I am so excited to say that this quilt is complete as it was the catalyst for a journey that has taken years (and will continue for years) but has definitely hit a milestone in the completion of this quilt. It’s a gift for my Mother In Law, Jackie, who is so sweet and supportive to me in all my endeavors.
I actually became interested in quilting a number of year ago. Jackie encouraged me and even bought me a nice machine to learn to sew on. I pieced a couple very simple tops of my own design – even then I was pretty independent and unlikely to follow someone else’s pattern. However, then I was at a loss as to how to quilt them. I didn’t know about how to make a quilt sandwich, I didn’t know free motion quilting existed. I was really just flying blind! So when Jackie bought some fabric for me to make her a quilt, I just stalled out. I didn’t know how to complete it so I didn’t even get started on her top.
So, 4 or 5 years went by and I got the urge to try this sewing and quilting stuff again. I searched online and found a bunch of tutorials on youtube from various online teachers, but probably the most influential teacher I found was Leah Day, from the Free Motion Quilting Project. From her (FREE!!!) online lessons I learned how to set up my machine for free motion quilting, how to sandwich a quilt, how to get started free motion quilting and a lot of super cool designs.
From there I branched out and tried some of my own ideas, and also decided to get a long arm machine for quilting bigger quilts because of my Rheumatoid Arthritis which makes it painful for my hands to be pushing a big heavy quilt around for free motion quilting on a domestic machine. I had started Jackie’s Quilt on the DSM though and I needed to finish it there. I was afraid the quilting would not look consistent if I switched machines and also since it was already partially quilted when I got Beatrice (my long arm machine), I wasn’t sure how I would get it loaded on the frame in any manner that would work well.
So I finished it on my DSM, the first and last large quilt I will do on the domestic machine – though I still really enjoy doing smaller pieces that way. Jackie picked the fabric, I chose the pinwheel design because I had painted pinwheels on some of my horse jumps last summer and Jackie remarked how much she liked them. So here is the quilt!