Jul 16 14

What I’ve Been Working on and a Give Away

I have been plodding away with the quilting on “My Thistle Quilt,” which I am affectionately calling “Big Red” because it’s made of different cranberry/maroon kinds of background colors.  This quilt is so large that I don’t have any pictures of it once I had it completely pieced; the photo above is from before it was fully pieced.  (4 more borders were added to it after this photo was taken.)  This quilt was basted by a long armer friend and I’ve encountered some challenges with it that I haven’t encountered before. (The reason it was long arm basted is that it has a ton of machine embroidery applique and is a very, very heavy quilt.  There is just no way that spray basting would hold this baby together!)  Anyway, I am having issues with shifting that I’ve not dealt with before and I believe this is due to the fact that:
1.  The basting wasn’t done as densely as it should have been done and
2.  It has a 100% polyester batting.  Polyester is a very smooth batting as compared to a wool or cotton batting so it doesn’t “grab onto” the fabric at all and instead is kind of slick so it can move a little.  This same long armer has basted a couple quilts for me before with the same amount of basting, but those quilts all had wool battings and wool has small barbs that like to grab onto things.
Here is a shot of the most egregious issue I have had with it.  This is in one of the center blocks:
UGH!!! You can’t miss it!  This happened about 4 months ago and I was so upset that I put the quilt away and didn’t even look at it for about 2 months!  Now I am working on the rest of it thinking that by the time I return to fix it, I’ll have put so many quilting hours into it that I won’t be able to walk away from it again.  All I can do is take out all that stitching and then try to do it again very slowly, trying to ease all that fullness in.  Not looking forward to that part…
It took me a really long time to simply outline all the pieces of applique shapes.  For the large leaves, I felt like I needed to literally encircle all those scalloped edges like these:
My favorite part so far is a leaf border zone that has McTavishing in it:
That photo above is pretty realistic for the color of that particular border.  This is another shot of the same border taken without a flash that gives a better sense of the texture that’s developing:
There’s a narrow border that was hyperquilted that I kind of like.  The first round was stitched with Gold Rayon Thread and the second round with a  magenta rayon thread:
You can see that I left the cornerstone blocks of that border blank.  I’m still trying to decide if I should stitch something in there or just leave them blank.  They are very small and I don’t want to put anything in there unless it will add something worthwhile to the overall design.  There’s a ton more quilting to go on this baby but if I keep focused, I think I could actually finish this quilt in the next 2 months.  It’s good to have an end in sight!
And did I mention a give away?  My Craftsy class is going to launch very soon…it’s called:
Wow…Ultimate Free Motion Quilting!!!!  Don’t you just love that title?!  Anyway, I’m going to give away a free class to some lucky person.  All you have to do to enter is write a comment to this blog post telling me what you’d like to learn in the world of free motion quilting.  Comments need to be made by 5 pm eastern daylight savings time on Tuesday, July 22, 2014!


  1. Susan Bolte Says:

    I would like to learn how to determine the best designs for a project. I currently only do an all over design, but I’d like to do more custom work with different design elements.

  2. Kathy Pennell Says:

    I have many of your DVDs, several books and many other DVD’s. I haunt the blogs of great machine quilters both long arm and domestic. I think the thing I need most is some confidence that I CAN do it. I have a developed a really nice stipple stitch, but that is about it. I am also a leftie, and that seems to add to the fun…start here, start there? Trying to find a method that works for ME is the hard part. I have spent lots of money trying to learn, but how do you get evaluated by someone that is good and can give you some good pointers? I live in a very rural area so no nearby classes. I am not in great health so don’t travel and cant quilt for long periods of time and sometimes can’t quilt at all for a few days. I hope to find out something that addresses my issues. Wouldn’t it be great if you could Skype with a teacher that watched you stitch and then offered helpful critiques? ROFLOL…dream on, right? I love Craftsy classes so would be thrilled to win this one! Thanks for the chance~

  3. Renee Stapleton Says:

    I would love to learn how to stay relaxed while quilting so my stitches can flow smoothly and evenly to create a design that is pleasing to look at and enhances my quilts. I would also like to learn how to decide what the best quilting design is for each quilt.

  4. Karen Miller Says:

    Congratulations on your new class Patsy! How very exciting… I would love to learn how to do secondary designs on a quilt top. I always struggle with that. I can’t wait to hear more about your class AND to see your beautiful quilt completed. What a lovely design. Thanks for the awesome giveaway – ps love that McTavishing! Hugs, Karen

  5. Cecilia Says:

    I would like to learn more about using the different types of thread to achieve different looks. I would also like to learn McTavishing.

  6. Sandi Cade Says:

    Determining the design and scale is a challenge! I would like to learn more about this as well as thread choices.

  7. June Says:

    Congrats on your Craftsy class! I would love to learn how to choose the right design for the quilt. I am also always interested in learning ways to mark the chosen design so that it will stay there as long as needed, but still come out when it has been stitched.

