needed purging. Now, it has been on the long to-do list for about 6 months. I purged the basement and made two trips to Goodwill. I woke up and realized I was finding basement cleaning more exciting than free motion machine quilting. I gave myself a "F" for perseverance and an "F" for attitude.
I started again. I tucked away my perfectionistic tendencies and moved forward. Many hours later, I can finally say that I am making slow and steady progress.
Stay tuned and I'll let you know when I make it to the 50% done mark.