Favorites of 2015: machine-quilting pick of the year


Happy New Year to you!

There was a new sewing machine under the tree for me! My old machine didn’t excel at free-motion quilting and the walking foot was just so-so. But my new machine is a star performer at both.

For that reason, my favorite quilt of 2015 comes from Christa Watson’s book Machine Quilting with Style: from Walking-Foot Wonders to Free-Motion Favorites. The Focal Point quilt is my favorite because it shows off spiral quilting done with a walking foot.
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Focal Point quilt
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After reading through the how-to in the book, I’m confident I CAN DO IT!  I can’t wait to sit down at my new machine and give this one a try!

In Machine Quilting with Style you’ll find 8 different walking-foot designs, 10 free-motion quilting motifs, and 12 of Christa’s inventive quilt patterns to put all the techniques you learn to use.
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If you’ve ever wanted to give machine quilting a try, Christa’s book will give you the know-how you need.

See all 12 quilts in Machine Quilting with Style >

Do you machine quilt on your home machine? Free motion or walking foot? Tell us in the comments!

33 Comments (leave a comment)

  • I do both free motion and straight line quilting on my home machine but only quilts lap size or less

    —mary colley on January 1, 2016
  • What kind of machine did you get for Christmas?

    —Kathy D on January 1, 2016
  • I do some basic walking foot quilting. It is one skill I hope to improve on this year. But I am sure I will not put my longarm quilter out of business.

    —Annette on January 1, 2016
  • I am pretty much a straight line quilter with my walking foot. I have tried and tried to do free motion and I am so jerky that I cannot bring myself to actually do it on a project. I watch other people demo the method and they make it look so easy, yet it escapes me. However, my New Year’s resolution is to keep at it until I am confident enough to apply it to a quilt top. There must be at least 15 UFOs waiting for this to happen, albeit, nothing bigger than a lap quilt. I am also a video junkie and have learned so much in the past 18 months or so (new quilter). Thank you for all your great tips on APQ as well. Good luck with your new machine.

    —Ruth Bradford on January 1, 2016
  • My machine has a walking foot and a free motion foot–and I’ve used both of them! Practice makes perfect, or at least proficient, I am far from an expert yet I am trying.

    —Vivian on January 1, 2016
  • I do machine quilting exclusively with my home machine. I started quilting about two and a half years ago, and I use both the walking foot and free motion. I decided from the start to finish my quilts entirely on my own, so have never had one done on a long arm machine. I am intrigued by the recent emphasis on use of the walking foot, and would like to try using it more on my quilt projects.

    —Ali on January 1, 2016
  • Yes, I free motion on my domestic machine–all the time.

    —Whiskers on January 1, 2016
  • I do machine quilting both with my walking foot and free motion depending on the look I want.

    —Leslie Holm on January 1, 2016
  • I do both free motion and quilting with the walking foot. So far I’ve only done straight lines with the walking foot – really need to check out this book!

    —Pat V. on January 1, 2016
  • Walking foot but hope to try free-motion in early 2016!

    —Marty on January 1, 2016
  • I have used both walking foot and Free Motion. I really enjoy the free motion freedom better. It allows me to experience the quilt or project to it’s fullest.

    —Cindy on January 1, 2016
  • I have basically just did straight line quilting and stitch in the ditch. I have wanted to do the many different quilting patterns but have not had the confidence to try. If I had your book I am sure I could learn the different ways of machine quilting.

    —Lori on January 1, 2016
  • I free motion quilt on my machine at home. Not very well, I readily admit, but for me, finished now is better than perfect never.

    —Susan on January 1, 2016
  • Christa, through her blog, inspired me to try both several years ago and I get better with each quilt (table runner, bag, anythung I can find to make out of my quilted fabric). I think I love the act of free motion because it works best when I get into the ‘zone’ and then I find it is actually relaxing.

    —cj on January 1, 2016
  • Most of my quilting is by walking foot – straight lines, geometric patterns, SID, etc. Every once in a while I’ll take a stab at free motion, but I’m not comfortable in that arena yet. I need much more practice.

    —Sandy W. on January 1, 2016
  • I primarily free-motion quilt on my home machine. I enjoy that more than quilting with a walking foot since it goes a lot faster for me. Christa’s book is fabulous and has all kinds of cool techniques I am going to try this upcoming year!

    Zanymouse on January 1, 2016
  • Completely impossible for me!!! Totally love my longarm, since I discovered at the very beginning of my quilting journey that I stink at quilting even small stuff with my sewing machine!!

    Susan the Farm Quilter on January 1, 2016
  • I Free motion quilt all the time. It is sooooo much easier than having to turn the entire quilt. I am very interested in learning to use rulers on my domestic machine.
    Freedom and precision! What could be better than that?

    —Fran on January 1, 2016
  • I’ve done a few (all small) on my home machine, using built-in decorative stiches, or simple in-the-ditch, really want to do more quilts and more complex. Holiday cheers.

    —Carol on January 1, 2016
  • I do both free motion and use my walking foot with my domestic machine. I got a new machine a few years ago with a deeper throat which makes quilting larger quilts much easier. I also have a stitch regulator for my machine. I have never sent a quilt away to be quilting, I would love a long arm! Waiting for the lottery! I love the spiral quilting technique, need to give that a shot!

    —Sara on January 1, 2016
  • Free motions and walking foot

    Rhonda Goss on January 1, 2016
  • I only do free motion on my home machine (and not even very good at that!) I do not have a walking foot. But would love to get better at ANY kind of quilting. A ‘big-throat’ version of something is definitely on my wish list!

    —Jan G on January 1, 2016
  • I like to use both methods. I like the walking foot of those grid designs but free motion for all others.

    —Kathy G on January 1, 2016
  • I do both on my machine, but need more fmq experience, and a new machine is on my wish list too ! Happy New Year everyone !

    —Aggiequilter on January 1, 2016
  • Aww thanks! It’s one of my favorites too!

    Christa on January 1, 2016
  • I like FMQ but I’m sure not good at it.

    —Chris on January 1, 2016
  • I’ve done both kinds of quilting, but with my Viking Sapphire 870 I was never really able to master FMQ. Then I was fortunate to be able to buy a Juki TL 2010Q, and within a week of using that machine my FMQ results improved beyond my wildest dreams. I had been on the verge of sending my quilts out to have a professional do the quilting–so expensive–but working on the Juki has changed that. Yes, it takes practice, but the results have been worth it. I love walking foot quilting with my Sapphire and FMQ with my Juki–best of both worlds!

    —Bette on January 2, 2016
  • I have made many quilts on the home machine. I have tried many methods. Free motion is fun. I did not see that walking foot helped much.

    —Linda Christianson on January 2, 2016
  • I am using my walking foot to get better at grid quilting. Haven’t gotten to fmq yet.

    —Kathie Feller on January 5, 2016
  • I have yet to try the "elephant inthe room" of any kind of quilting. Send out but then pay the price!$! I know this is the year to try so ANY help is appreciated. For at least the present..?future? I have the very smallest Bernina so there is not much room for larger pieces. So as you see, ANY help is most appreciated! Am a "chicken!!"
    Thanks, Sue

    —Sue on January 8, 2016
  • Used to! But then got a long-arm. Do a lot of free motion on it.

    —Shirley on January 8, 2016
  • Machine quilting scares me. The thought of putting all that work into my top and having my stitching puckered or irregular would anger me. I think I would have to read this book three or four times before I felt confident. With winter here in the North, the timing is perfect to try.

    —Mary Smith on January 9, 2016
  • I have quilted with my walking foot and am anxious to try free motion quilting on my home machine.

    —Marjory W on January 20, 2016

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