Things got real on Saturday morning when I’d filled up my scribble sample on the new long arm machine and decided to load an actual quilt. I’d been working on multi-directional control as I moved the machine around the practice fabric, trying to translate my free motion skills into what feels like another language, and the practicing was proving its effectiveness. As with all free motion quilting, practice makes progress, not perfection, but definitely progress 🙂
I got to the end of the sample piece and stitched out the overall interlocking geometric design I do on certain quilt tops to give them a modern look and cool texture without quilting too densely. It’s good for print heavy quilt tops where a lot of fancy quilting doesn’t really show up anyway, it’s pretty simple to learn (it’s part of my private free motion quilting lesson) and also a great design for quilts for guys who aren’t quite as appreciative of flowers and feathers as some of us ladies are! LOL
Once I was confident enough to take it to an actual quilt, I loaded up one of the tops I’ve had ready to go and got started. This pattern is called “Wiggle” and it’s from the book Modern One-Block Quilts by Natalia Bonner and Kathleen Whiting. I recommend this book for modern quilt lovers; there are twenty-two patterns and instructions for three different sizes with each one. I love the way this pattern turned out and I will definitely be making it again!
Natalia is one of my very favourite online teachers and continues to be a strong influence on my own quilting journey. Check out her website at Piece and Quilt where she regularly posts photos of quilts she’s working on and shares videos of her quilting process. She does a lot of modern quilting which I really enjoy and she’s a RULER NINJA!
I used Maker’s Home fabrics from Windham for the prints, and Moda Bella Solid Prussian Blue for the sashing and binding. It’s quilted with So Fine 50wt thread, top and bobbin, from Superior Threads. I also tried a new-to-me batting, which you can’t see, but I’ll mention it anyway: Quilter’s Dream Poly Deluxe. I can’t find Quilter’s Dream battings in Canada, so I’ve imported a few from the US, but I really like them. This deluxe is a heavier weight batting than I’ve used in the past and it has a different effect, so I’m glad I tried it and now have another great option to add to my list.
It was so exciting – and a little unbelievable – to actually be working at my own long arm machine on a real quilt and seeing everything working so well. This is clearly the beginning of a beautiful relationship LOL
Stitching out this simple free motion geometric design gave me lots of opportunity to practice controlling the machine in every direction, get used to the way it sounds as I go, notice how it behaves along the way, and to experience success that motivates me to get the next one loaded on the frame. But my next one is calling for some fancier stitching and custom quilting with ruler work and I’m hesitating just a little …
I already have customers waiting for me to be ready for their bigger quilt tops now that I’m not limited to what I can handle on the sit down machine, but I really want to get in what I consider to be enough good solid practice time doing various designs that I’m used to already before I stitch on someone else’e beloved project 🙂 Thankfully a great piecer friend of mine is sending me a couple to practice on so I’m going to try some fun designs on those and hopefully that will get me ready for the next phase of customer quilts.
I did a short video while I was stitching this one, so if you’re interested check it out below.