  8. Bethaney Says:

    I would like to know more about what types of colors of thread and weights and how to interact them together in my feathers.

  9. Wendy Held Says:

    I would love to win your class! You always make it look so easy. I want the skills to do beautiful quilting like you. I have watched a few of your videos and I want MORE!!!!!! I love the idea of no marking!

  10. Sylvia Earl Says:

    I want to learn to FMQ feathers almost as good as you do.

  11. Lynda DeTray Says:

    I would love to get more confidence in my free motion. Right now I’m mostly stippling but I’d like to add different motifs, especially feathers.

  12. Cari Jimison Says:

    I’d like to learn how to use open spaces for secondary designs and feather options. Improve my free motion quilting.

  13. Tracey Bird Says:

    So far I’ve been teaching myself as we live in the middle of nowhere and the nearest quilting shop is over 3 hours away – makes it hard to go to classes. I’d love to learn more so I can get the … flow .. happening

  14. Linda more Says:

    I would like to learn when to hyper quilt to get that glorious sculptured texture and when to leave a little breathing space in the quilting for maximum effect. Plus tips on how to do it and see examples of lots of different quilting designs.

  15. Hannele Says:

    Deciding what designs to quilt and in which scale and proportion is still very hard for me.

  16. Pauline Says:

    I would love to be able to do feathers and fit them around the appliques

  17. Anne Rita Says:

    Meandering is my fall back free motion quilting design, because it is easy. I would love find a few others that are just as easy and versatile.


  18. Betsy Vinegrad Says:

    I would love to learn better control while following a line.

  19. Judy Says:

    I am working on developing my design continuity. But I have also been avoiding feathers…

  20. Cindy Says:

    I would like to know how to pick the right design to FMQ for my quilts. I am just finishing a top using scrappy 4 patches and stars. I don’t have a clue as to how to quilt it when I’m done.

  21. Jill Says:

    I would love to learn how to quilt feathers, and how to make round pebbles!

  22. kathleen Says:

    I would love to learn how to get the beautiful dimensional effect.

  23. Rebecca Says:

    Fabulous title for your new class. It builds excitement!
    I would like to learn more abound fillers and circles.

  24. Sally Says:

    I would like to learn to better manage quilting wall hangings larger than 24″ to 30″ square.

  25. Cindy briggs Says:

    Congratulations on your craft at class. I have your DVDs and you are a great teacher. I would love to learn anything from you. I love your style of quilting and especially your hyper quilting. I will be taking your class even if I don’t win the free class. I love your new quilt that you are working on.

  26. Barb Says:

    Love your DVD’s have several. Would love to do your craftsy class too.

  27. Dot in NE Georgia Says:

    I would like to learn to machine quilt on my domestic sewing machine. Love your blog and your quilting is beautiful.

  28. Debbie Arrington Says:

    Love your videos so I’m sure the Craftsy class will be fabulous! I’d love to win it, but if not, then I’ll be buying it!

  29. April Wells Says:

    Marking-I would love to learn how to mark a quilt to make the final result come out symmetrical. I love Craftsy and I love your work. What a great combo.

  30. Patricia S Says:

    Congrats on your first Craftsy class! I would enjoy watching you as you plan your designs; what design you choose for an area, why you chose it, & the actual quilting process. Thanks sew much for this chance to win.

  31. Barb Lounsbury Says:

    I love your work Patsy, you make the most beautiful feathers I’ve seen bar none. I would like to improve my feathers so that they flow evenly on the fabric as yours do. I would also like to learn how to do better swirls – I will be taking this course even if I don’t win – will just have to wait longer till Craftsy offers some discounts

  32. Cory Says:

    Feathers is what I want to learn and who better to learn them from IMHO. :-) I have a fear of feathers that I know is unreasonable because once I learn I will most likely love doing them. Congrats on the wonderful class. It looks like it will be great. Thank you for the chance to win Take care and God bless, Cory

  33. Sandy Says:

    Your feathers are so gorgeous — I’d love to win that class!

  34. Linda Erickson Says:

    I think your work is wonderful and inspirational so would love to learn everything about how you work. I love the quilting on the small orange border you’ve shown – simple but very effective. I’d never have thought to “hyperquilt” that border.
    thanks for all you do!

  35. Elizabeth Says:

    I’ve admired your books and web pages and watched your videos (again and again!)but somehow just haven’t had the determination and courage to put in hours of practice and keep going when things go wrong. Thank you so much for sharing your frustration and delay! Gives me hope to go back and try to finish a few things. I’d LOVE to try your Crafty class and see if feathers could happen.

  36. RuthB Says:

    I am so excited that you are going to have a class on Craftsy! Your work is so amazing and I would love the chance to learn even a little bit of your techniques. Fingers crossed!

  37. Brenda R Says:

    I want to learn to transition from one design to another. I also want to bring more panache to my quilting!
    Thank you for bringing us along on your journey, Patsy!

