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Against all odds, I did finish one (or two) of my ridiculous pile of projects this week!

I sewed another apron (up to four now, need…eight? nine?). I finished another seed stitch cowl that went in the Christmas present pile. I’ve gotten compliments wearing my blue one out on the town, so I hope that #2 is indeed good enough work to gift.

And I put on my big girl britches, attached my brand-new FMQ foot to my crappy inherited Singer, and quilted up the test blockย that I did before starting to piece my Spinning Stars quilt. And I proceeded to do my first free-motion quilting.

You’ll notice I’m too chicken to post a photo where you can actually see the quilting, ha! It wasn’t altogether that bad. Sure, I need practice at regulating my speed and making smooth, uniform curves instead of little gnarly turny places. But I expected disaster–and got an entirely usable pillow. A usable pillow that went from pieced block to pillow cover in an hour flat. People: you can’t argue with that.

I’ve always been a little wary of machine-quilting (my grandmother: “It’s not really QUILTING, IS IT?!?”). I grew up with hand-quilted quilts. For almost three years, I’ve made exclusively hand-quilted quilts. It’s just my thing. But I’m finding that hand-quilting limits my quilting-pattern potential (I’m sure as heck not going to trace a stencil all over my dang quilts), and hand-quilting SEVERELY limits my production potential. Let’s face it: I have ideas and buy fabric at a much quicker rate than I can hand-quilt.

My goal over the next couple of months is to finish piecing and machine-quilt a whole quilt or two (I’m hoping to be good enough by the second one to gift it). I’m familiar with Elizabeth Hartman’s machine-quilting tutorials and information. Honestly, her dogwood quilting is at least half the reason I bought the foot and am trying this new skill.

BUT, does anyone have any additional tutorials they’d like to share with me, or advice as I continue?

Edited: to link up with Crazy Mom Quilts’s Finish it Up Friday. Seriously, I LOVE spending Friday night with a glass of wine, clicking through everyone’s finishes.