Tag Archives: Jacquie Gering

Back To Quilting

I haven’t abandoned quilting amidst my printing and collaging. In fact, I finished “Whitewashed,” sewing straight line arrow heads with off white thread set at varying intervals.

“Whitewashed” 27 by 37.5 inches

After a long time (years?) without buying a quilting book, I bought Jacquie Gering’s latest walking foot quilting opus called “Walk 2.0.”

Of course I had to try out some of the quilting patterns, so I pulled out a top I made for Elizabeth Barton’s “Mod Meets Improv” class for a trial. I hadn’t planned to quilt this piece; in fact, I quilted only one of the four tops I made in the class. However, the top I chose, now upgraded to name status – “Pond”- has lots of negative space.

“Pond” pin basted and ready for first quilting line. I also steam pressed all the layers together to get them to stick.

I read through “Walk 2.0” and decided that I will never put in the amount of marking involved with some designs, but thought I could handle one named Apple Core. It requires one set of quilting lines in each direction for a checkerboard effect, and then another set of curved lines in each direction on top of the first.

The words “simple-to-quilt” caught my eye.

As of Thursday afternoon I’ve quilted about three-fourths of “Pond” and am waiting for cooler temps to finish it up.

“Pond” 32 by 32 inches
“Pond” detail

Now that I’ve come this far I wonder how it would look done diagonally. I also wonder whether two colors of thread would have worked better, possibly sewing the checkerboard with a lighter color thread. Neither will happen with “Pond.” I plan to bind it with a solid green fabric, but haven’t yet chosen which of two under consideration.

Speaking of quilts but totally unrelated to my work, I want to recommend a series of videos Lisa Walton is making called “Quilt Stories.” Each week she talks with a quilt artist about one of their works – its inspiration, techniques, and challenges. The videos are free of highfalutin talk and often humorous. Case in point, Betty Busby offers a pro tip – use a toilet plunger (clean) to wash out dyed cloth.


Filed under Art quilts, Books, In Process, Techniques

Soldiering On With Quilting

My quilt “Fortune and Fate” is now almost ready for a facing. I just need to decide if I want to rip out some stitching around fabric that’s ripply before I seal the deal. How did those ripples happen? User error, of course.

I am using wool batting simply because I had a piece just the right size. With wool you expect more puffiness than with cotton batting. I hadn’t planned to do much machine quilting on this piece. There’s hand stitching in and around each talisman, and in the border. The stitching in individual blocks is only through the top and batting. I wanted to hide my knots. In the borders I was able to hide the knots between layers before the final edge machine stitching.

Now, that puffiness has caused some of my “grout” stitching to be less than perfect but I can live with it. Before I stitched the outer edges I pressed the whole quilt to flatten it a bit. I even adjusted the presser foot to lighten the pressure, as I thought that worked better with a quilt sandwich made with wool.

While watching a Modern Quilt Guild webinar by Jacquie Gering on walking foot quilting, I congratulated myself on using my presser foot adjustment when Jacquie talked about it. She noted that quilting ripples, whiskers, and puckers often result from improper presser foot pressure. My smugness turned to consternation when I realized that apparently I have been misusing the adjustment all the years I’ve owned my machine. The real question was, should the pressure be heavier or lighter for thicker fabrics and quilt sandwiches? My intuition said to apply lighter pressure to a thicker fabric sandwich.

A Janome sewing machine blog says, “We recommend setting the pressure to maximum for light weight fabric such as organza and voile, medium for fabrics such as cotton and polyester, and minimum for heavy weight fabric such as canvas and denim.”

That brought me back to my Janome machine manual. Here’s what it says.

My manual says to sew normal fabric at a 3 setting, which is the last setting on my machine, and to set the dial at 1 for extra fine fabrics, which reduces the pressure. This contradicts the instructions given on the Janome blog, which I quoted above – maximum pressure for light fabrics and light pressure for heavy fabrics.

Ack! So, which is it? By the way, I decided to give my quilt a good press with steam and ignore the ripples. It won’t be in any show where such details might matter.

I’m linking to Off The Wall Fridays.



Filed under Art quilts, In Process, Techniques

“Walk: Master Machine Quilting With Your Walking Foot” Review

I have always been a fan of the clunky looking walking foot attachment for my sewing machines. I began to use it for sewing long seams to prevent the top fabric from being pushed ahead of the bottom one. Then, I found it helpful for lines of machine quilting. Jacquie Gering has elevated this humble accessory to front row status for fairly complex machine quilting in her Craftsy classes and now her book, “Walk: Master Machine Quilting With Your Walking Foot.”

