A friend was recently writing about keeping a sketchbook and it got me thinking. I do keep sketchbooks, and I have a few for different purposes - utilitarian working out of ideas, decorated journal pages and true sketchbooks for drawing what I see. But I don't use any of them on a schedule, and I probably should. We all know that regular practice improves a skill.
My free-motion quilting skills have been languishing a little and I need to quilt some work that I don't want to stuff up. I also want to improve my skills of drawing with the machine, not just doing pretty patterns. Practice is needed. So I've made up some fabric sketchbook pages, just 8 inch x 11 inch spray basted sandwiches, and I intend to use one every day to draw something.
I don't have one of those teflon slider mats (they are rather pricey and I'm trying to give the credit card a little rest) so I cut a tiny hole in one of my silicone pressing sheets and taped it down over the bed of my machine table. It made it noticeably easier to move my work, so a proper slider sheet is now on my 'when I'm feeling rich' list.
It's not bad for a first effort. My teapot is not quite the right shape, but it least it's recognisable! It's tricky when the picture disappears behind your presser foot and I'm not sure if I can turn the work and sketch upside down like you can when you are just making patterns.
I'll try and be regular about this practice and hopefully I'll see an improvement as I go.
Are there any skills you are using regularly to try and gain an improvement with?