Upcoming Events at AmyQuilts

I just finished the live Facebook quilt-along for the Boho Owl free motion quilting project and other than sharing some finished photos of it soon, it's time to move on to the next new thing. If you've missed any of the videos or "don't do Facebook," you can see most of the videos here on the blog in the post: Boho Owl Quilt-Along: The Videos.

I've realized that these twice a week videos has made me neglect the blog a bit as I usually share what's going on through these FB videos and forget to share anything here.

So what's coming up?

The biggest thing is new quilting rulers! Yes, after using and loving the QP Curves made by the Quilted Pineapple, which are thick long arm rulers, I've convinced expert longarmer and ruler maker Linda to recreate her rulers in a thickness better suited to domestic machines. This means that I will have rulers with the same shapes and markings for whatever machine my students might use. More about these rulers in a separate post.


This leads right into my next quilt-along, which will be for both regular free motion and ruler work. The free Roses and Arrows Free Motion Quilt Along will feature a beautiful panel and coordinating fabrics to lead you through basic ruler work and free motion fills. It will make a lovely wall hanging or small throw. The videos will continue to be done via Facebook Live, but will be posted here on the blog afterwards as well.

The panel that will be used in the next quilt-along.

Pre-orders of the rulers and the quilt-along kits will begin this Wednesday, December 12th. The quilt-along videos will start January 16th. This will give us all plenty of time to mail out kits and rulers, plus extra downtime for the holidays. Kits are limited to the fabric on hand.

This quilt-along has been so well received that I've ordered other panels that will work for future quilt-alongs and/or free motion quilting practice. Because we don't get better at this skill unless we practice.

Additionally, I've been wanting to host a few paid classes online. Just like the Boho Owl QAL was a way to test the waters for the QAL concept, I will be doing the same with a future QAL to test doing a paid class online that I host myself. I'm very excited about hosting my own classes so that I can teach the content according to my own (and students') needs. There will be more on this soon.

There's something else in the works too, but I can't reveal it yet! Let's just say I haven't been this excited about something since we bought our shop, and it will ultimately benefit not just my business and my family (as AmyQuilts.com and Sew Simple of Lynchburg are our sole income), but also allow my students, both online and in-person, to benefit in various ways. So excited! It's going to be very hard, but totally worth it if I can pull it off.

Boho Owl Quilt Along: the Videos

Have you missed seeing some of my Boho Owl Quilt Along videos? While the replays are available on the AmyQuilts Facebook page, they aren't all that easy to find, especially if you want to view them in order.

These are shot on 3 different machines, 4 if you count the Janome 9400 and 9450 as separate models. Most of it is done on a Janome with an 11 inch throat (9400/9450), then a standard sized sewing machine with a 6-7 inch throat, as well as the Janome Artistic 16SD, a sit-down style long arm.

While I still plan on editing them down and putting a good portion of it on my YouTube, it turns out that editing twice weekly videos that run for an hour each takes more time than I have available right now.

The first video is worth skipping as it's just a brief intro. You can see the information on piecing the Boho Owl project here on the blog. You do not have to do your panel the same way as I do, or even at all to glean tips from this series.

Please remember these were recorded live, so they are not "polished" and there's some sound issues in the earlier ones. This is as close to being right in my studio for a class without being in my studio!

The link to the actual replays on Facebook are given for each video if you want to see the questions and answers as well.

Week 2 Talk about basting and stabilizing the sandwich by stitching in the ditch. For this project, I used my built-in walking foot on the Janome 9400. Click to read more about quilt stabilization and walking foot quilting from this segment.



Week 3 We start with the free motion!



Week 4




First Saturday video, October 6th. Trying to move faster on this project so we can do more Quilt Alongs, each video will only be referred to by its date and they are being done twice a week. Stitched on the SD16, a sit-down style long arm from Janome.




October 10th First video with the new mic and the sound is much improved. Also on the SD16.




October 13 Starting on the background fills, using the Janome 9400.




October 17th Some sound issues on this one, the new microphone was confused and kept changing sound levels between the machine and me. Straightened it out for other videos.




October 20  This video was deleted as there was an uploading issue with Facebook. Sadly, I was quilting on the small Janome 4120 which is nice for those of you using a smaller machine. Th next video is done on a similar sized machine.

