Teaching free motion machine quilting is one of the greatest pleasures in my life. When a quilter relaxes into quilting, the breathing changes, the focus changes, the rest of the group fades from the room. There is a very distinct memory of a quilter doing just this, in the middle of a very busy shop, what a beautiful moment. The over-thinking part of us, in that moment, becomes quiet as the stitching takes place. Being in that moment is so amazing. I’ve been there, in the middle of a busy place, simply enjoying the restorative, creative energy.
A few years ago I started a group on facebook called Lucy’s Nickles to work with a few quilters answering questions and helping them grow. The name is from the Peanuts character Lucy, who sets up a lemonade type stand and gives advice for five cents. A few years ago I mentored a quilter for a quite a while, his quilting changed over this time. So much so that his partner asked him what happened, “it’s like the lights are on now” (this is the gist of what he said.) Often through this process I asked more questions, than gave advice.
One of the gals in the group recently asked for a directed project. I’m game, so on Friday February 3, 2017 we’re starting a whole cloth project, which I’m currently in the process of designing. Once I have the bones designed I’ll post a pdf on the site, and part two of the discussion will start. We’re going to work fat quarter size as we all have fat quarters, and it’s a nice size for something of a piece of art.
You are welcome to join us on the facebook group. Click on the link above, I’ll approve membership. Please introduce you, tell us a little about your quilting. And let’s have some fun. Along the way I’ll ask questions, offer some suggestions, and give permission for you to use your seam ripper as you choose.
and Wow! does Debby Brown have exciting news. She has a new Craftsy Class “Free-Motion Quilting with lines, curves, and loops” The techniques Debby presents are suitable for long arm, mid-arm (like the HandiQuilter Sweet 16) and the home sewing machine.
There is an opportunity to win a free class, sign up for Debby’s newsletter – there will be a coupon code. See Debby’s blog for details.
*Note I started writing this early Friday morning and had the realization, “OhMiGosh I have to get to work” and made a mad dash to actually do that! Yes, I made it on time. No I did not finish this blog post. Surprise. The day was as busy as a bee hive. With NY City Traffic, dinner and an edit meeting with Melissa…well you can see how there was no Friday blog.
Thursday evening I met one of the gals taking my One Day Free Motion Quilting class at Hartsdale Fabrics. She’s a total newbie and by newbie I mean has never used a machine before. I can hardly wait to teach her. Yep you read that right I can hardly wait to teach her how to use the machine and how to play on said machine. I can hear the quilt police thoughts, “she’s learning quilting in the wrong way…piecing first, then machine quilting” And as I write that a Harry Chapin tune begins worming its way through my head, “Flowers are Red”.
As a quilter and a teacher I want to view quilting with fresh eyes and be inspired. I want to learn how to teach better and give my students the gift of being open to learning. I recently read a teachers bio (not sure if it’s a book review I’ve done recently or a blog so forgive the lack of a source) where she stated that she considers herself an Advanced Beginner. This gives her the freedom to continue learning, to make mistakes and be self-forgiving with them, to explore and play and have fun with her quilting. That’s inspiring! That’s giving yourself permission, that’s saying it’s okay to make mistakes. Mistakes are the best opportunities!
It’s not often I get to see a sunrise.
I do this morning because I’m an hour later than East Coast time.This part is so cool.
And this body of water that you see is the Mississippi.
I walked around the quilt show last night with Susan Brubaker Knapp to award our Faculty ribbons. If I have a chance today I’ll get pics of several quilts including the winners.
And the winners: Just WOW!
Today I teach beginner Free Motion Machine Quilting! This is one of my favorite classes. EVER!
I love answering questions about the quilting process.
Yesterday I was asked (on facebook) – I thought I’d share here
That cross hatch (it’s kinda wonky here but this isn’t a competition piece so I’m okay with that) is simply marked on the cloth using a Generals Chalk Pencil and an Omni-Grid Ruler.
I placed the 45 degree line along the edge of the Radiance – connecting with the lower left hand corner. Then marked all of the other lines, on a 1/2″ grid, based on that first line.
When I stitched it – it’s all done free hand. I’m not using a ruler for the lines (although it might be handy) or the BERNINA Stitch Regulator to get my stitches even (although I could).
In class speeding violations are issued when a quilter races their machine.
A good medium speed gives the control to be able to get good, even stitches.
By that medium speed I mean something that’s comfortable to move the quilt under the needle. I once and often describe it as a 50’s/70’s rhythm. Kind of like our heart beat at rest.
I am going to add in extra stitching here…that will be revealed in a day or two.
Have a great day!
Generation Q Nosy Poll we do some fun polls at Generation Q. The results of the poll get published in the upcoming issue. Let your voice be heard!
Continuing on with the feather tutorial and practice sessions from other quilters:
Today we meet Kellie, she’s new to following the blog. Welcome! Kellie sent me these images along with her email:
Hi Teri, I have been following your blog for the past few weeks and am on a mission to improve my skills and have more fun. I love your lessons and it has finally sunk in that if I can’t draw something with my pencil, why should I expect to be able to free motion it on my machine. Duh! My first set of lessons were done on my tablet with an app called Penultimate. I was able to do the practice on the screen. I am sending you a screen shot of the multiple pages of that practice session. Then I graduated to a dry erase board so there are some photos of that. Finally, here are 3 fabric samples. They are pretty terrible, and I plan to do more practice on them and get my curves to be smoother. I see the same type of mistakes on the fabric that I had on the app and the dry erase. I am the commenter KMA and you posted Karen McTavishes Utube video, which was very enlightening. I have watched it a couple times now and see something new each time.”
There are always opportunities to see something new. Do something a little bit differently. The more we practice both on paper and on cloth (with the good stuff) the better we get as quilters.