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Free Motion Quilting Musings

If you are like me there are parts of quilting you feel very confident in others that push your limits.  I recently entered a quilt in HMQS.  I know my quilting is not my strong point.

 I did it because my friend, Patsy, who is heavily involved in the show, was looking for quilts.  I told Anna I guess I’ll find out all the things I’m doing wrong.  My sweet Anna was surprised to think I was doing anything wrong with my quilts.

 I knew she was wrong and when I got my evaluation it was confirmed.  The only nice thing the judges had to say about my quilt had nothing to do with the quilting but with my color placement.

 But I am not detoured.  I will continue to do my own machine quilting (mainly because I’m cheap.) A dear friend, upon hearing about the evaluation said that not all quilts need to be show quilt quality but are to be loved and cherished.  I’m content on making loved and cherished quilts.

I will however continue to doodle in notebooks, watch You Tube videos and work to improve my quilting.  Whether that yields a show quilt or not.


  • Rebecca says:

    A quilt that is worn to the bone because it is used over and over daily and yearly is the greatest gift given to a quilter.
    There are works of art (quilts) that hang in shows and their are works of art that hang on the arms of a mother holding a baby, a child building a fort, a student graduating from high school, around the shoulders of a friend in chemo….ectt ect..ect…
    Are we seeing a theme here?

  • Anonymous says:

    I agree with your friend and the commenter above! I have quite a few vintage quilts and tops that are not perfect. And yet, they took my breath away. My quilting is far from perfect and you were brave to even enter! Braver than I. Kudos to you! I would rather my quilts were loved to pieces than have them win ribbons any day.

  • Cynthia Brunz Designs says:

    Your quilts are perfect! I know you put a bit of yourself in every stitch. And when finished, they are ready to be loved and lived with! Those are the best kind of quilts.

  • Karee says:

    Oh bother! I love your quilts, I love your imagination that inspires me, I love that you love quilting. I love everything about your quilts and you endear yourself to me when you are not dependent on the judgment of others for validation in your creativity. F.R.E.E.D.O.M
    Perhaps the reason they have to go "looking for quilts to judge" is because we are not interested in their judgements. Perhaps the joys of creating and giving is sufficient for us.
    Which is not to say we do not all have skill sets that need to be sharpened and techniques to be learned as we help fabric fulfill its destiny.

  • Brenda says:

    Your quilting looks fine from here! What was the critique?

  • Lynn says:

    Aww shucks I love your quilts. Maybe there should be a category of judging called kindly constructive criticism. I could use some of that. I think you were brave to enter, good for you!

  • eva says:

    i LOVE the quilting you did with the dresdens….. what a neat idea to do figure 8's in the petals…..and there's something so sweet about bubble quilting inside circles – like you did in the centers of the dresdens. i WISH i could do fmq half as good as you do.. i just can't seem to get it. i've done several quilts ON the frame, and then stippling/fmq is my favourite look, but to do fmq just on the domestic (well the juki is semi-domestic) i've yet to master that…
    perhaps YOU can do a youtube clip, on you do your fmq…… i'd like to learn from you.
    i think that "loved & cherished" quilts are the very best kind!!!

  • Terri says:

    I like your quilting, and don't see anything wrong with your color placement. Some judges are going by their preferences and not the list of rules of good quilting. Loved and cherished are better than judges ideas.

  • Flickenstichlerin says:

    I can not machine quilt at all and love your quilting. There must be many steps to quilting heaven.

  • Janet says:

    I don't find anything lacking in your machine quilting. I think it's beautiful! I was talking to a quiltshop employee once who told me that the quilt police had come and gave a talk at her last guild meeting. I laughed out loud and then realized she was serious…

  • laura black says:

    Wow really! I started quilting in 2005 and was surrounded by quilt police, I eventually found my quilts were just that my quilts made for people I love or for some people (kids) that need some love and a quilt hug. I found my quilting joy agian and never looked back. I think your quilts are beautiful and perfect just the way they are. (PS did u ever try lavender oil on burns?)

  • phxquilt says:

    I would love to have your FMQ skills. Your quilts are wonderful. Loved to death is the best compliment a quilter can get. They inspire use of everything in your wonderful world of fabric which is a gift to all of us. Thanks for your creativity.

  • suemac says:

    I know I will never make a show quality quilt but I really enjoy making quilts that others can enjoy.

  • StitchinByTheLake says:

    I admire the quilt show quilts, but I love the ones that aren't quilt show quilts – they just ooze love. 🙂 blessings, marlene

  • Vic in NH says:

    If I were to comment upon your quilting, I would compliment the evenness of your spacing and the range of different patterns that you choose within one work. You have great variety of quilt shapes and they are all done with skillful workmanship. You seem to also have successfully chosen types of battings that work well with the density of quilting that you've chosen. I'm not a quilt judge, but that's what I see here.

  • Sarah Craig says:

    Which is why I won't enter my quilts in a juried show! I love to quilt and don't want to give anyone the power to take that joy away from me… Your quilting is beautiful, as is your quilt – keep up the good work (and you might make that mean judge a quilt to show her what a quilt is really for – to make people feel blessed!)

  • curious says:

    I used to show horses and found that judges have personal preferences and if my horse didn't move they way they liked or looked the way they liked, i wasn't going to ribbon. Did it make me love my horse less, hell no! Quilt judges are they same. Continue quilting and enjoy the process. Enter shows if you like, and know not everyone loves the same color, style or technique. As my mother used to say, consider the source and don't show under that judge anymore because you areot going to make him/her happy. Sincerely, Paula K.

  • Purple Pam says:

    Looking at your quilting I realize it is so much better than mine. I am not anywhere near doing feathers. Your quilts look great to me. I always love your colors and your designs. I am sure your quilts are loved and appreciated by whomever receives them.

  • Ruth says:

    The quilt is awesome andY your quilting looks wonderful to me. I do my own also and, no, it's not perfect. Most people aren't judges and don't look at the quilting with a magnifying glass. I'm enjoying the quilting process more now and getting more practice, so I'm happy.

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