One 5-foot, high-tech quilting frame. 6 hours. 3 fabrics. No cutting board, rotary cutter, or ruler.

The above ingredients combined most wonderfully on the last day of the Festival of Quilts 2019 to make this cot-sized baby quilt:

First of all, Emily Inman and I raced around the stalls before the opening of the show to find some fabric we could sew together to make a top for the quilt. I love all things teal, so when I saw these Janet Clare fabrics (so helpfully stacked next to each other), it wasn’t a hard decision to purchase them for the project.

Next we had to decide our piecing strategy – and, more importantly, our cutting strategy! We had no cutting mat or rotary cutter or ruler…so we improvised. Emily Inman cut the fabric with regular sewing scissors, and I held the measuring tape just in front of the scissors as she cut so we got a straight enough line down the fabric. Emily pieced the fabric strips together super quickly on the JUKI DX7, and we got the top pinned to the frame.

Janet Clare fabric quilt on the Juki long arm

I picked a beautiful solid-colour thread from the Magnifico range of Superior Threads – called Elegante -number 2169. The lovely thing about Magnifico is that it’s designed to run at high speeds through long-arm quilting machines like the JUKI TL-2200 QVP long arm, while also looking fabulous. The line it leaves behind is both bold and beautiful, and the shine on it is just gorgeous.

Emily on the Juki long arm

For the quilting pattern, I took into account the fact that this project was a Fit-Around-The-Day project – that is, I was also going to be demonstrating the other long arm machine we had on the stand to customers and interested people throughout the day, so wouldn’t be able to quilt it non-stop. Accordingly, I chose a large, feathery pattern that I thought was leafy enough to mesh well with the pattern on the fabrics, and large enough that it would fill the space quickly.

Emily on the Juki Long arm

The movement of the JUKI TL-2200 QVP is so smooth! I love doing free-motion quilting on this machine, as I have so much space to work with (I normally use a domestic machine on a table-top frame). Additionally, I love the fact that the nose of the machine itself is so small, as this means that I have a clear view of the fabric all around me too.

feathering on the Juki long arm

After a few hours of quilting in between talking to different people, the quilt was finished! It was great to be working on a real project at the show, as people could really get a feel for what the machine itself can do – and how long-arm quilters actually complete their projects!

Emily on the Juki long arm
Emily on the Juki Long arm

Here’s an overall look at the pattern (above) – it’s very satisfying how well the thread both blends and stands out with the different fabrics we used. Below is me, looking particularly pleased with myself. Isn’t it lovely when a plan comes together! Simple piecing with great fabric set the stage for the quilting. It’s a one day wonder fresh modern baby quilt.

Emily's Juki Long arm quilt

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