The Free Motion Quilting Project: Back home with a haul

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Back home with a haul

We're back home again after a long drive through the mountains. Unfortunately we had to take a bit of a detour through Asheville due to traffic, but managed to get home all in one piece. Why is it the drive home always seems to take longer than the trip to somewhere?

Now that we're back home I've cleaned out all my bags and to sort the goodies I bought at the show. I met so many wonderful quilters at the show and spoke to so many people it's hard to keep track of it all!

free motion quilting | Leah DayThe first is Cheri's Tool and some hot fix Swarovski crystals. After seeing Claudia Pfeil's Ice and Fire, I may jump into the crystal craze. I met THE Cheri at the show and really enjoyed her demonstration of applying the crystals, which made me realize just how wrong I'd been doing it before!

Right next to the crystals is a wooden stamp for fabric painting. I picked this up from the Colouricious booth and had a great time hitting it off with owner Jamie Malden. The stamps are all cut in India and stamp beautifully on fabric.

Looking at all of the different stamp designs, I could easily see how some of the project's free motion patterns could be cut into a stamp! It's yet another way these designs could be used to add texture and movement to fabric.

One thing I noticed right off the bat was how many sewing machine and longarm manufacturers attended the show. Remember this is the first big, national show I've attended so I'm still getting used to the sheer scale and size of the event.

I decided to try out two machines I've wanted to test drive for awhile. No, I'm not in the market for a new machine (still very much in love with the Horizon!), but I've wanted to see the difference between the APQS George sit down model and the Handi Quilter Sweet 16.

free motion quilting | Leah DaySitting down at both, it's immediately obvious that you're in a totally different world. These may be table mounted, but they are miles away from typical domestic sewing machines!

Of the two I played with, I honestly liked the Handi Quilter better. The bobbin was bigger, the machine seemed more under control, and even though both feet were annoyingly hoppy on the surface of the quilt, I could see what I was doing better on the HQ 16.

What was really nice was meeting Debbie, a fellow machine quilter who makes free motion videos for YouTube too! She hosts the Quilty Pleasures blog and creates videos on both a longarm and domestic sewing machine. It was SO nice meeting her in person and chatting it up about free motion quilting!

As for fabric, I was really shopping for two specific quilts: Forged & Welded and a new wholecloth to feature quilting designs.

I picked up several yards of the most gorgeous, high quality silk fabric from Color by Hand. I managed to find fabric that looked silver for the sword section of the goddess and some purple to have fun with.

I also picked up a bolt load of blue fabric for the background of F&W from Joy's Fabric & Quilts. She had a huge supply of Caryl Bryer Fallert's fabrics, which I've recently fallen absolutely in love with. The blue will go in the background and the orange is perfect for the flames.

Last but not least was the awesome jackets and patterns being sold by RF Textiles. I picked up a rolled collar jacket from Fran and fell so in love with it at the show I knew I would want more, so I got the pattern too. It's the most comfortable, light weight, best fitting jacket and I can't wait to make a dressier version out of some fabric in my stash.

And I finally got a photo in front of my quilt with my guys:

free motion quilting | Leah DayHere's one last funny story to finish off the weekend:

I got up early on Saturday morning and had my clipboard in hand to work on the design for Forged & Welded. Getting into the elevator, an older man asked "Working on your homework?"

I smiled and said no, I was actually working on a quilt design, and if they'd been to the quilt show, mine was actually the one that won best machine quilting.

A bit surprised the man then introduced me to the woman next to him, Meredith Schroeder, the president of AQS! It just goes to show you'll never know who you'll end up in the elevator with!

So that's it for the Knoxville quilt show!




  1. Congrats on your award! Next time you try long arms check out Innova brand. I love mine. One thing youndo a lotbwith long arms is more adjustments. You mightvhave to adjust timing, etc. As well as tension.

  2. You and your family are very photo-genic! Great shots. And I love your winning entry.

  3. Cheers! to you as well. So happy to see the family in front of Winter Wonderland! great picture.... know that you had a super time and that the guys were good sports about it all...
    Enjoy the week... with the new toys and new ideas...

  4. Ahh goodies, I wish I could have gone but I got turned down on my quilt so decided to stay home... :-( congrats on your ribbon.
    And if you are looking for a long arm? hint hint, I have a coyager 17 on a summit frame from hinterberg/nolting. The hopping foot you HAVE to have, it takes some getting used to, but because you are going alot faster than a domestic machine and much bigger span, it helps get over seams and bunpy parts and prevents folding on tugs on the fabrics.

  5. I have a question for you about the wooden stamp that you bought. What would you use to print it onto the fabric? Some sort of paint or ink, maybe? That looks like it could be a lot of fun!

  6. cropperbea - Nope, definitely not in the market for a longarm! Very happy indeed on the Janome Horizon - that's about as big as a machine can be and still feel and act like a domestic.

    Emily - Jamie demonstrated using the stamps by dabbing on textile paint (acrylics, Jacquard, etc) with a sponge, then stamping it onto fabric.

    The absolute key to the process was using a foam mat under the cloth so the stamp could sink down into the fabric and make a good print.

    I've tried this many times and it always looked terrible, but I tried it at her booth and it looked good. Look for a spongy mat that will depress when you poke at it and that should work.



  7. It sounds like a wonderful trip. What a thrill to have your piece win. And look at all that loot! I agree about the HQ 16. I don't have one yet, but the one I test drove felt like home right away.

  8. Congratulations! I haven't visited in a while, your blog background is perfect! So glad you had a good time. Quilt shows are the best!

  9. Congratulations on Best Machine Quilting!

  10. I bought the George, I just found the HQ16 may be hard to handle a larger quilt because of the set up with the quilt running into the back of the machine.

    I love George.... tension and customer service is the best

  11. I bought the geroge...

    I thought the HQ16 would be trouble with a large quilt and the quilt running into the back of the machine.

    Love the tension on the George and customer service is awesome.

    Enjoy your serarch...


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