Award-winning quilter Cory Allender visited my guild’s weekend quilting retreat and shared some of her beautiful quilts with us. Cory’s quilts have taken top honors at my guild’s show (Desert Quilters of Nevada) and she has gone one to win numerous awards at prestigious venues like Road to California and HMQS. Her work will also be exhibited at International Quilt Festival in Houston later this year.
Daisy, pieced by Patti VanOordt and quilted by Cory, was shown during Utah Quilt Fest.
Are those quilts breathtaking or what? Diane’s exquisite applique is enhanced by Cory’s impeccable machine quilting. I do believe that quilting makes the quilt! Here are a few of Cory’s favorite machine quilting tips and secrets for making show-quality quilts:
- Use a double batt – Cory likes to use two pieces of batting like Hobbs 80/20 with a layer of wool on top, or a combo of bamboo and silk. It can get a little pricey but the double batting gives the quilts some extra body and makes them drape beautifully.
- Block all quilts after applying binding – Cory soaks her quilts and forces them into shape, then lets them dry on large pieces of foam core board. If needed, she will “spray block” the binding to help control any hills and valleys.
- Use the same color thread in top and bobbin – this is also one of my favorite techniques!
- Use a colorful or busy back – again, something I also advocate to help hide mistakes. When using lots of colored threads on top, this also helps them blend into the backing.
- Never use dark thread on a light background – this will accentuate every mistake and make all the stops and starts much more obvious!
- Draw and quilt every day. Cory compared machine quilting to learning to play an instrument. You don’t start off playing a concerto piece the first time you sit down to a piano. The same thing applies to quilting – you must constantly practice your free motion quilting skills to build your muscle memory.
Cory, thanks for the great tips and awesome inspiration!