I had to start another comment because this cuts you off after a certain number of characters. When you friend someone you can write using the e-mail program and you can write as much as you want without getting cut off.
Anyway, what I wanted to say was that I make quilts to donate to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative http://www.alzquilts.org/ They are small; only 9"x12" or smaller. So I still have my hand in quilting a bit because I like making one a month to donate. I used to donate a lot of quilts to a few charities for sick children, but like I said, I'm in a dry spell right now. Sometimes I look at my quilt pictures and I can't believe I made all of those. I was totally addicted and quilted every single day. I struggle with anxiety and sometimes it gets really bad, and quilting was the best thing for me. It's the only time I'm totally relaxed. So I'm having a hard time with this dry spell right now because I'm not getting my therapy!
So is your machine also an embroidery machine? I don't really understand how you'd quilt using a hoop. To me that sounds like it would be hard to manage with all the layers. Do you use fancy stitches? My machine is just a straight stitch machine that's made specifically for quilting. I can either use the walking foot or quilt free motion. I don't use the walking foot very often. I just use it to stablilize the quilt (quilting around each block first and then doing the free motion).
Well, I didn't mean to write a book here! I'm so glad you wrote, and thanks again for adding me as a friend!
I quilt my own quilts using my Baby Lock Quilter's Choice Professional. It has a 9" throat space, which gives me enough room to quilt up to a queen size. I have a frame (not a long arm; just a frame where you use your regular sewing machine), but I don't like it. It's such a pain to load and unload it. Plus I'm so used to quilting the way I've been doing it. The frame was one of those things I thought I HAD to have, and now I wish I'd never gotten it.
I mainly do free-motion without any patterns. Occasionally I'll use a stencil if I want a neat design or one that's especially complicated in the center of a block, but I don't do that very often. I have a hard time following lines and do much better just quilting on my own. I have never paid to have someone quilt my quilts because I want to feel like it's all mine. PLUS, the cost. PLUS, I never even heard of a long arm quilter until I'd been quilting for over a year! I've been quilting my own since my first quilt because I thought that's the way you're supposed to do it. Also, it never occurred to me to try hand quilting. I haven't the patience for that! I always have a sample sandwich that I use for practicing my free motion skills. I use a baby quilt size and practice on it until it's full, then I just toss it and start another one. For those I just use muslin so I don't waste good fabric. I can do feathers, but I want to get better so I can make them in different shapes, like hearts or something. I've always loved feathers, so I practice those a lot. And I also practice using stencils so I can better learn how to follow lines. Anyway, I started doing the practice sandwiches back when I first got started. I love using fancy threads (Superior Threads are my absolute favorites!). Since I use such a large variety of threads of different weights I practice so I can get the tension right.
The thing is, I've been in a dry spell for a long time now and can't seem to snap out of it. Usually when I have a hobby I totally get into it and go overboard. Then after a year or two I burn out and start something else. Well with quilting I had been doing it for 5 years and I decided that perhaps I found my perfect hobby since I'd been doing it longer than all the others. I've invested tons of money into this, so I'm so hoping this dry spell will end soon! I come here every day so I can interact with other quilters and hope to get inspired to do something.
Hi Barbara. I'm in love with your circles quilt! The only thing that bothers me about quilting is straight lines and squares. And I really like the butterflies. Your granddaughters must be so proud! This is a great site, and lately I've spent more time looking than working. But what inspirations! Have a good day. Frances.
Hi Barbara! I'm Bridget and I live in Seaside, Oregon. I joined this site a month ago and I'm really enjoying it now that I've found my way around. You've made such beautiful quilts in a short time! I did the same...once I discovered quilting it's like I couldn't stop! Do you quilt your own quilts? I have since I started because I didn't know there were people who could quilt them for you! But now that I have more experience with the machine quilting I wouldn't want anyone else touching my quilts! Of course I'd love to make a king size for my bed, but no way could I quilt something that large, so I probably would have it professionally quilted.
The butterfly quilts I've made two for my grand daughters. I need suggestions on adding the antenna's. Should I embroidery them or use cord? Also I need suggestions on the quilting! I'm new to quilting and did take a free motion class, but don't feel comfortable doing it on such a big quilt. I would love to put a pattern of either flowers or butterflies on the blocks between the butterflies. What do you think?