Friday, March 23, 2018

Pre-School Scribbles to Free Motion Quilting



A news story yesterday gathered my attention recently. It was a local piece about a young lady who had won a handwriting award from a national society. I can't remember seeing an award such as that recently or maybe it's just not reportable anymore. There has been buzz lately regarding how cursive writing is no longer taught in schools. It is one of the archaic subjects the educational gurus feel we no longer need.

I beg to differ and see handwriting, cursive in particular, as one of those necessary subjects. Sure we're all on the computers these days and keyboards have taken the place of our scribblings on paper. We jot down the grocery list on an App on our phone or talk to Google or Alexis to remind us to buy milk, toilet paper, and eggs. But in order to fully communicate with each other, it is necessary to put into writing, or to put down on paper, our thoughts, feelings, and expressions. It is also necessary to be able to read the communications from another. Receiving a hand written letter still can't quite take place of an email or a text message.

The very performance of handwriting trains our brain to move our hands in a particular direction. It requires the firing of those little neurons to move the muscles in our hands to perform a ballet of swirls and swishes to create sensible scribbles of communication.

As quilters, handwriting is transformed into our quilting motions to create free-form designs for our finishing stitches applied to our quilt tops. In teaching free motion quilting, I often start new quilters with what they know – writing their name in cursive. It is the motion they are most familiar with. So that leads me to the subject of the next string of blog posts. We're going to talk about free motion quilting on a domestic sewing machine or long arm. You can be a beginner or more experienced quilter wanting to improve their free motion quilting skills.

So grab a notebook with plenty of paper and sharpen your pencils. Were going to brush up on our cursive skills and who knows, maybe you'll be up for a handwriting award next year!