So, firstly I did some research to try to resolve my issues with tension. You Tube video tutorials are fantastic, and a wee morsel of useful information popped up - crank up the top thread tension really high. I talked to the ladies at Cottonfields, our local quilting and patchwork shop, and they put me onto a lady who does a lot of machine quilting. It seems that lots of quilters prefer hand quilting or sending their work off to be quilted rather than tackling the job themselves. I can understand why. Machine quilting requires patience, practise and intense focus.
I dabbled with a bit of stitch in the ditch quilting for my early quilts, but after attending a machine quilting course I have done mostly overlapping lines, outlines or squiggles. I have always had trouble with tension and stitch length. After some research I discovered speed is not the way to go. A commonly held belief is that you plant your foot on the pedal to the floor and go for it to get even stitches. It does get the job done relatively quickly, but control goes out the window. So I have been practising slowing right down, moving the fabric gently and smoothly, and stitching steadily. Plus I did crank up the top thread tension a couple of notches, and hey presto- it worked!
I adore bags of colourful fabric scraps, and picked up some little offcuts in interesting prints when Stitch (sadly) closed down.
Then I pieced some scraps I thoight were pleasing together.
I joined enough to make myself a chunk of patchwork big enough to use to make my phone pouch. Then I made a quilt sandwich with a firm batting in between. Shame I didn't have any basting spray, but pins were fine. Then I quilted using a curled pattern all over, this way and that.
Our students come back to school tomorrow for the official start of the school year. Life will be a lot busier. Hope I can fit plenty of creating into my year.