Another post for a long completed FMQ entry. I did the March challenge in May but since I am the world's worst procrastinator I did not get it posted until now - bad, I know. Since I have been planning on doing all of the tutorials at some time before the end of the year, it really doesn't matter what order I do them in OR what order I post them in!
The March FMQ tutorial is by Ann Fahl and, boy, it was loaded with information! Ann shares my passion for quilting with variegated threads - I just love them! My favorite way to use them is in combination with some rich, luxurious solids- you just can't beat that combination. She preferred Superior Rainbow and YLI, I haven't used YLI but will give it a try now! I will be reading Ann's book Coloring With Thread in the near future so that I can learn more from a fellow thread-aholic.
Ann uses a titanium coated topstitch needle from Superior Threads - use the appropriate size needle for the thread that is being used. I have been using a universal needle but I am learning that there are better needles to use (Paula Reid uses a denim needle for its sharp point).
I found the section on 'Order of stitching/quilting to be invaluable - it is quite similar to the method that Sandi McMillian presented at my quilt guild in May and her quilts were spectacular with large motifs quilted on her domestic machine. It is too lengthy to include here so I have copied this section and put it into my Machine Quilting notebook for future reference. If you are interested in it, add a comment here with your email address and I will email the information to you.
To move the fabric under the quilting needle, Ann also uses a version "Stuff & Fluff" or whatever you wish to call it. The quilt rests on her chest ready to be pushed under the needle. She then fluffs the quilt off her chest and pushes the free or loose edges toward the needle - thus only moving the immediate area rather than the entire quilt. Also, she pays particular attention to all four corners - always knowing where they are will prevent you from inadvertently folding a section under and quilting it, too. Seems to be a common theme amongst most of the machine quilters who use their domestic machines to quilt larger quilts.
Here are my samples from Ann's tutorial:
It is so heartening to learn that there are so many large quilts being quilted with domestic machines because after all, not all of us have the space and/or money to make use of a long-arm quilting machine. These tutorials at SewCalGal have been invaluable to me for solid and tried & true techniques that have been used over and over again.