Machine Quilting Blog Hop Week 5

This week is the halfway point in the blog hop already!! The book the Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting by Angela Walters and Christa Watson is the book that I and three other bloggers are posting weekly about our free motion quilting progress.  Please go here to find the link to each of their pages! This week is the chapter called Quatrefoil. It is a lovely quilt pattern in the book however, I am focusing on all of the free motion quilting stitches used. This is the type of quilting that I do often so my practice was less work and more like a fun party time! As a long armer this is the shapes and curly loopy stitches that I like to make and comes more naturally in my quilting. In the video, at the end of the post,  I share the shapes to start learning with and how to do many of the stitches shared in this chapter. Click on each picture to see the details.

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Paisley, rainbows, pebbles and deep texture

This is the block in the sampler that I did using the paisley , pebbling , rainbows and echoing to achieve the dense texture. The next photo is the sampler and this is the center block.

ultimate machine quilting blog hop sampler

sampler quilt with all of the stitches

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Here is the practice piece. I especially love to use all the elements in a collage or graffiti style of quilting. I did all the stitches too, how many can you see ? If you have the book you should be able to pick out each pattern. I love every single one and use then quite often when I long arm. I hope you take the time to watch the videos to see how I did each of them!!

Remember the quilt pictures at the beginning? My mom made this quilt and I used all the elements we have learned so far in a collage or graffiti style quilt. Here is the video and how I did it!

Quilt on Vicki


show notes to podcast -1980s My Generation

Click on the link to listen to the podcast:


From the Swatch watch, Rick Astley, the colors and the movies like Willow, Purple Rain and Ferris Bueller’s Day off the 1980s is my generation. It is being rebooted and I am not sure how I feel about it all because my birthday is this week.



I will load my 50th birthday celebration quilt of my birthstone Emeralds on the frame next week.

The disaster is the orange quilt, it will be bound orange side up. The blog hop has been awesome and I have learned so much. I hope you join us as a giveaway is coming soon!

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just can’t believe it turned out like this

Here is the true confession: right side up of my continuous curve quilt. Not my favorite, but I really learned so much more by making this ugly thing than I have in the past year of quilting.

Quilt on!


Machine Quilting Blog Hop Week 4

boomerang free motion quilting



Boomerangs on the frame

This week is the chapter called Fractured Squares in the book “The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting” by Angela Walters and Christa Watson. HollyAnne, Kristin and Jen are joining me in this journey. The four of us are blogging our way through the book and each week that goes by we are practicing more and gaining confidence with each exercise. I am a long armer and the other ladies are using their domestic sewing machines. The patterns for the quilts in the book are amazing but we are focusing on the free motion quilting for the blog hop. Links to the previous weeks are on the side bar tab for the Machine Quilting Blog hop. Join the party at Instagram using hashtag #machinequiltingbloghop

ultimate machine quilting blog hop sampler

sampler quilt with all of the stitches

I used this quilt,  that was a block exchange, to practice on.I believe there are benefits of quilting for practice on a real quilt! I have done sandwich practice pieces but don’t find them to be as effective practice for me. I like seeing how this works on a real quilt.  Each week I chose a block and the second row, first block is the boomerangs. I will show how I quilted it in the video at the end of the blog post.

greek keys

Greek keys

greek keys

greek keys

Greek keys are also used in this chapter. They are easy to draw and free motion quilt. You make a box on three sides then on the fourth side, turn to the inside about 3/4 of the way through. Then you make 2 sides then echo the shape all the way out and continue the next greek key!

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Greek Keys drawing

I am sharing a video I made where I talk about making the boomerangs.

Join us next week! Quilt on!




Two quilts off to their homes

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I have been working really hard on finishing two customer quilts by the end of May. I had this fabulous batik queen sized quilt. I tried some new things. I used a ruler! I made each frame like a facet and the colored center had some dense quilting in it. I tried to the desires of the customer to keep the stitching linear and not curly or swirly. Wow, I had to really put my thinking cap on. It is amazing how we can get into set habits. I really enjoyed working on the quilt and it is all free motion. I even took the quilt off and turned it to do some straight line stitching. Lots of new things I learned and it all turned out in the end!

I also finished this really adorable t shirt quilt. It was so flat. I don’t know what stabilizer she used but it is amazing. I have never had such a great turn out for a knit quit top! I did overall swirls on it. The batting was just the right amount!


I am working on one of my Mom’s quilts now and I love making all over patterns for texture.

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Love free motion quilting!


Machine Quilting Blog Hop Week 3

machine quilting blog hop

The Book!

Welcome to week 3 of the blog hop. We are blogging our way through the book The Ultimate Guide to Machine quilting and three of my friends are joining me. You can go to HollyAnne , Kristin and Jen pages to read what their insights and takeaways are from the chapter. I am long arming and working from Angela’s perspective and they are using a domestic machine and from Christa’s perspective.

