bernina, Cherrywood fabrics, in my opinion, learning, quilt shows, quilting

Peek a boo

why be normalI picked up this little poster probably 25 years ago when I lived in Americus, GA working at Habitat for Humanity through the church I belonged to at the time.  I put a push pin through the plastic to pin it to the door.  It was my motto for the year. 

I’ve been tidying up and rearranging my sewing room on and off for the last week or so.  I’ve been holding onto scraps of fabric I’ve quilted with the thought that I’d make more tote bags with them.  Nope.  It ain’t gonna happen.  Out that all went.  What I found really fascinating, encouraging really, the machine quilting has really improved in the last 6 years since starting machine quilting.  My method of practicing has changed incorporating fewer prints and more solids and tone on tones.  What I teach hasn’t.  Stitching on border prints, over and through highly details prints (kaleidoscopes), dots, prints to commit the idea of line and shape and understand stitching patch is essential to good machine quilting.



Or how to make sure the tension is balanced

Yesterday afternoon I started working on my practice piece for an upcoming competition quilt.  The piece told me what I needed to know.  Several photos went off to the piecer of  said quilt and I’m waiting for her feedback.  Since I knew I’d be waiting for a bit I picked up and started stitching on this beauty.  The top is a medium gray from Cherrywood fabrics.  I’ve already stitched out spiraled flying geese and started filling in several areas with quilting.  There are two things here that I want to share with you:

1) I’m using different threads on the top and in the bobbin.  I found this quite helpful when I first started learning how to machine quilt to help me get the tension balanced and really develop an understanding of when to tighten and when to loosen the top tension.

pebbling flying geese gray

pebbling flying geese gray backsideand 2) I play peek a boo.  As I’m stitching I’ll occasionally stop to look at the back of the quilt making sure that I’m not seeing the top thread on the back. 

I play peek a boo even when I’m using the same thread top and bobbin because the tension can still be off meaning that some adjustment is necessary.  Because I prefer balanced tension in all of my quilts I frequently use different thread top and bobbin even on competition quilts.  I get dinged for this frequently in the judges comments however I’d rather know personally that I did a good job balancing my tension rather than hiding a problem.  No I’m not going after the judges or the critiquing process this is simply a statement of personal preference.

I’m off to a quilt show with a friend.


Go quilt your world!





1 thought on “Peek a boo”

  1. I, also, use different thread top and bobbin (wt and color) for much the same reasoning. Also, there are quite a few instances when the backing really does need the appropriate color used (just as the top does) to be pleasing. I don’t obsess about having 100% exact balance, however. Sometimes it’s just not possible! As long as it’s reasonable and I am loving the process/outcome then all is good!!! Super terrific post!!! Hugs………

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