I am definitely one of those people who loves to plan, but I can also be quite spontaneous which is why in college I chose the oxymoron Spontaneous Planner to describe having both of those traits. I am appreciative of Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl hosting a #2018 Planning Party to help me refine what I want to accomplish in the coming year.
Free Motion Quilting
My biggest priority in the coming year to become more proficient with the actual quilting of quilts, particularly focusing on regularly practicing free motion quilting. My Juki TL-2200QVP Mini is a powerful straight-stitch sewing machine that is known for its FMQ capabilities. To be honest, sometimes it feels like TOO much of a machine for me, and it’s very easy for me to go to my little Brother sewing machine which I know like the back of my hand (probably because I have spent hours looking at the backs of my hands when sewing with it!) rather than my Juki. For one thing, the Juki machine is much heavier. And threading it isn’t as straightforward, and then there’s the bobbin that is hidden unlike the Brother where I can easily see how much thread is left on my bobbin. And it has to be oiled! Alright, I know I’m whining! Most of my fellow quilters have powerful machines with similar challenges. One way to build my free motion quilting skills is to make a FMQ sampler quilt similar to this one by Crazy Mom Quilts using a Quilt As You Go (QAYG) technique. I’m thinking of making 12 1/2” solid blocks in beach colors with a few white stars interspersed amongst all the solids.
Walking Foot Quilting
I also want to improve my skills with the walking foot. I took a class from Jacquie Gering on walking foot quilting in July and love her WALK book, and there are many quilting designs in her book that I want to try. I’ve read about other Juki owners not being happy with the walking foot that came with their machine. I found the post that Laura of Slice of Pi Quilts wrote about the problems with her Juki machine’s walking foot very informative, so I ordered the Janome Even Feed Foot Set for high shank machines from Amazon but haven’t made it a priority to start using a walking foot on my Juki. I’d like to remedy that in the first few months of 2018.
Right now I have two quilt tops waiting to be quilted with the walking foot: my Random Intention Baby Quilt and my Forest Daybreak quilt (though maybe FMQ might be a better option for the Forest Daybreak quilt or a combination of the two quilting techniques. Any suggestions? Also I think this quilt needs a new name. It just does not evoke a daybreak in a forest to me—so I would also welcome suggestions for its new 2018 name!)
I do have another project that I will definitely use the walking foot to quilt, but I can only give you a sneak peek. I have tested a pattern for Sarah Goer Quilts called Scattered Squares and below is a pic of the little birds I used in my version:
By the end of January, I will have tested another pattern for Sarah. Look for her new patterns in the early part of 2018. I have to tell you that they are striking, modern quilts that I’m glad to have in my quilt repertoire.
I will also be using the walking foot to quilt my version of the Wayward Transparency Lap Quilt that looks similar to Yvonne’s example in greens. My colors are Kona Aqua, Sage, and Emerald, and I actually have two of the blocks sewn but not photographed yet.
Finishing Up 2017 Projects
I only have two projects from 2017 that I want to complete. First and foremost is my Summer Sampler 2017. I loved working on this project, and it really helped increase my confidence with paper piecing. I only reluctantly put this project aside when I needed to turn my attention to quilts for Christmas presents, and it made me sad to take the blocks off my design wall! Below is pic where I was playing with the arrangement and trying to leave some room for the filler sawtooth blocks and flying geese, but since this finished quilt will be 70” x 70” and my design board is only 48” across, it really didn’t work!
I hope to start sewing some of the filler Sawtooth Star units in January (maybe even Christmas weekend!).
I’ve fallen way behind in my 2017 Chocolatier Block of the Month. I’ve been faithfully picking up the pattern and fabric each month from ThreadBear but have not touched this project since August except for eating the chocolate that is included in each month’s package! I’m not in love with this project, but I think that I will like the quilt when it is finished, at least I hope I do!
I fell in love with Sarah Goer’s Rainbow Autumn Chain Blocks that she posted on Instagram in October and sewed the two blocks below to help her get her quilty wishes granted. I enjoyed the challenge of combining a light, medium, and dark value in orange and green so much that I decided to join The Bee Hive again in 2018, and I am the queen bee for January. My swarm-mates will be making me the Autumn Chain block in rainbow colors.
My best friend, Mary, bought us both quilt kits from ThreadBear that uses Modern Quilt Relish’s Bowtie Pasta with a Twist pattern. I think she is hoping for some more free quilting lessons from me!
And for Mary’s birthday in October, I want to make a custom butterfly quilt for her daybed using this large Take Wing Butterfly pattern by Lillyella Stitchery for the top of the daybed and some Butterfly Charm Blocks on the overhang.
Also in October is my niece, Kim’s birthday. I’ve been thinking of making her a Dog Gone Cute quilt.
The last project that is on my radar is starting an Ice Cream Soda Quilt. Jodi at Tales of Cloth has a new EPP Mandoline quilt pattern that is very pretty, but when I think of starting an English Paper Piecing project that I can work on when away from my sewing machine, I keep going back to the Ice Cream Soda quilt using Alison Glass fabrics, so that’s what I’m leaning toward at the moment.
This is the time of year when many other quilting tempatations are starting to appear. I can’t promise that I won’t add any other projects to my list, but I will say that I am going to be VERY picky!
Linking up to #2018 Planning Party.
Great goals or maybe even resolutions for 2018. I also need to get much more comfortable with FMQ on my Elna. I have lusted after a Juki and can understand your comment about it having almost too much power for you. But I know it is a fabulous machine – you just need to get comfortable with it like your Brother. I have great confidence in you – you can do it! I need to think about putting down some quilting goals and resolutions for myself. Great idea! ~smile~ Roseanne
You have a great plan for 2018 and many great finished for 2017. You are my queen bee and can’t wait to start on your block. Of course, as usual, I am having a hard time picking fabric.
Thank you so much for linking up and sharing your goals for the year, Mary. I am really excited for you to give FMQing and walking foot quilting more attention, and yes, the Janome foot for your Juki is going to be much better to use! I am already looking forward to seeing these projects come together for you. 🙂
I’m with you on getting in more practice on both fmq and qfq. You have lots on the go. The ice cream soda quilt looks really complicated but I think you are up for it given the summer sampler blocks you shared here. Have a great time with your goals.
It looks like you’ve got a good variety of projects and goals to keep you busy this year! Good luck learning new quilting skills! 😊
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