BCQuilter's Weblog

Mulling over quilting design ideas…

Posted on: 25 October 2010

As you know, one of my biggest challenges is machine quilting.  If I just get down to it, and do it, it does not seem to be such a challenge, but when I want to do something “beautiful” I get stumped.  Ever feel that way?  Or is it just the actual sitting down in front of your quilt and machine, and trying to wrangle a design using free motion quilting.

Perhaps what we all need is to take a class on Machine Quilting?  Wouldn’t that help alleviate some of our intimidation?  I have several books on Machine Quilting, all which I have thoroughly enjoyed reading, and then it is the “I should do that” routine.  You know, I need to find time to do that.  Pffft!  We never ever ever ever… and I mean never find the time.  We have to MAKE the time.  So how do we do that.  We want to make that next quilt top, but then we put it aside because our quilting skills are not where we think they should be.  Hmmm.   I have a number of quilt blocks I have made – I have a perpetual calendar that is a Block a Day, and some of the blocks were very quite interesting – I could sandwich them and practice all these skills these books highly recommend you do.  Practice!  Practice!  Practice!    I think orphan blocks would make the ideal practice piece.  To be honest, what would I do with a “quilting sampler”.   Sure, it is easy to cut a 12″ piece of fabric, sandwich it, and then practice a quilting technique.  It just is not a finished product.  I want to make a finished product.  Or am I just making excuses.

I think I may have mentioned many blog entries ago, or was that on another quilting community, well it doesn’t matter, as I am going to mention it now.  As I mentioned (just mentioned in fact), I have several books on quilting and how to do it.  I also have a couple of DVDs of Patsy Thompson’s.   I like her easy-going manner, and even though she has had a LOT more practice then me, I feel that I could just sit down and follow her techniques.  In deed I have!  Admittedly, I need to do it more!

Recently Patsy Thompson Designs updated and changed their website.  I like the fresh feel, and it doesn’t hurt that they have incorporated a piece of Patsy’s hand-dyed fabrics as part of the background.   Oh my, did I have an email conversation with Patsy awhile back, about hand-dyeing.  I still want to do it, but the best time for me, is the summer, and I work pretty much full-time during summer hours, but it is on my “to-do” list.

Back to the machine quilting part.  Many moons ago, I read one of Patsy’s blog entries about a neat finish for applique (we all know how I feel about applique, again just more practice required!), that she calls EKG.   I was thinking about this EKG finish, and was trying to duplicate it on my own.  I guess I could have gone back through all my emails, to the discussion we had on it, but I felt adventerous.  I had forgotten she uses it as an applique finish, I just wanted something different on the block I was making.  Working on the Christmas Panels, that I wrote about just recently.   My experiment didn’t work, and I continued on doing what I was doing.  In the meantime, it sat in the back of my mind, and I decided to check out Patsy’s site and read what she’s been up to.  I really love her work!  Imagine to my joy, she has put up a section of tutorials, and one of them was about the EKG finish (Intermediate 1 – Video 1 of 2).  Woohoo!   One of the things I like about Patsy’s videos, is that she makes you feel that you can do anything.  Well, she makes me feel, like I can do anything.  And the really neat thing, when I have left a comment, with a question, she sends an email to me.  I like that personal touch!

If you haven’t discovered Patsy’s website I encourage you to do so.    If you have, and haven’t visited in awhile, be sure to check out the changes.

And a special note to Patsy – thank you for all you do.



8 Responses to "Mulling over quilting design ideas…"

Machine quilting…I think that’s why I have so many UFOs that are ready to quilt…but aren’t. A class in machine quilting would probably be a good idea for me, but I’m a bit embarrassed to bring my machine to class…it doesn’t have near all the bells and whistles that the other machines out there do.
Happy Quilting!!

Hi Alice, machine quilting is one of my goals in life. I have 3 Problems, I haven’t made any quilts lately as I have been sewing for the craft shows. The other problem I need to practice. They said it makes it easier, the last problem I’m not really artistic. One of these days! Connie204

Alice, it seems you have read my mind! I thought I was the only one with this problem. I have bookmarked the tutorial videos, and I’m really going to make time to practice (I’ll try).


That is how I got sooo many unquilted tops. Now I am forcing myself to start doing some free motion work. I understand that one needs to practice, but there is always something easier to work on.

Ditto to everything that’s been said! The thing that aggravates me most is regulating my stitch length while free-motion quilting; make that TRYING to FM quilt! That, of course, is not the only problem, but the one that I worry most about! Someday, next year probably, I’m going to try again to master it! I really don’t usually give up easily; but right now I’m covered over with life (and death) matters — my sister’s estate sale! If I survive that, I promise to practice FM, first thing after Christmas! Remind me! *wink* —“Love”

I know how lazy I can get sometimes, sticking to ditch quilting or a big meandering stitch. I’ll definitely have to check out Patsy’s site – when I do not know though!! 😉

Good website
365 Days of Free Motion Quilting Filler Designs

My machine quilting improves with every project but I would like to try some more adventurous designs like feathers. I think we all worry too much about *ruining* out quilts with sub-standard quilting and so become timid. I think if you find someone where you undertsand their technique then go for it. Ann 🙂

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