The Free Motion Quilting Project: Weekend with Pepper Cory

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Weekend with Pepper Cory

Super thank you to everyone who has commented on the Ultimate Piecing Disaster 2010. I now have more techniques to try and ideas to experiment with than I ever thought possible.

But more than anything else, I just needed a little space from this quilt. Sometimes it's best if you just walk out of the studio and let things lie for a bit so you can come back with a new plan.

The best thing about taking a break was this weekend a very special quilter came to Shelby, NC!

Pepper Cory, super famous quilting lady and show judge, came to my little ole' town and presented a lecture and workshop for my guild.

And since I'm the program chairman for my guild, I got to hang out with Pepper and go shopping on Friday! Awesome!

We really had a great time, chatted a lot about quilting, and Pepper gave me a lot of insight into the why's of the quilting industry (i.e. Why does all the free motion quilting in magazines usually stink?)

Pepper is amazingly down to earth, funny, and extremely giving with both her time and advice. Check out her blog right here.

At the lecture Friday night, several guild members let me know how much they had enjoyed the presentation, which was all about becoming more creative quilter and letting go of many of the "truths" we associate with creativity (i.e. In order to be a successful artist, you must be crazy).

Today I attended a workshop which was on Mastering Quilt Marking. I took the class because, even though I know how to mark quilt tops already, it's so nice to learn and see the techniques from another quilter's perspective.

You never can know "everything" about anything in the quilting world because it's just SO BIG, so it was a great class that really helped many quilters start seeing their quilts in a different way.

I even managed to get a good section of border designed for my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt. I'm still not sure when I'll drag this quilt out of the closet, but I'm hoping I'll get to it sometime this summer.

I also picked up a little wholecloth stencil from Pepper on which I intend to try.....drumroll please...


Ha! Yep, I'm wanting to try hand quilting so I can have some projects to work on that can easily travel.

I don't expect it to ever become a major part of my quilting life, but it gets a bit old trying to drag the sewing machine and all accessories anywhere with James and Josh and all our gear.

Also, you can't help but want to try hand quilting after seeing Pepper's amazing hand quilted quilts. They're simply gorgeous.

Overwhelmingly it was a terrific weekend, I had a terrific time, and am now feeling wonderfully inspired and ready to get back to My Cup Runneth Over.

I'm off to go play with a fusing sample to see if I like it!

Let's go quilt!

Leah Day


  1. I am so glad to hear that you are feeling better about the craziness of the quilt top not playing fair with you!! Your cup runnith over alright - now it's full of insperation, new ideas and great memories!! and you checking out the fusibles will give you more things to consider - and you will find the perfect one for this quilt.
    Hope it all comes together easily. And - have fun with the hand quilting! I have seen some beautiful hand quilted quilts - and "WOW" comes to mind!!
    Have fun!!

  2. "Iron sharpens iron"!
    Being aware of different approaches and open to other people's expertise is really the way to continually improve our own work and see things with a new set of glasses.
    I, too, love hand quilting. I enjoy that it's a slow, meticulous process. I look forward to the final step of hand sewing the final binding, it's kind of like mental health therapy for me. I like the tactile experience of handling the quilt slowly, before it is finished. Kind of the final "made with love" connection! Not to mention the portability.

  3. So, fill me in. Why does all the FMQ in quilting magazines stink? Sounds like a great weekend. You have some great programs going on.

  4. I JUST started a Grandmother's Garden quilt this weekend, for the same reason - I need a project that travels well and isn't attached to a sewing machine! I'm still a beginner/intermediate quilter, but I started off hand quilting, so I enjoy it.

  5. My sister and I took a class from Pepper about 5 yrs ago, and then ran into her the next year at the International Quilt Festival. She still remembers us..."the sisters that didn't do anything she told them to do". :)

  6. Yeay! Leah is coming over to our side! LOL
    Oh, thank you for Pepper Cory's link and I hope you enjoy the hand-quilting!
    Leah, you neeeeeeeed to show us your grandmother flower garden quilt! Pleeeeaaasssseee!
    valentina from Cyprus


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