FAQ’s and a Winner!!

Wow! Thanks for all the great questions that you all have been sending my way.  I am excited to answer a few of them for you today.

First up  is a comment from April:

I just found your blog! I have been quilting for many years. I am at the point with the kids gone the majority of the time that I am getting about a quilt a month done. It is getting pretty expensive to keep sending it out to get quilted and so I have been extremely interested in trying my hand at machine quilting…I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE TO START! any suggestions?? other than stitching in the ditch…I’ve done nothing!

Sometimes, just getting started is the hard part!! If you are very new to free-motion quilting, here are some tips to get you started. First, find a quiting design that you want to try. Start with something on the easy side such as a meander or a loopy design. Get out a piece of paper and draw a couple of boxes. Using a pencil, or a pen, start filling in the box with the design. Practicing filling in the box without picking up the pencil and without going outside of the box. This will help you figure out how to fill in the quilting area and teach your mind where to go next.

Once you feel like you know how to do the design, it’s time to go for it on your machine. Don’t get too tense, relax your body and just go for it. Once you are comfortable with that design, add to it. For instance if you feel comfortable quilting a meander, try adding some loops or making the meander smaller. The point is to always be pushing yourself to learn new designs and add your own twist to them. Good Luck!!

This next one isn’t so much a question but a great point that Mary makes:

While there are a handful of people who are able to do beautiful work after just a few weeks of practice, I think for the most part it is something that occurs after many hours of practice. I have spent several years practicing and taking classes just to feel somewhat adequate at my longarm. Oftentimes I am very unhappy with what I have done, and spend lots of hours ripping out.

Is there anything worse then un-quilting?? It is the worst job in the world. If you are just learning how to quilt, don’t rip out the quilting (unless it’s a tension issue). Even if it isn’t perfect, you are going to get better faster by quilting, not re-doing stuff you have already done. Try not to be your worst critic! Chances are, when the quilt is washed and loved on, you won’t hardly notice the imperfections. In fact, I still have the first quilts I quilts with the crappiest quilting ever. They are a great reminder of where I started! By the way Mary, I have seen your quilting and I think you are fantastic!

Chelsea had another great question:

I wanted to ask you, for your really detailed quilting like those micro pebbles, do you use a set of micro drive handles or just the regular ones? And do you still use so fine or move to something smaller like bottom line?

I use So Fine thread for 90% of my quilting whether it is big desings or the smaller micropebbles. The other 10% of the time I use cotton thread for the customers that request it. And I don’t have the micro drive handles, but I am thinking about getting some. Those tiny designs kill my elbows!

Thanks for some great questions, keep them coming!

And now for the winner of the quilt Kona Color card and one yard of Kona solid fabric:

Congrats Bri!! Send me an email with your address and I will get these sent out to you!

Happy Quilting!!



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  1. I love quilting and have recently started looking into long arm quilting. I want to start a business doing long arm quilting and was wondering how you started out doing that? What may be the first step to this wonderful art. I have been sewing for over 15 years and quilting for the last 10 years. I have been quilting on my sewing machine so I am limited in scope and have recently started looking at long arm and since I love the whole quilt process I was hoping you could help me out with where to start. By the way you do beautiful work.

  2. Thank you Angela! I am really enjoying your blog posts.

  3. I couldn’t agree with you more about not ripping out your stitching. I think just as learning to piece quilts or any other skill one acquires FMQ should be thought of as a journey and all the stitches- good bad or ugly- are just stepping stones along the way. I try not to focus so much on the bad and ugly, but to instead remember to keep practicing them so they eventually get better. I have found by doing this my skills keep steadily improving. If I took the time to rip out every bad or ugly stitch along the way I would never have kept going- it would have been way to frustrating. Thanks again for all your wise words Angela- you are making the world of FMQ a better place for us all!

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