Many of the quilting designs Gering lays out are simple to accomplish. Her chapters on lines, gentle curves, and decorative stitches show what you can do with no or minimal marking. You do need to pay attention to the distances between your lines and the distances on your walking foot. She helps you figure out the latter in her Walking Foot 101 chapter.

Then, if you want to get fancy, Gering walks you through (ha, ha) marked curves, using the reverse button, and turning designs.  Some of these designs require stitch counting and careful marking.  She tackles designs like orange peel, clamshell, braided curves, and nested diamonds. For such designs I think you’ll need to keep your wits about you, so you can’t do what I often do – zone out and sew. This link to a post written by Kathie Kerler, one of Gering’s workshop students, shows some class samples.

Gering covers much of the same material in her Craftsy class, Next Steps With Your Walking Foot. I’ve taken that class and find the book a useful companion to it. The book includes more designs, especially straight line point to point ones. It has lots of photos of stitched samples (easy to see white stitches on black cloth) and stitching diagrams. However, the class shows how Gering deals with marking, sewing the designs, and handling quilt bulk. It includes some curved designs not found in the book.

Gering’s complex quilting design below involves lots of marking and patience. As Gering says frequently, it’s a walking foot, not a running one. I don’t know if I’d tackle a big quilt like this one; maybe a pillow.

Helpful takeaways from the book:

-After you layer but before you pin your quilt sandwich press it on both sides to make sure there are no wrinkles. Pressing also encourages the layers to stick to each other. Gering presses her cotton batting before use to get rid of wrinkles. I spray my batting with water and run it through my dryer on low heat to relax it.

-Play with the setting on your pressure foot to eliminate puckering where quilting lines intersect. Lighter pressure may eliminate those tucks.

-As you stitch, look at where you’re heading, not at your needle.

-Use textured painters or masking tape whenever possible to mark your stitching lines.

-Even utility stitches on your sewing machine can make interesting quilting lines. Gering uses the blind hem stitch on some of her quilts. Try out those stitches on your machine at different widths and lengths, and keep notes of the results.

Whether this book will resonate with you will depend in part on the style of quilts you make. Gering’s quilting designs have a modern sensibility and work well for the large spaces and angles of such designs. I don’t know how well these designs would work on a traditional quilt pattern. I’ve used Gering’s approach on several quilts such as “Winter.”

Other quilters have also addressed walking foot quilting designs. Leah Day has videos on walking foot quilting. Melissa Marginet has a book on walking foot quilting that promises dozens of designs. Of course you can find several free videos online as well. If you’ve tried these or other walking foot quilting resources I’d love to get your feedback. I go to great lengths to avoid free motion quilting.


Filed under Books

Thank You, Jacquie

I decided to watch an episode of the Quilt Show that featured Jacquie Gering after I received an evite for a free episode.  Jacquie is co-author of one of my favorite books on modern quilting, called “Quilting Modern.”  I raved about this book in an earlier post and have had no reason to change my opinion.  In fact, just this past weekend a friend was using one of the pillows from that book as inspiration for her improv piece.

But, back to Jacquie.  In conversation with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson she revealed several of her tips for quilting using a walking foot.  While I already use masking or painters tape as quilting guides, I finally found out how she gets all those wonderful wavy lines, as shown below in her hexie quilt.


She uses a decorative stitch, called a serpentine stitch, on her machine!  How easy is that? According to Jacquie, she had seen this effect on a friend’s quilt and had tried to duplicate it with free motion quilting.  When the results didn’t look the same she asked her friend about it.  The friend said, “Oh honey…” and proceeded to reveal the secret.  A friend of mine tried out the serpentine stitch on her Baby Lock machine and exclaimed it was way easier than free motion stitching.

And it is.  I found that my Janome 6500 doesn’t have a serpentine stitch as nice as that on my friend’s Baby Lock, but it has something similar.  The stitch in pink is another decorative stitch I was trying out, but it’s definitely not a favorite.  I wish sewing machine manufacturers would let you know why they include some of the decorative stitches.  And don’t say look at your manual.  Mine spends pages on the buttonhole attachment (which I’ve never used) but maybe a half page on all those decorative stitches combined.


1 Comment

Filed under Techniques