I've never said I know everything there is to know about quilting. Recently I learned that I'm not producing it quite right yet, either!
I was humbled to receive quilt scores from judges who examined Bloom, the quilt juried into, and shown at the Machine Quilter's Expo (MQX) in New Hampshire earlier this month.
Here's a picture of the quilt, in case you don't remember.
I'll start by telling you I wasn't a winner. I'll even be brutally honest and show you my quilting scores:
Out of a possible 80 points, I received 64. It would have been nice to have been able to ask the judge about my thread choices - what would have been more appropriate? As for thread tension; stitch length; and starts/stops... those scores aren't such a surprise. No matter how long you've been free motion quilting - for me it's 14 years - it's tough to maintain an even stitch length (without using a stitch regulator), and those blasted stops and starts... well. Most quilters who know me know that I like to just lock the stitches and then cut them off. I know what I should be doing instead... taking the time to rethread and bury the tails in the batting. Oh, but that sounds SO tedious!
Note the comment, on the left. If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you'll remember that this is the quilt that I thoroughly marked up (for FMQing) with Frixion pens, in different colors. And then, after pressing the quilt to remove the marks, I washed the quilt... and every mark came back! It was a really tough lesson. No more Frixion pens on my quilt tops! Even though I touched up the quilt top with an iron before sending it to MQX, apparently I missed removing some pen color.
This is the first time I've ever received a judges score sheet that gave me so much feedback. I'm learning, and will keep striving to improve.
Now it's my turn to share with you! Not only about these Fine Line Rulers by Accents in Design - I really like them and plan to use them more often - but also about how nice it is to have a different quilting foot for doing ruler work. This is the open-toed foot I bought on Ebay. Though I could FMQ with the regular foot, the higher "heel" (quarter-inch thick height) makes ruler work a breeze!
And I love that the needle is only about 3/16th of an inch from the ruler - a narrower distance for eyeballing making lines meet, as I did when I was making this elongated V. I used my curved ruler, at intervals, to achieve the cone effect.
There was no plan to my playing as I tried out this new foot. In this design, I quilted one arc with the curved ruler, and then quilted with the straight-edge ruler. The lines aren't evenly spaced, but they could be by simply by using a measuring ruler to make a registration mark at regular intervals.
With another curved shape ruler I managed to make clamshells. No marking!
Effective quilting would be a different design in each clamshell.
Much like you, I find free motion quilting design ideas by observing what other quilters are doing. Here are a few (in no particular order) whose work I admire, with links to their blogs.
Domestic Machine Quilters
Karen, Nana Girl Quilts, Florida
Marelize, Stitch by Stitch, South Africa
Patricia, Happy Days Quilting, United Kingdom
Wendy, Ivory Spring, Virginia
Emma, Sampaguita Quilts, Australia
Geta, Geta's Quilting Studio, Romania
Patsy, Patsy Thompson Designs, Ohio
Jenny, Sew Kind of Wonderful, California
Angela, Quilting is My Therapy, Missouri
Aren't we glad to live with technology at our fingertips, where the work of such talented women can so easily been seen?! Linda