Teach a friend to quilt… and you’ll have a fabric-friend for life. My longtime friend Janice popped in over Christmas and she asked the best favor that any friend could request – she asked me to teach her how to machine quilt!
First a little backstory – Janice and I have been friends since just after I got married and she’s always been crafty. In fact, I’ve mentioned her on my blog before and we’ve swapped a few artistic creations over the years. Way back in those days when I started quilting I told her I’d make a quilter out of her someday… and now that day has finally come!
Janice reads my blog on a regular basis and recently told me she was inspired to learn to quilt because of my quilt alongs. Living across the country from me, she sought out her local quilt shop and signed up for a class. Although her beginner’s class only focused on piecing the top, she proudly showed me her beautiful piece. (Why, oh why, do shops not teach how to make the entire thing from start to finish?? That’s another soap box post for another day!)
She backed it in soft minky and had the shop quilt it for her in a pretty swirly design. Then she promptly sat me down and asked me for a lesson in free-motion quilting. Yay! :-)
So I started her off how I usually do when introducing machine quilting to my students, with a paper and pencil, and we set to sketching out some interesting designs.
First she filled up a page with some simple stipples…
Then we went to town trying all sorts of fun motifs like pebbles, swirls, geometrics and loops. After a few pages, she had the rhythm down and started to make that muscle memory connection between her brain and her hands. After all, the hardest part of machine quilting is knowing where to go next!
Next, it was time to hop on my machine and try out what she’d learned.
While she practiced, I made sure to tell her all about my favorite FMQ tips and I gave her a mini tutorial on binding by machine. I mentioned that it may take awhile to get the knack for free-motion quilting, but she can feel proud of doing it herself!
(These pictures remind me that I really should pretty up my hands when I quilt, LOL!!)
I fully expect that when Janice comes out for her annual visit next time, she’ll have completed her next quilt completely – from start to finish. I can’t wait for the show and tell!