I was excited to see WALK: Master Machine Quilting with Your Walking Foot, a book by Craftsy instructor Jacquie Gering, recently released. Even though I have all three of Jacquie's CRAFTSY CLASSES, I love to have a printed, beautiful book in my hands as well. The topic of walking foot quilting beyond stitching in the ditch is well covered in this awesome publication. It starts with the basics, a primer 101 chapter explaining how the specialty foot works, how to use it properly, and there are some easy exercises so you can become familiar with your particular machine's model and its markings. I'm going to be using my Janome 1600P and I've actually never used the walking foot with it before so it was good to review. There are great tips on preparing your quilt top and setting up your work space for maximum efficiency and comfort. Then it's on to the fun stuff!
There are chapters on lines, gentle curves, marked curves, decorative stitches, reverse, and turning designs. Finally a gallery of gorgeous examples of what stitching with a walking foot can achieve. This all came at a perfect point for me since I had already decided on a couple of these quilting methods for my latest quilts. Even though I had them in mind and have watched my Craftsy classes again, there were a few details that I needed to study and practice before I could begin. The book allowed me to refresh my knowledge of the walking foot particulars and gave me some great tips for the designs I wanted to stitch. Of course, that meant practice sandwiches and they proved to be extremely worthwhile. I have now eliminated some of the choices and made a final decision as to what path I'm going to take. In quilting, figuring out what you desire is (for me) 99% of the challenge of the 'quilt as desired' part of the process!
I spent the day testing yesterday and here are some of my swatches. Keep in mind that I stitched over previous designs to maximize my small quilt sandwich and I definitely won't be using blue thread on my white quilt. I will, however, be using that lime green thread on the blue quilt but it won't be nearly as stark a contrast. The practice stitching is also not a task requiring tidy starts and stops or precision marking so ignore the messy appearance!
I decided to quilt Opposite Corner Radiating Lines on my Circle quilt because I liked the way they looked galaxy-ish. I needed to make sure though so I took plunge #1 and quilted it on my rough mock-up of the planet quilt. Everyone seemed to like it so that's what I'm going to do. I imagine it will be much more difficult on a large quilt but hey, it's only fabric and if I mess up it's not the end of the universe! (Get it?)