Pat Sloan’s Mega Fun Book Tour

Amy FriendUncategorized8 Comments

I am happy to join Pat Sloan in this book tour celebrating the publication of her millionth book (oh wait, I guess it is just number 30 something)!  She is one prolific writer/creator of all things quilting related!  This time, she is sharing basic information about machine and free motion quilting in her latest book titled Teach me to Machine Quilt. I think her book is a great resource for those who are interested in learning how to machine quilt their own quilts at home rather than sending everything out to a long arm quilter.  I agree wholeheartedly with many of her tips from my own experiences gained from quilting on my domestic machine.
Since Pat is normally the person interviewing others on her podcast, I thought it might be fun to interview her after I read her book!  Here is our conversation.
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Amy:  Pat, first off, you like basting?  I am pretty sure you are the first person that I have ever heard say that.  What is it that you like about the process?
Pat:  Yes I really do like basting!  When I’m basting I think of it as kind of a ‘zen’ moment with my quilt. I find it soothing and relaxing as the way I do this is not stressful. I’m not crawling around on the ground.. I’m standing at a table ..looking out the window and enjoying the moment. Maybe I need a course in ‘zen basting’!
I guess I can see Pat’s point, though, I do crawl around on the floor so perhaps if I used her method I would find the process even more enjoyable. For me though, basting is a great time to consider quilting plans as your quilt is all smoothed out in front of you.

Amy:  I am happy to see that you emphasized the importance of basting. I completely agree.  Do you have a story related to an early incident that taught you the importance of basting?

Pat:  Not a recent one, but one from years past. I didn’t so such a great job of it years ago.. so when I flipped over my quilt there was this BIG fold in the backing.. ack! Being resourceful and not wanting to pick out stitches, I  appliqued the fold down flat.. fixed that problem! BUT I really didn’t want to repeat it.

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Amy:  I noticed that you state that you normally quilt with 10-12 stitches per inch using your walking foot. I have never looked at it that way. I normally use a stitch length of 3.5 -4 mm.  Is that comparable?  How long is your stitch?

Pat:  I like to use a ruler to show you how to check because it’s something that we can see and relate to.  Whatever stitch number on your machine produces that  distance is what I’d try first. Then adjust if it’s not smooth.

Amy:  I am glad that you give permission to tie off and start again if you run out of bobbin thread in the middle of a row.  I often debate that. Sometimes, I think it is worth ripping out and starting again. Do you ever do that?

Pat:  Oh my… really? You will rip out and start again? Honestly it never occurred to me to do that. That’s a lot of extra work Amy for … what?  Who will know? You can thread the tails and embed in the batting like a hand quilter does and it’s all hidden.

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Amy:  You mentioned the importance of keeping the weight of the quilt on the table and off the floor while quilting.  Again, I completely agree and actually had my husband build me a table where the machine is set close to the edge and I have a large span of table space to my left to hold the quilt.  What kind of set up works for you?

Pat:  This is a great set up! Plus I have my table up against the wall so that the quilt can’t fall off the backside. It puddles up against the wall allowing me time to rearrange it.

Amy:  Also, I love your tension trouble shooting section and will refer to it the next time I am in trouble.  I think it’s something that quilters often try to ignore but the fix is actually pretty simple, don’t you agree?

Pat:  In freemotion quilting people tend to stress over tension.. but you are right, it’s not hard. It’s a mind set. Just turn the knob a little and test again!

Thank you for the interview Pat!

Please visit the other stops on Pat’s Mega Fun Book Tour.  They are as follows:

Nov 18

Nov 19

Nov 20

Nov 21

Nov 22

Nov 23

Nov 25

Nov 26 – My Birthday!!!

Nov 28

Nov 29

Nov 30

Pat is offering a great giveaway too!  You have a chance to win one of five copies of her book.  To enter, follow this link. Good luck!