Thursday, July 26, 2012

Audience with the Queen

Not Elizabeth. Not Latifah. I'm off to see the Queen of Quilting, Jill Schumacher!

Tomorrow is the beginning of a three-day quilting retreat at a not-so-local quilt shop, Always Quilting, a 45-minute drive away (In commute traffic?! Don't count on it!). They're providing breakfast, lunch and dinner, so I'll be machine quilting all day and into the night. The machine quilting gods should grant me better stitches after this!

Meanwhile I am not putting all my faith in the gods, I am continuing on my own fmq quest. Not only have I been making samples of Leah Day's beginner-intermediate fillers, I am fmq'ing two fillers onto this ufo.
12x12 ufo from machine quilting workshop
One filler, Leah Day's Matrix, in three samples.
three Matrix samples
The top one in turquoise is from a couple of years ago. The other two just recently. 

I cheated on the larger scaled one by stitching each line from back to front. Result: smoother stitches. It's really tempting to turn a piece and very easy for small ones. 

The smaller scaled one provides a more honest appraisal. No turning. Result: wobbly lines. Really shows I need more practice stitching in other directions. Still it's an improvement from the very first sample. So it is true . . . practice practice practice

The second filler is the popular pebbling pattern. 
pebbling sample
I took an hour to stitch this. Of course Leah's was faster and more beautiful. 

Here's the UFO stitched with the two fillers plus a bonus. 
quilted ufo
I went micro! Those small tight spaces screamed for tiny stitches. You can see how much smaller I quilted in this side by side comparison.
samples with quilted ufo
It was good practice for this next UFO. 
18x18 ufo from machine quilting workshop
The markings are barely visible. It's essentially the same pattern with additional long feathers on each side. And better fabric instead of muslin. 

I'll quilt this later. Right now I am getting ready to meet the Queen.


  1. Sandy Ciolino7/29/12, 9:32 PM

    The improvement in your machine quilting skills is crystal clear to me!

    1. Thank you, Sandy! I feel more confident about my quilting after thie 3-day workshop. Will post about that soon.

  2. Wow you are really getting good! Ohio Star is a tough block to quilt. It almost lends itself more to a hand-quilted grid since any machine-quilted design will have to be small and too dense for the pattern. I look forward to seeing what you come up with! This is certainly your year for fmq!

  3. Thanks, Annette! Small and dense is not a problem! In fact, I think it is easier. An errant line hides better then than when the stitching is more sparse.