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. 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!


  2. 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.

  3. KarenS Says:

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

  4. Jackie Says:

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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!)

  8. 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!!

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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.


  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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.