I hope you’ve been following along with the blog posts chronicling Diane Harris’s adventures in machine quilting. If not, be sure to scroll back and read some of the previous posts. This week, Diane posted on the HQ Stitch blog,”Houston, We’ve Turned a Corner.” Diane says, “I quilted another UFO and for the first time I do not feel like I totally messed it up. I think I have turned a corner. ” Aren’t those happy words?!!

turned a corner Diane Harris

If you’d like to know about the quilt Diane was working on and how it came together, you can read about it here on the original post.

Here is what Diane had to say about her corner-turning experience:

I’ve been practicing machine quilting a lot recently. I have the HQ Capri stationary longarm. Companies used to call them “sit-down” machines, but the Capri can be used while sitting or standing, so “stationary” is an apt description because the machine does not move on a carriage like we think of longarms doing.

turned a corner Capri

It sits still on its Insight table (with stitch regulation!) and you move the quilt freely in its 18″ of throat space. Heavenly.

I may not need a therapist after all (see previous post) because this time I had a plan! Tomorrow I’ll show you how I decided to quilt this UFO.

I’m so Happy that it’s not a UFO anymore!

MB: Can’t you just hear the joy and excitement in her words? That is what finishing your own quilts does; it fills your heart with joy. Turning the corner after a few initial struggles and some practice time, and getting to a place where you feel you really can do it yourself, fills you up with pride. A genuine sense of accomplishment! Yay Diane!

She followed up with another post about how her plan came together:

Turning the Corner, Part 2

I kept the quilting simple, but that’s because Mary Beth Krapil, my tutor in all things machine quilting, has taught me to ask an important question.

How will the Quilt be used?

You don’t need to put heirloom-level quilting on a piece that will be dragged through mud puddles by a toddler.

A giving or community quilt (more appropriate descriptions than “charity” quilt, I think) can be something on which you try a new technique or explore a quilting idea. As they say, “The babies won’t care.”

MB: Quilting giving or community quilts is an excellent way to practice. It is quilting with a purpose. The quilt is actually going to be used, not wadded up and tossed in the corner or used for an animal shelter quilt. Since it will be given to someone, you try harder. You try to make those straight lines straight and those curved lines just the right amount of curvy. It’s quilting “for real”. If you belong to a guild that makes quilts for those in the community that need a bit of comfort, be sure to sign up to quilt a few. The quilt police won’t show up if you cross over on your stipple and that baby in the hospital won’t care a bit!

I used the Handi Quilter Skinny 2″ x 10″ ruler to quilt about 1/4″ outside the daisy petals. I did the same 1/4″ inside and outside the flower centers. It felt like enough.

I used a medium pink Superior Threads Omni and it looked great on all the colors in the quilt.

I used to want to hide my quilting at all costs because I thought it was horrible. But I’ve learned that practice and some help from an experienced pro have made all the difference. I’m starting to dream about the day I will want my quilting to show!

Yes, Diane, you have definitely turned the corner and I am standing on the corner jumping up and down and waving pom-poms!

by Mary Beth Krapil