Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Flying (Geese) Finish

Almost 16 months ago, I made my first 12-inch, foundation paper-pieced, Circle of Geese block. It's a free pattern you can download here.

Nine blocks later, here's the finish in it's new habitat: Florida.

Of course I had to scope out a palm tree to include in my pictures. This little tree belongs to neighbors. (Alas, we do not yet have a palm tree in our own yard and, the palm tree class I was to have taken last week was cancelled!)

My first practice block was put to use on the quilt back.

Though outline stitching was done entirely free-motion, for the first time I used a BSR (Bernina Stitch Regulator), on my new Bernina, for fill-in quilting.

The BSR worked great for all over quilting like the jagged points design.

So what's my take on the BSR? Since I've been quilting for the past 13 years without a stitch regulator, I feel comfortable that my FMQ quilting stitches are mostly consistent. Still, I have the occasional flub that keeps me humble, like when I move too fast around a curve and the stitch length is too long. In those instances, the BSR does a better job of keeping up with me. But the BSR doesn't prevent skipped stitches. As with most sewing machines, when I get to bulky areas where seams are stacked, skipped stitches still occur. I don't know what to do about those, whether I'm quilting with or without a regulator.

I found that the BSR didn't help much when I was quilting a small design - those pebbles, for example. I think it's difficult for the BSR to focus on a small stitching space. What are supposed to be curved stitches still seem somewhat linear (jerky?) for lack of a better term. I think I can make prettier circles on my own.

All in all, I'm glad to have the BSR feature as I think it will be a nice option when I want to quilt all over, fluid designs - stippling, meandering, snail trails, feathers. But for outlining, stitch-in-the-ditch (which I always say is really "stitch-in-the-valley") and small detail work, I'll probably either disengage the BSR, or quilt on my Pfaff Grand Quilter. The Pfaff has the advantage of having a larger, 9-1/2 inch opening (harp). It's nice to have sewing machine options.

My Circle of Geese quilt is finished with my world-famous-very-different-yet-highly-effective binding method. See my amazing, machine-sewn corners, binding tutorial here if you'd like to try sewing binding in a way that will transform your life. Okay. Well. That's a slight exaggeration. But do give it a go. I bet it's unlike any binding you've ever sewn to a quilt!

Circle of Geese Quilt
44" X 44"
Foundation paper pieced with 50-weight Aurifil thread for piecing
White Rose batting
YLI polished polyester 50-weight thread for quilting
World-famous-very-different-yet-highly-effective binding

Thursday morning my sewing room closet is being customized. Behind twin bi-fold doors will be two upper rows of shelves, and floor to ceiling adjustable shelves on both the far right and far left sides. After living here for six weeks, it's about time to put stuff away. Yay! Linda


  1. I love your Circle of Geese quilt. It's amazing. Thanks also for your input regarding the BSR. I must say, I've had very similar issues/problems. I'm in the process of FMQing and I'm nearly tearing my hair out as I have so many missed stitches. I've changed the needle already a few times and changed to thread from Aurifil cotton (50)to Guetermann cotton (50). I get better results with the Guetermann, but it's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. I'm doing spirals by the way. What thread do you have the best results with? Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much. xx

  2. What an amazingly beautiful quilt! Thank you for sharing the link to the pattern, as I've wanted to try that block for a long while!

    I don't have a Bernina that supports the BSR, due to the price, but I do love my Bernina. I thought your insight was very helpful.

    Have a great day!

  3. I love everything about it. The bold colors again the grey and the circle geese pattern. The back is fantastic as well. And quilting free motion on a regular sewing machine is truly a feat.

  4. Really pretty - love the gray. Hope the installation goes well.

  5. FABULOUS!! Perfectly reversible, too, with that back. :D

  6. What a bright, happy, Florida-style quilt! I should tell you I've been doing some free motion quilting using my (ex-Jill's) Bernina 1230 the last few days and I love it. I also used the walking foot to straight line quilt a few weeks ago with great success. It mightn't have the BSR or the big harp, but it handled a QS quilt quite satisfactorily. I really must bite the bullet and try your binding method. It just looks so difficult after the easy way we learnt at SM. Want to come and show us ?

  7. Oh, wow, oh, wow! It is darling, dear Linda! i think you could win yourself another Bernina with this one. Your colors are bright and beautiful. Your quilt lines add to the dimensional interest! One of my quilt class friends was complaining about her BSR at class this week, I'll send her to your post ~

  8. HI Linda I love your latest quilt A Circle of Geese, it is beautiful and I love the colors with the gray . I went and read the binding tutorial and although it seems complicated I want to give it a try. I am not good at reading things as I am visual.
    Looking forward to seeing your new closet. Take care and enjoy the sun.I have meant to ask you if you and your husband are golfers? Blessings Sandra

  9. This is so gorgeous! Great job on the FMQ as well.

  10. How fun is that secondary windmill pattern that you accomplished with the grey/white background! What a pretty quilt, Linda. I'm thinking of you getting your sewing closet organized today.....enjoy!

  11. Linda, Your quilting and piecing skills are just beautiful. Such a fun and happy quilt. Congratulations for finishing in such a timely manner considering all the moving and organizing! What a woman! jill

  12. wow! so amazing! and look at the palm tree! off to see the link for the binding.

  13. Your quilt looks fantastic and so does the back. I used to use the BSR and I remember those skipped stitches. Somewhere I read to go up a needle size. I'm not sure if that would help. Wendy Sheppard over at Ivory Springs would know and she's very generous with her knowledge.

  14. Love love love that quilt!!! The colors just pop - I hope it's going to be entered in a show?

  15. I LOVE your circle of geese quilt - its so effective with the different coloured backgrounds - and a palm tree class ?? here in Australia I'm pretty sure we just put them in the ground :)

  16. This is a stunning quilt Linda, as usual your fabric/colour choices are fabulous! Perfect for your new home too!

  17. This is so great! I love how you did the alternating white and greys. That really stands out.

  18. Your quilt is striking and I love your quilting.

  19. Your quilt is AMAZING. I love the way you chose to place your colors. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

  20. I'm visiting from Kati's End of the Hallway link up. I was drawn to your quilt right away. I LOVE this! A circle of geese quilt is definitely on my bucket list!

  21. how do you piece the star into the circle? Is there a pattern for that?


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