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!




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!



Free Motion Quilting ideas for your Toolbox

I have started to record some basic shapes for you to practice as skills for your free motion toolbox. On May 1 the Blog Hop is starting for The Ultimate Guide for machine Piecing and I am part of it. You can read more about the details here. I thought as a lead up to the big kick off we could talk about go to stitches that you may want to practice before May. Switchbacks are a shape of gently wiggling back and forth . It has skills of quilting between lines, moving from left to right and turning a border. You can see these skills in the video. The videos are also on my You Tube channel for reference!

Ok, this video is sideways. However you can see how I made curls and ribbon candy. The ribbon candy is a switchback with more curve and flourish to it. Curls are like a quilters thumbprint. No two people will make them the same but the basic shape is the basis for many free motion quilting stitches.

And lastly is the straight line. Long armers can do horizontal line easily with a channel lock as shown. Vertical lines are more tricky and you can use a ruler, a future video, or my favorite way is to just eyeball it. Stay tuned, more indepth discussion of the book to come!


Show Notes

Click on link


for the podcast

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Here is the top of the quilt that is a Quilt for Cure quilt that I am straight line quilting. It will be going to  a child who is fighting cancer and I hope it brings warmth and comfort to the child as well as the parents.


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Here is my Friendship Triangles quilt that was a great exchange. Here is a link to the Book



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Here is the progress I have made in my knitted cowl. It is a nubby cotton. Love the lightweight feel. The next picture is my drawing of feathers for the practice of eye/hand coordination. It helps me to draw these patterns out over and over.

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The Blog Hop Book!

The badge on the side bar can be clicked and a directory of the blogs participating will be available.



Tool Box Videos

I am practicing using my camera to obtain videos of stitches that I think are the basic shapes every free motion quilter needs in their toolbox, the go to stitches that you are very confident in making. In the blog hop we are exploring many stitches and I will be posting the basic shapes leading up to the May 1st kick off. Be watching for other stitches every couple of days to show how they are made and then watch how they will be incorporated together in a quilt!

New Ideas

When your sewing machine is broken, you have extra time if you are a quilter. I have no tops that are deadlined but I have a few things I could be working on. I want to remake a couple of quilts on a small scale for samples. Maybe, I may just go with the quilts I have because I really am not excited about remaking anything just for the sake of a photo.

Sooo I have decided to try a test for a vlog. This required some thought, figuring out my camera, how to monitor my video and edit the photo if I want. That took hours!!! Video blog a couple times a month at first  and my idea is to simultaneously record my podcast. I am going to try it out and see if it is something I can do. I think I can. I don’t want my vlog to be complicated or super long. I like simplicity and eventually maybe have some how tos or show and tell , maybe those videos will just be shorts for my facebook page on quilting. I plan to post it to You Tube, my Vicki Holloway Quilting Facebook page and here.

here is the test video:

So what other creative projects have I worked on? I made the grand daughters Easter Egg amigurumis. Some have little chicks in them. I really don’t know why my eggs are all different sizes! Ok, I am not consistent in tension and that is why I NEVER make anything in pairs like mittens or socks! I long armed two quilts since my last post and here are the backs. I have 3 customer quilts in queue and several of my own. I won’t be bored while my sewing machine is out. In fact, I have a cowl on my knitting needles that I started back up on. It is a nubby cotton and will be perfect for summer and vlogging accessories.

I am really working on being healthy with diet and exercise. I have lost a couple of pounds, been to gym more consistently. I am going to try to get outside a bit and straighten up the gardens and fairy gardens. See the poppies are coming up! We had snow last week! I am looking forward to spring and having some sunshine. And last nights bright mood did look like a Pink Moon for April. Yes, stargazing at the dark sky park will be soon for me!!!

Check out my Vicki Holloway Quilting page on Facebook for those who find it easier to keep in touch!


100 day project and quilts off the frame and dreams of the future



It has been banner week for me. I  took 3 quilts off the frame. I will show the backs of them and once they are delivered (ok one is the first row) , I will do another blog post with the front of them plus details. Just wanted you to know that I have been long arming a lot. I want to increase my long arming as part of my overall goals. I have lots of business goals for 2016 and launching ideas into 2017 that you will see as I go. I decided that there is no time like the present to move forward. The blog will change a little and the dream is that it will include a store by the new year. I am so excited and hope you will be too!

I think it amazing how much response I have from the small things to increase my business. First off, I told my friends and family I was looking for more work. They knew over the holidays I was busy but then I was caught up. I also had a friend start working at a local quilt shop and I found out that I didn’t have any more business cards there, got a couple of calls once my cards were back on the shelf. I started visiting the local shop more because I needed things. I met the new staff and started making connections with them. Small steps, and results already. My next step is to let my readers know I accept quilts in the mail. That will be my next problem to solve. And as you can see from my picture, I don’t like meetings and talking about stuff… I like to do. However, I did have one very productive meeting with a mentor in the quilting business and it was fantastic. NOW to DO IT.



The 100 day project is a concept that I heard of through local Arts Councils. They encouraged 100 days of creating your art and having a show and tell at the end of the completed project. I did that in years past and found that I do create every day. I do big projects all the time and last year I made a whole cloth quilt and Zentangled to help me achieve the goal. So in February this year I decided when the first 100 day project kicked off I didn’t want to do a big project at the end as I had many deadlines. And this year many people are making the project their own…. 100 days of health, 100 days of color etc. I loved the prompt challenge idea I had from all the photo a day challenges I do on Instagram. So I wrote the prompts and started a Facebook Group. Wow we are growing and I continue to do the prompt challenges on FB and Ig as my 100 day project. It is a 100 day project of doing funny, childlike, creative things to jump start my day. Everything I do sparks a creative Idea. Having creative people in person and online also sparks more ideas and it goes on and on.

Its been a banner week and so far an exceptional year. Stay tuned because big things are coming!

Remember the Blog hop for The Ultimate Guide to Machine quilting starts May first!

I just gotta figure out how to buy a new shirt, look a professional and be able to go to lunch and not drop red food on the white stripe !! I was at home so i washed it but seriously what are the chances!!! And never in a good spot of the shirt for food to land. Bib anyone?