. . . . . . Enjoying the journey of quilting

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Making Good Use of Time While Waiting!

Last Friday I took my car for its first year annual checkup. Yes! really. Sounds like a medical appointment doesn't it? I was offered a loaner car but I decided to wait instead the two hours they told me it would take. So armed with things to keep myself entertained I made good use of not 2 hours of waiting but 3 hours. I was so focused on what I was reading and doing that I hadn't realized that much time had gone by. Good thing!

I took with me notes from SewCalGal's 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge. I read and reviewed them preparing to quilt a Sampler Quilt made up of the blocks from Craftsy 2012 Block of the Month.

Originally I was leaning toward an overall design using a pantograph type stencil. I happened across Leah Day's website who was suggesting how to quilt a sampler quilt.  Leah took each block and penciled in quilting designs over each block. The quilt was transformed from a beautiful quilt to a show piece quilt.  I honestly don't believe my quilt will be changed to that degree but it will enhance it and allow me to practice free motion quilting, designing and planning. The quilt I will be quilting is made up of blocks from Craftsy Block of the Month 2012. I took each block picture and designed a quilting motif over each one.

 I had already begun one block in feathers, grid work and spacing, thus decided to follow through with while penciling a design in each block.

The top block is the Asterisk block. Isn't it amazing how you can change the design of a pieced block with a quilting design?

The second block is a variation of the Drunkard's Path, Cleopatra's Puzzle Block. Notice the feathers, gridwork and spacing.

The third block is an Octagon Block, a very simple block on its own. I love how the feathers makes the design look like a wreath.

Other takeaways from reviewing notes were suggested products that I wanted to google and order that will make free motion quilting easier!
They are:
  1. Clover Soft Touch Thread Pic for hiding or removing stray threads as it easily slips through fabric, leaving no marks or punctures. Check out other great uses for it here.
  2. Ecolux LED Light - A strip perfect to attached to the underside of the arm. It has no wires and does not take up workspace on the quilting table. It lights exactly where you need the light without causing shadows. There are various sizes. Want to know more about them go here.
  3. Alvin Brass Bullet Sharpener - This is a sturdy pencil sharpener. Great for those white or other marking pencils. It is inexpensive. Check it out here.

In my initial block, one of the corner block's feathers is not in size with the other two so it will need to be ripped out - maybe it will remain if the lack of perfection doesn't change my mind to rip and begin again! Notice the feathers and curved grid work? Love, love curved grid work. I used a free motion hopper foot for the curved grids   but changed to using the walking foot for more uniformed and straight stitching. I used the free motion quilting hopper foot for the feathers.

In preparation to wait I also took along a book that has been on my shelf for several years. Reading it again I realized how this book needs to be read or memorized.  It is so comprehensive that it would probably serve better as a resource book. Harriet Hargrave, a pioneer in the free motion quilting movement published Heirloom Machine Quilting 4th Edition. She covers the following in her book:
  • Getting Your Space Ready
    • Preparing your Work Space
    • Sewing Machines and Accessories
    • Threads and Needles
  • Preparing the Top for Quilting
    • Planning Ahead
    • Choosing Designs to Quilt
    • Stencils, Marking Techniques, and Markers
    • Layering and Pin-Basting
    • Packaging and Preparing to Quilt
  • Quilting Techniques
    • Straight-Line Quilting: Ditch Quilting
    •  Straight-Line Quilting: Lines and Grids
    • Free-Motion Quilting: Basics
    • Free-Motion Quilting: Beyond Basics
    • Feathers
    • Padded Quilting
    • Master-Level Quilts
  • Quilting Designs
Couple other valuable ideas that I learned was trading out bifocals for magnifying glasses. I haven't tried it yet as I gave all of them to Goodwill. I do use a magnifying glass that I purchased from Sharon Schambers at the Paducah Quilt Show several years ago. The magnification works great but sometimes the bendable post that holds the glass gets in my way. Another thing that has been helpful is trading out my armless chair for one with arms. Amazing what a difference that makes.

After waiting and making a trip to pick up one of my client's mail I stopped off at my local quilt shop to purchase marking pencils. What fun that ended up being. One of the founding members of the Charlotte Quilt Guild was there. She was so entertaining and such an inspiration. She must have been in her 80s but believe me she was young! We were in stitches listening to her stories. I love quilters!

Linking up with Free Motion Quilting for Linky Tuesday. Come join us!

If you enjoyed reading this post please leave a comment or anything that is on your mind!

Quilt hugs,


  1. I'd say you made excellent use of the time you spent waiting on your car! I wouldn't rip out those feathers. From what I could tell, it looks fine! I need to finish my 2012 Craftsy blocks.

  2. Your quilt is going to be so lovely! As always, I can't wait to see it progress!

    Some great suggestions and helpful tools! Thanks for sharing.

  3. I certainly admire your free motion skills, Joanie! I definitely need to practice more.... Lack confidence mostly! Just became your newest follower on Bloglovin!


  4. beautiful quilting and wonderful designs, ohhhh just leave the feather as it is, I think it looks great. Part of the appeal of fmq is that everything is Free Motion and not generated like a computer. It's hand made and looks divine!!!

  5. Dropped by from Freemotion by the River - I have the Heirloom Machine Quilting book too, I love it :)


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