October 27th  Quilting on the Janome 4300, a smaller machine.




October 31  Halloween night. Quilting on the Janome 9450 and using the ruler foot. Doing a tiny bit of ruler work tonight, but most of the quilting was done without rulers.



November 3rd Fun mix of background fills tonight.




November 6th Starting on the sashing! 




November 10th




November 14th  Two more sashing designs



November 17th Part 2 While you can see the first part of this video on FB, there was a glitch and this one pretty much covers the whole of it. Doing a little detail work on one owls followed by the design for our larger sashing.



November 28th A design for the cornerstones and revisiting the wide sashing design.




Finally, the last full video, covering the border on December 5



I have really enjoyed doing this series and after getting our sound issues worked out, it's been a lot of fun and the feedback I've been getting tells me you are enjoying it too. I will be offering more of these in the future.

Boho Owl QAL: On a Smaller Machine



The Boho Owl Quilt-along continues on the AmyQuilts Facebook  page (I recently changed the name to make it easier to find and match our online shop) and this week I switched machines and used a smaller machine. This project is 60x60, so there's still plenty of room to free motion quilt on a regular sized machine.


The machine I used is the Janome 4120QDC and I fitted it with the Janome Convertible Free Motion Foot Set for low shank machines and used the open toe on it.


A big difference when using a smaller machine is that even when there's still plenty of room to stuff a quilt under the throat of the machine, there's not a lot of room to move your right hand side to side. This makes the range of motion smaller, so your designs typically are smaller, especially as you move laterally. Making designs that run forward and backward are easier.

Below are a couple of shots from previous video sessions.

free motion quilting McTavishing

A little McTavishing in the green portion under the first owlet. Farther up in the background I did swirls on the right side, and a curvy orange peel variation on the left, like what I use in the first photos of this post.


 I love keeping the sketchy nature of these owls as I do my quilting. Keeps it fun. I enjoyed this flower detail below too.


I used the printed design as my plan for this area of quilting. In a couple of places, the background design disappeared entirely, so I had to draw it with my trusty purple pen.


It's been a lot of fun to do this quilt-along via live FB video, though there have been a few technical issues. I love being able to interact with so many quilters this way. I go live on my AmyQuilts FB page each Saturday at 6pm and Wednesday at 7pm, both eastern time in the US.

Owl Quilt-Along with Amy: Week 3

Wheee! This week's (September 26) quilt-along video was fun. After stabilizing the quilt in week 2 with stitch in the ditch quilting (SID) using my AcuFeed SID foot (my machine's built-in version of a walking foot), it was finally time to play with free motion quilting.


Don't you just love his googley-eyed face?


You can catch the replay of the live video on the Amy's Quilting Adventures FB page. It's right at an hour long and I talk about the choices I make for the quilting while I make them. I also talk about a few basics of setting up for free motion in general, and then some details about setting up for free motion quilting on the Janome 9400. Then I quilt the entirety of this owl on camera.


He was pretty straightforward to quilt, mostly just outlining the different shapes but getting a bit creative with the feathers on his tummy and adding some highlights to that multicolored print at the tips of his wings. I kept the lines "sketchy" meaning they don't need to be right on top of the printed lines. This made it easier to stitch, to stay relaxed, be fun, and I think it fit the aesthetic of the panel.

I'm still using the dark violet thread so most of the stitching is pretty visible unless on the violet or black printed areas. I stitched up some freehand clamshell-like feathers for his belly and if you look closely, you can see a bit of the white pencil I used as reference lines. I started with two rows of clamshells and then went to one row per line as the feathers got bigger. I also began to curve the lines to follow the curve of his tummy.

I am sorry that we ran out of this panel so quickly. I had no way to know how many of you would want to join in and since the panel is stinkin' cute, the fabric company ran out after my second re-order. We do still have quite a bit of the below companion print if you need something for your backing.



The response to this quilt-along has been wonderful! Whether you bought fabric or are just following along to watch and learn, I am encouraged to do more of these. It's so fun to stitch and answer questions together. I am always a bit timid in telling people what to do and how to do it (there are a myriad of ways after all!) but as a teacher, there is a need to do just that to some extent. So I'm glad to get such positive feedback.

Thank you!