Author, Designer, Instructor

Onward to enter….

I simply love it when former students take the time to send me photos of their completed quilt class projects. I enjoy writing back to each and every person because I value the fact they took time from their busy day to show me what they created from the class they took. Sometimes they will even write to say “thank you” or tell me a tip or technique I shared in class helped them improve their skills and become a better quilter. This tickles me no end; I’m honored and thrilled to think something I shared may have had an impact on their quilting! 

Recently, I received an email from a former student, Kelley Davis, who took a class from me several years ago in Reston, VA, through her local chapter of Quilters’ Unlimited. She reminded me in her email I had encouraged her during the workshop to adjust the length of her stitches on her sewing machine. At the time, she had resisted the change but after awhile she tried my suggestion of lengthening her stitches and was pleasantly surprised by the improvement in her block construction. She also sent a photo of her stunning, completed quilt. She modified the original design layout and added a fabulous border treatment using the leftover bits from her jelly roll strip bundle. Quilted by Jennifer Eccleston, of Jenny Bear Quilting, the quilt is simply gorgeous! 

I wrote back to Kelley to thank her for taking the time to write and share the photos with me, but also to strongly encourage her to enter this quilt into one of any number of regional or national quilt contests. The quilting motifs were carefully and thoughtfully chosen and compliment the pieced components beautifully!

Lone Starburst made by Kelley Davis pictured on the right, quilted by Jennifer Eccleston of Jenny Bear Quilting, pictured on the left.

Don’t you agree this quilt should be entered into a regional or national quilt show/contest? How many of you reading this have quilts which are so unique and so beautiful, yet you’re unsure your quilt “has what it takes” to enter a contest? Honestly, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard award-winning quilters remark it was the first time they had ever entered a show and their quilt was awarded a ribbon! Hopefully, Kelley will enter her quilt into a contest in the coming year. I’d love to hear that Kelley and Jenny have won ribbons for their combined talent and skills! It makes me so proud to think I may have had an impact on Kelley’s life, even in a very small way.

Interestingly enough, Kelley and her quilt also impacted my life! In the workshop, I admired her pretty fabrics and that particular jelly roll (Moda High Street) and I fell in love with the fabrics. Shortly after the workshop, I bought a jelly roll at Suzzie’s Quilt Shop in Manassas and made my own modified version of my Lone Starburst pattern using 1.5″ strips. The result was this:

Mini Lone Starburst by Kimberly Einmo, quilted by Christine LaCroix.

I’ll be waiting to hear about Kelley’s quilt in an upcoming contest or show. In the meantime, let me encourage each of you to enter one of your beautiful quilts into an upcoming contest. I’m sure the viewers and show attendees will be very happy and grateful you took the time to share your talents with the world. And who knows? You may even end up with a ribbon or other award. You’ll never know until you try. 

6 Comments
  1. This quilt has inspired me. The two ladies did an amazing job! I hope you have inspired her to enter her quilt in a major show.

  2. Both quilts are beautiful. Great story too.

  3. Such beautiful quilts from both of you! I do hope Kelley enters hers in a contest. Even if she doesn’t receive a ribbon, any feedback would probably be very helpful. And she might get to see it displayed and hear people “ooooing” and “aaaaaahing” over it 🙂

  4. Ohhhh, loved the stories and both those quilts are fabulous. I too,am shy about entering my quilts, as mine are more along the simple design. I admire the talent of more advanced quilters. Thank you for sharing!

  5. You said you recommended she lengthen her stitches. To what? My default is 2.5 but have shortened it to 2.0. What do you use?

    • I actually prefer 2.4 or in some machines with only .5 increments, 2.5. I think a 2.0 stitch length is too small and not really necessary for normal precision piecing. The shorter the stitch length, the more the stitches will “draw in” the fabric and they therefore tend to make your blocks come out a teensy bit smaller. It’s also harder to rip out stitches sewn with a 2.0 stitch length. I find a 2.5 stitch length just perfect!

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About Birgit

Wherever I go, I am asked about the exquisite machine quilting on my quilts. I’m happy to share with you that most of my quilts have been expertly quilted by the internationally award winning quilt artist, Birgit Schüller! Read more