A Few Words About Creativity, Quilting, and Judgement

 Hello my quilting peeps!

A few weeks ago Eric and I went on a little road trip to a few of my quilt shop mentors. It was a substitution for the cancelled Janome Institute, where we dealers were going to see the new machines. Alas, that's been delayed. So we decided to make the most of it and still do a business trip of another kind.

While we were in Marysville, TN visiting the wonderful Terri from Mountain Creek Quilters, we did a quick video. She is a great encourager (and quilter!) and so we decided to have a chat about creativity, quilting, and judgement. I see this in a lot of my students...mostly of the self condemnation kind! It's part of my life mission to help people use their machines with more confidence for greater creativity, so it seemed like a great topic.

I hope you found this video encouraging!

I don't know about you, but it seems as if kindness, good manners, and compassion are in short supply these days. What's the saying? Be the change you want to see in the world?  We must be kind and compassionate to ourselves and then pour out the overflow of kindness and compassion on others. Oh, and I totally have yet to learn how to be kind to myself, so please forgive my hypocrisy! I am working on it.

Be well and I'll see you in the next video.

PS  I've been doing more YouTube videos these days on my AmyQuilts YouTube channel. Check them out!

Add Quilting to a Machine Embroidered Block

 Someone was asking about how to add quilting to a quilt project that is machine embroidered applique on a Janome 15000 group and I wanted to share what I had done in one of our Kimberbell Clubs at Sew Simple of Lynchburg, home of AmyQuilts.com so I'm posting it here.

This would be ideal for a project that goes together in quilt-as-you-go style, so that the quilting can be added as you embroider each block. While it's not perfect, it requires no digitizing skills and you can do this with the Janome 15000 and Janome Skyline S9.

This takes 2 of the fabulous Janome apps for iPad. Sadly, not available on android. First you can use AcuSketch to take a photo of the embroidered block in the hoop. Make sure to select a canvas size that is equal to the hoop you are using. Doodle a nice meander, loop de loop, stipple, whatever you can manage. Keeping it real alert: I doodled many times to make it nice and smooth. You can use stencils, rulers, etc. to help you draw.

Send the design to your machine over the wifi and then open the AcuSetter app to pull the design from the machine and use the app to position the quilting stitches. Note: use the Tool section to slightly resize as needed.

Sorry, I don't recall why my block is upside down. I love the accuracy that the AcuSetter app gives!

Then stitch your quilting design over the rest of your embroidered block. It should be noted that the block shown was embroidered in two separate hoopings (Snowman and then the quotes) and then assembled with the pinwheel block as instructed. THEN I hooped the entire block for the quilting.

Love these machines!

PS While the AmyQuilts Embroidery Clubhouse is taking a little break, this is the kind of thing I cover in more detail there. The AmyQuilts Sewing Clubhouse is open to owners of these higher end Janomes to master the use of your machine with greater confidence and creativity.

Question of the week: Can you Free Motion Quilt or Piece with Polyester Embroidery Thread?

 I get great questions about quilting, sewing, and machine use from my Clubhouse members, customers, and other students/followers. They make great informative posts, so I'm sharing this one with you.

Amy, what are your thoughts on using polyester embroidery thread for piecing and free motion quilting? Thanks.

I love free motion quilting with polyester embroidery thread. For me, my choice is Glide thread because it has so many trouble-free colors. The thread is smooth, consistent, lint free and has a wonderful sheen to it.

free motion quilting with rulers and poly thread
Pieced in Aurifil, quilted in Magic Mint Glide!

While you can piece with it, I don't think you should. Here's why....

It's slippery and seams can start to come undone, especially if sub-cutting strip sets.

Polyester is a lot stronger than cotton fibers and while you'd think that's a plus, sometimes we've got to rip out our seams and in the process, that can sometimes lead to a frayed seam allowance on our pieces.

My choice for piecing is the best Egyptian cotton thread I can afford. For me that's Aurifil 50wt. Wonderfil has great cotton thread too. In a pinch, all purpose spun polyester will do, but I try to avoid it. The fuzz on many common brands of spun poly result in more lint, some give tension issues, and then there's the ability to fray your seam allowance.

Quilt preservationists also gasp at the idea of using poly anything on cotton. They cite concerns of the thread cutting the fabric over time. I don't expect my quilts to be subject to preservation over the centuries, but at least I'm halfway there with piecing in cotton!

Acufeed Walking Foot System on the Janome M7

Here's a bit of a video from the Clubhouse on using the Acufeed on the Janome M7. It's a pretty simple process...but there's a bit of a trick to using it with decorative stitches or anything other than a straight stitch.


Have an M7 or other bigger Janome? Want to learn more about its features and how it can help you make the most of your sewing time? My AmyQuilts Clubhouse gives you lessons with a Janome dealer (me) without having to even leave home!

Check it out here: AmyQuilts Clubhouse