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Continuous Curve on my Granny Square Quilt


This week is a lesson of continuous curve.  This Means  quilting by traveling through out a block without breaking the thread. I did orange peel curves throughout the little squares in this block and did it row by row. I didn’t cut the threads and quilted an arc on three side of the square across the row of squares then worked my way back.

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Continuous curve in the triangle and a little more fmq

Here are more curves in the triangles. I then added free motion quilting around the triangle as I went.

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Christa Watson’s Improve block with continuous curve

Continuous curves in the points of the stars. Christa Watson designed this block for the Aurifil Designers of the Month last year. Here is the pattern link.

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the back of this weeks practice piece

Here is my  practice piece from this week. I did a continuous curve in the corners. A flower motif in between , a teardrop motif and then a stipple in the middle. I echoed the curve in the corners too, made a outline statement  and embellished it all with little ribbon candy and tried some pebbles. All individually are ok, not really sold on the floral motif. It is so large I had to mirror the shape when I rolled up the mini quilt. You have to learn to quit in all directions on a long arm. The take away from the chapter is that you have to practice some things over and over. I like the floral motif better when each petal overlaps  on this larger scale another takeaway from practicing. I also don’t like thread that contrasts with the fabric, that is on the other side. Next time, I may try marking some registration lines.  If you want to see how I quilted it watch the video below!

With time and practice we will see progress! Tips : on continuous curves and mirroring images go slower than you think you need to for accuracy. Picking thread that matches the background colors in the fabrics is more forgiving. Takeaway: Big blocks need to be well planned so when you advance the row you can mirror the quilting . Take pictures so you remember what you did!

And finally, if you are not feeling well, don’t try to learn new things and expect that it will be outstanding. Sometimes we should just wait a day when we are on our best thinking to try. Don’t rush and force it.

Remember the book is on sale at the publishers here, get yours to follow along!



Machine Quiltig Blog Hop Week 2

How was your week ? I hope you had time to practice at your machine! I did and it never ceases to amaze me the more I invest in practice, the better I get. Why is it that we forget that simple truth?!? Join me and HollyAnne, Kristin and Jen as we blog each week. And as an added bonus the book is on sale now, get your copy here .

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Chapter 2 in the book The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting by Angela Walters and Christa Watson is about contrast.  The quilt in this chapter is has 2 challenges- it has tons of colors, and it has long spaces that need to be quilted with a unifying texture very different from the background. Thread color can be overwhelming for this type of quilt but I am like Angela in this … I audition several neutral threads and pick the one that blends into the background color without standing out. I chose a light grey for the quilt in the photos in this post.

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flames in the background with the less successful leaf shape in the blue area

The take away from my practice session is that contrasting quilting isn’t easy to always decide. What I thought would be contrasting  texture didn’t turn out that way on my quilt block.  In hindsight I could have chose pebbling, or tiny swirls, or lines would have had more visual contrast of texture in the blue area of the quilt block. That is what practice is all about, experimenting and testing. I want to say I practice on my quilts. I have a long arm and it is very difficult to practice on little sandwiches.  I am practicing concepts on my quilts. I think that by actually making quilts with our practice we will be invested in improving our skills! Plus those WIPs turn into something finished!!!

The next lesson in the book, and what I had to really think about, is how to travel through the block without unnecessarily stopping and starting. This is something that takes a ton of planning. I started top left– quilted through the white fabric– then ended the flame stitch on the blue and traveled back to the left with the leafy stitch–  end in the white and travel back across the bottom in the flame stitch. Ok, hard to explain easier to see, there is a video link in the end. After some time and experience you won’t have to think about it so much,  you don’t want to back yourself into a corner and have to cut your threads! I really don’t like burying threads , it just isn’t fun.

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pebbles and circles

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Flame shape in the center, can you see how I did it ?

There are 2 stitches I chose to focus on from this chapter- flame shapes and pebbling. Pebbling is not easy for me and takes lots of brain power to do. It is gorgeous when done but very time consuming and I can get motion sickness doing too much of it! My video chat gives in depth detail on how I quilted it and the flame shapes. I also talk about my tips and takeaways from the book.

Click on the video for more discussion and a demo!

I  want to show you a great block of textural contrast, that was  the week 1 block! It is visually very pleasing to see all the contrasts and they worked very well together. I have a hashtag on Instagram that I feel is a very important lesson in life — looking back to look forward. I like to study each practice piece and evaluate what was successful and why. And the same for things that weren’t as successful.

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Quilt on my friends!


Exciting things episode Show notes

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Click here for the podcast!

Here is my block for week 1 of the Machine Quilting Blog Hop. Here is the first post. In this post are videos, my written takeaways and tips while working on the block using the book lessons as a guide. A directory is linked to the chalkboard in the sidebar.

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Here is the book!

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Here is the quilt I made from the orphaned blocks in my drawer from testing patterns for Quiltmaker 100 blocks magazine. Here is the post about the issue and the baker’s dozen I tested the patterns for.

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The simple garter stitch I am working on small size 4 needle.

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I went on the nature walk to look for 4 things for the prompt Challenge.  Link to the Facebook group is in the side bar!