Ultimate Guide To Machine Quilting Blog Hop Week 1

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May 1 is here and that means we (HollyAnne, Jen, and Kristin)  are kicking off the blog hop for Angela Walters and Christa Waston’s book pictured -The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting!!! We will be posting once a week on Mondays for 10 weeks !!! This wonderful resource is written from the point of view of both a long armer and a sit down quilter. Bonus there are quilt patterns for each chapter, too!

Click on each name and it will take you to their blog of the people participating in the hop ! This blog hop is designed for you to have the book for reference and I will talk about my takeaways each chapter. I will also show pictures and some video of my progress. I want to share what I learned to make me a better free motion quilter. Here is our directory page for future reference.


squares on a string

A little about me. I am a long arm quilter and the only long armer in the blog hop. I have been free motion quilting for 6 years on a Baby Lock Jewel with a 16 inch throat space on a 10 foot frame that is set up at the end of my bed. Yep, the only room in the house big enough! I have a few stitches that I considered mastered in my tool box-swirls, circles, echos, loops and curls. I am still learning straight lines! The tool box is those ‘go to’ stitches that you use often and , then get good at them so you can use their variations, too. I have to say that free motion quilting takes lots of practice to see results. I must agree with the authors of the book who say that practicing is really important. It really is not much different to compare it to when I was a kid and  I took lessons on playing the violin. I practiced every day for the eye/hand coordination for the basics and then practice continued for more advanced lessons as I mastered beginning skills.

Little switchbacks and curls

The book starts out by  talking about how to improve quilting. My take away was practice often but practice different things, too, to enhance your skills and make your tool box bigger. Also, we need to learn the limitations of our machines. There are limitations on long arms and we must approach things differently vs a table top machine where the quilt is being pushed through.

Chapter 1 Plumb Lines

This chapter emphasizes stitching straight lines! Oh no, something that I am not very good at and this is the perfect time to practice. I am just learning to use a ruler and my channel lock after all this time. However, I did  decide to quilt a whole quilt with the channel lock to practice those lines. Horizontal lines are easier to do vs vertical lines on a long arm.

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Tip: load the quilt horizontally to minimize start and stops of the lines.

Also read the section carefully about letting go of perfection. We are quilting free motion stitches…. it will not look the same as stitches created by computers. That is the beauty of it!

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Quilt I am using for the blog hop

I had several blocks from a block swap and I added a few I made myself that turned into a top for this blog hop. I used some of the stitches talked about in the chapter and then spent my time quilting between spaces and then outlined areas for emphasis. This was the lesson in the chapter. I chose to quilt between the Logs on a modern log cabin block in the upper left of the quilt. I did incorporate some lines to practice more!

Click on each photo to see more detail.

Below is a video and talk of the process used to quilt the first block.

I did do some toolbox quilt videos and you can see them in previous blog posts or on my You Tube channel for ease to look them up here. The tool box videos have videos on swirls, circles, echos, loops and curls

Take away:

There are many stitches that work well together in a quilt. Emphasize areas of a quilt by outlining the area by stitching in the ditch.

Until next week, Quilt On!

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Add your free motion quilt process based on this first chapter by clicking on the link box with the frog below!!!

We are also posting to Instagram using the hashtag #machinequiltingbloghop. If you want to get to the directory of bloggers and info about the blog hop click on the chalkboard on the sidebar.




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