  38. Nadine Vining Says:

    A beginner here, prowling all the blogs and you tube has taught me so much. I would like a better understanding of design…what do I quilt on my quilt.

  39. Liz tius Says:

    I would like to be more fluid in my stitching. I would also like to flow in to the next design with ease.

  40. Beth Bigler Says:

    I would like to learn feathers and choosing designs. Thanks for the chance to win!

  41. Leslie McNeil Says:

    all i can say is this: what wouldn’t i want to learn {ultimately} and more – from you?!!! {nothing!} your quilt is beautiful, and i love the title you gave it!

  42. Elfi Says:

    Absolutely love your work. I am a handquilter but i really want to get into fmq. I love feathers and some day i’d love to be able to freemotionquilt them!

  43. Rebecca Sasser Says:

    Love to learn more about free motion quilting!

  44. Laura Davies Says:

    Sorry you were having so much trouble with the quilt shifting. Hope it wasn’t Georgette! Having a tension nightmare here myself.

  45. Debbie M Says:

    I love your piece of work in the logo for the class. Besides desperately needing more confidence to actually do the machine quilting, I’d love to learn how to combine colors in the quilting like in that logo.

  46. Vicki Lovell Says:

    Oh Patsy – I would love to learn to quilt half as good as you and I would then be a happy little vegemite. And also what to quilt where. Congrats on your new Craftsy class, look forward to seeing it.

  47. Carol W Says:

    I’d like to be better at choosing designs for a quilt.

  48. Inés Says:

    I like learn simple, quick and beautiful motif to fill my blocks.
    Thanks for this giveaway

  49. Duane Wiley Says:

    Love your videos and you do beautiful work! I know what you mean about that fullness…I too had to dance away that extra fabric. But then, I love a challenge I would like to learn McTavishing. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  50. Jsl Says:

    Seems to be very colorful book with interesting ideas.

  51. Diane Evans Says:

    Oooh, Patsy, what a lovely giveaway! I have several of your books, I follow your blog, and I’ve watched dozens of your tutorials on line, and I would simply love to learn ANYTHING you have to offer in the world of quilting. I’d be thrilled to win a spot in your class, and I will be signing up for it even if I don’t win. Love, love, love your work!


  52. Heather J Says:

    I would love to learn about choosing a design and the best scale / proportion to really set the quilt top off. Thanks for the chance to learn from you.

  53. KarenS Says:

    I’m interested in learning FMQ which is beyond the basics. Also how to use different color threads correctly.

  54. Jackie Says:

    I’d love to learn how to do free-motion feathers. Thanks for the chance to take your class.

  55. Janice Hopkins Says:

    I will be taking your class for sure. I want to learn more on what designs to use and how to combine them. I do mostly large quilts. Pretty good at stipple but anything else is a strugle.My machine is a setdown by BabyLock.

  56. LJ Says:

    Gosh, I’m sorry about the glitch on your quilt though I’ll have to admit, it’s kinda nice to see that ‘experts’ also have quilting creative opportunities. lol
    I want to learn everything about FMQ. Everyone says that practice is the key but I really feel like I have 2 left hands and more thumbs than I can handle. What a fabulous title – “Ultimate”; sure does fits you!

  57. Siobhan Says:

    For me, the trouble I have is when my construction methods mean that the quilt isn’t flat in some places, and I have a trouble spot to work around… I’d love to get some tips on how to work around it. (I’m already working on better piecing habits, but sometimes, there are a LOT of seams coming together in one spot!)

  58. Paula Donn Says:

    I LOVE what you’ve developed in your videos and books. Even though you are an Ohio State fan, this wolverine is a devoted follower!! Free or no, I will be signing up!!

  59. Virginia Says:

    I’m working on a quilt now, my first large 95″ square quilt. I would like to learn more block size designs rather than designs which are appropriate for overall quilting.

  60. Nancy Says:

    I would love to learn how to keep your stitches even, and how to balance your design, so there is not too much quilting in one area, and not enough in another.

  61. Ros Says:

    That quilt is just so “my favourite colours”!.

    I would love to find a way to space myself when quilting to give my body a rest as I find it compulsive once started!

    Also breaking out into new quilting patterns/designs!

  62. Pat Says:

    Don’t worry Patsy, the quilt angels are on your side for sure.

    Now, I am hoping they are on my side to win the class!

    Love all your work and all you do.


  63. Jana Ewart Says:

    I really like the look of these applique blocks. Will they be a pattern to purchase or are they for one of your future quilts? The colors just pull me in!

  64. liz willis Says:

    I’m so excited about your new class. I want to go to the next step with my machine quilting and you are the one to push me into it. I want my quilting friends to say “Your feathers are gorgeous” instead of “Oh that’s interesting”. Thanks for another adveture with you.

  65. Debra Says:

    I’d love to be able to fmq with my domestic sewing machine so that it doesn’t look like it was done by my toddler-age grandchildren. Thanks for the chance to enter in the drawing.