Lesson One: Organizing for Quick Quilting
Good Morning Quilters!
I am thrilled to begin our 25 week quilt-a-long based on my new book, 25 Days to Better Machine Quilting! By the end of 25 weeks, I guarantee that if you do the work…
YOU will be a more confident and better machine quilter!
A Little Housekeeping
On Book Orders:
We are absolutely thrilled with the tremendous response to the book and the quilt-a-long! THANK YOU! All pre-ordered books were shipped on June 5th and we have been shipping every day since– as fast as we receive them from the publisher– Every book from my Etsy shop is personalized, signed, and lovingly packed with good wishes and a quilted treat!
You do not need your book to get started with the quilt-a-long (QAL)
On QAL Format:
The FREE 25 Week QAL will be hosted here at LoriKennedyQuilts.com. and will remain here indefinitely. The posts will be similar to the articles currently hosted here at LKQ with lots of photos and simple-to-follow text. We will add videos (possibly Live Videos) in the next few weeks (after my post-Covid haircut, LOL!)
I plan to loosely follow the schedule:
Mondays-Discuss the new skill, technique or material.
Tuesdays-Doodle and set up the new project
Wednesday, Thursday-Stitch the project
Friday-Open line discussion
On Sharing YOUR Work:
Sharing your work and seeing the work of other quilters is an important part of learning a new skill. I recommend finding a few quilt buddies, or better yet, organize a small interest group within your quilt guild! It’s a great way to share supplies and compare notes while enjoying the benefits of a guild on a smaller scale.
Also, consider joining the closed Facebook group, Quilting with LKQ.
On Facebook, you will be able to share photos and comments with other quilters. It’s a great way to receive feedback on your projects and a great way to learn!
On Instagram, follow LoriKennedyQuilts
Use the hashtags #quiltwithlori #lorikennedyquilts and #martingaletpp. to see what other quilters are sharing!
LESSON ONE-ORGANIZING FOR QUICK QUILTING
A few minutes of organizing will make your free motion quilting practice much easier. When you have a stack of quilt sandwiches and a few supplies at-the-ready, you will be able to quilt as soon as the inspiration strikes!
THE QUICK QUILT SANDWICH
Many of the lesson projects are stitched on what I like to call “Quick Quilt Sandwiches”. I have a stack ready at all times, and hope you will too! Make 6-12 quilt sandwiches to use for the projects and for anytime practice. Over the course of 25 weeks, you will likely use 30 or more quick quilt sandwiches. Use them! Don’t save them!
The quick quilt sandwich is made of:
- 1 fat quarter of solid fabric for the top (18 x 21″)
- Layer of 100% cotton batting (18 x 21″)
- 1 fat quarter of coordinating print for backing (18 x 21″)
The fat quarter size (approximately 18x 21″) is perfect to practice free motion quilting. It is neither too big to be difficult to maneuver within the harp space, nor too small to be able to maintain good hand position.
Solid fabric is ideal for showing off your quilting line. We want to see those stitches and we will learn how to make them pretty, pretty, pretty! Use solid for all of your practice quilts.
Cotton batting has a textured surface that grips fabrics slightly. When you press the layers of a small quilt together with cotton batting in the middle, the layers hold together without spray or pin basting. Quick and easy!
Print fabric for the backing. I often use print backing fabric. Avoid fabrics that are white-on-white or have a painted textured surface. The paint is harder for the needle to penetrate and causes slight imperfections in the stitching line. Also, avoid tightly woven fabrics like batiks for the same reason.
Press basting is a quick and convenient way to create fast quilt sandwiches. I do not recommend press-basting quilts larger than a fat quarter and other battings do not work for this method.
A FEW SUPPLIES
We will start our early lessons with a few simple supplies and add to them gradually. Organize your supplies in one place so you don’t have to waste valuable quilting time while searching. (Ask me how many quilts I could have made if I never lost….never mind!) A shoe box sized basket or a dedicated sewing drawer is perfect.
To get started we will need:
Snips or Scissors to clip threads as you sew. It is important to keep those little threads cleared away to prevent jamming the sewing machine!
Tweezers are essential for grabbing the small threads under the needle when you begin to sew. It is difficult and dangerous to reach under the needle for a short bobbin thread. (Ask me how I know…or read A Cautionary Tale Here!)
Thread. For the first few lessons, use any thread in the top and whatever thread you normally use in the bobbin. (Much more about thread in upcoming lessons! You will be a thread expert soon!)
YOUR SEWING MACHINE MANUAL
Use washi tape or post it notes to mark your sewing machine manual. Look for the following “how-to” information:
- Lower the feed dogs
- Change a presser foot
- Change a needle
- How to make tension adjustments
- Engage the Needle Down function
- Heel kick option-needle down and up
GET STARTED QUILTING
Lesson One does not officially include quilting, but I know you’re anxious to get this party started!
Check out the tutorial for my favorite motif: Flower Power
And watch the Flower Power video on my brand new YouTube channel-Quilt with Lori!
(Find tutorials in Free Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3: Flower Power-p.94, Claire’s Peony-p.98, Faye’s Flower-p.102)
Later this week we will review in detail the QUICK MACHINE SET-UP
Twelve Step Set Up:
- Clean and oil your machine
- Thread the bobbin
- Attach a single-hole throat plate
- Attach an extension table
- Position a Supreme Slider
- Insert a Topstitch Needle
- Attach a Free Motion Quilting Foot
- Disengage the Feed Dogs
- Activate the Needle Down Function
- Thread the machine
- Stitch a Test Sample
- Begin Stitching
Lesson One, Day One– To Do List:
Lesson One is Organizing for quick quilting. In addition to prepping quilt sandwiches, does your sewing room need a little attention?
- Make 6-12 Quick Quilt Sandwiches (Start quilting on one–or several-if you feel inspired!)
- Create a storage box or drawer exclusively for machine quilting supplies
- Review and bookmark your sewing machine manual
- Find a quilt buddy or organize a small group study
- Join Quilting with LKQ. Introduce yourself, where you’re from and post a picture
- Follow LoriKennedyQuilts on Instagram and post a photo with the hashtags #quiltwithlori #lorikennedyquilts #martingaletpp (LOVE those photos of YOU with YOUR Book!)
- Order a personalized book from our Etsy shop (Books make great gifts!)
- Watch Flower Power on my new YouTube channel, Quilt with Lori!
- Consider adding a spiral binding at your local office supply store
- Write a review on Amazon or Etsy (It really helps!)
Much MORE This Week!
I know I haven’t answered all of YOUR questions!
There’s much more to come this week and for the next 25 weeks…
Your Joyful Quilter,
PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy Quilts and are intended for personal use only. Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to LKQ. For all other purposes, please contact me at Lori@LoriKennedyQuilts.com. Thanks!