The wonderful machine quilting information continues over at Sew Cal Girls free motion quilting challenge. This month's instructor is Ann Fahl. Her tutorial is full of good machine quilting review, tips, and new ideas. She encourages machine quilters to try some new background fills beside basic meandering and stippling. The practice piece starts with loops and twists and continues on with adding stars, hearts, spirals, and eventually flowers. This tutorial came along at just the right time for me. I needed a background fill around the embroidered states blocks on the states quilt. After practicing on a practice piece I developed my own sort of 3/4 spiral flowers and twists and loops. I thought this pattern was just right around the embroidered areas and yet not to dense.
My favorite thing I learned from this tutorial was to use monofiliment in the bobbin. I had never tried putting monofiliment in the bobbin. It worked quite well, I had to fuss with the tension a little bit, but eventually did all of the red areas of the state quilt with monofilment in the bobbin and on the top. Ann also suggests starting a notebook to keep your favorite quilting motifs and ideas in, and to use for practice with pencil and paper. I have bits of papers here and there and notes from classes so the goal is to get it all together in the notebook. I printed out Ann's 11 page tutorial and it is definitely going in the notebook.