Monday, June 20, 2016

2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop - Week 2

Welcome to the second week of the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop which is divided into three hives which are lead by some pretty famous quilty bloggers:

Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl leader of the Sewcial Network
Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs leader of the
Stephanie @Late Night Quilter
 

About me:  My name is Jennifer and I'm a quiltaholic.  My living situation is somewhat unique compared to most quilters as my husband, our dog, Lola, and I live full-time in a fifth wheel RV (recreational vehicle).  Hence, the name of my blog, RV Quilting.  You hear a lot about tiny houses these days and ours is that for sure, only its on four wheels, not five as the name implies.  We live in less than 350 square feet.  Since my husband loves his TV and his recliner and when I'm not quilting, I sit at our table, also known as my desk.  I do have a recliner also, but rarely use it.  I know you must be wondering how I can be a quilter and live in such a small space.  Actually, it is pretty easy and I really like my space.  You see, where the couch was, there is now a large table which is my quilting space.  My husband cut a hole in it so my sewing machine, a Bernina 770 QE, is set down in it so I'm sewing and quilting at a comfortable height.  No more shoulder, neck, or back pain reaching up to free motion quilt.  We have a large closet and since I don't have a lot of clothes that need to be hung up, I have tubs that contain all my fabric which are sorted by color with two tubs of novelty/Christmas fabrics and one with projects.  Lola's bed is under my quilting table and she is kind enough to share it with a really large tub that contains my batting and zip locks that hold my scraps sorted by color. 

My sewing area in our large 5th wheel with my old Singer

We are currently traveling in our 27 foot 5th wheel and here are some pictures of my quilting spaces.  

The table is where I do my sewing, piecing and quilting.

 
My fabric is stored in the tubs under our queen sized bed.
 

 
Beside my chair at the table is where my Bernina, Featherweight, a tote that contains my cutting mat and rulers, and a container holding threads, embroidery floss, etc.
 


 
 
Then I have a drawer that used to house my t-shirts, but now its where my iron, notions container, and Bernina attachments live.
 

 
Last, but not least, is my ironing station set up on top of our stove.  My Steady Betty ironing board is pretty worn out, but it still works great.
 

 
When we aren't traveling in a smaller fifth wheel RV, we live in Pahrump, Nevada which is about an hour northwest of Las Vegas.  We are about 50 miles east of Death Valley National Park, which, by the way, is amazing, so we are in the midst of the Mojave Desert.  It is quite different from Colorado where we lived before we decided to sell our home and go full-time RVing.

My quilting history:  I began quilting back in the mid 1980s when I took some classes at a local quilt shop.  I learned about making templates, piecing by hand, and hand quilting.  I'm not sure when the cutting mats and rotary cutters came on the market, but this shop didn't have them.  At that time I swore I'd never use a sewing machine to piece or quilt; it was unheard of.  Well, as they say, never say never.  December of 2013, my daughter-in-law, Jennifer, and I took a beginner quilt class at Jo-Ann's in Las Vegas.  We made a Churn Dash block and I was hooked. 

My machines:  I bought a very inexpensive Singer from a big box store and pretty soon after that returned it and bought a Singer Confidence Quilter machine.  It worked well for me for two years, but I really, really wanted a Bernina and in March of this year I bought the 770 QE (Marion) and I love it.  Also, about six months ago I bought a Singer Featherweight (Stella).

My Favorites:  My first quilt was made with a batik layer cake and the pattern was Cake Box.  I had it quilted by a longarmer and gifted to my daughter, Jennifer, my first born.  Unfortunately I cannot find a picture of it.  Since we live on a very limited budget I knew if I wanted to make quilts, I had better learn how to quilt them as I couldn't afford to send them to longarmers.  Thus I started learning how to free motion quilt and I love it.  I learned by watching videos and reading a lot of books, both hard back and on my Kindle. 
   
My most favorite quilt was a memory quilt for my son in memory of his dog, Alder, whom I helped care for while my son traveled for his job.  The pictures aren't the best and neither is the quilting but I loved every second while making it.

 Alder Memory Quilt
 
One of the Alder Pictures with DIL, Jennifer

 Another favorite was Lightning Strikes for my granddaughter, Dakotah.

Lightning Strikes for Granddaughter, Dakotah
 

I then made Scrappy Mountain Majesties (a Bonnie Hunter pattern) quilt out of recycled men's shirts for my grandson, Cole.  I also pieced the back which you can see in the picture of Cole with his quilt.
 
No picture of the front after it was quilted  :(
 
Cole loved it!

One last favorite is a mini I designed for the Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild block of the month using the Drunkards Path block.  I called it Night Flight and I had so much fun making it.


My blogging tip is all about pictures.  You don't have to be a professional photographer and you don't need an expensive camera., but you should try to get outside whenever possible to take pictures of your creations.  Early morning or late afternoon offer the best lighting.  Going outside isn't always possible so do your best with the circumstances that present themselves at the time.  Also, be sure to add your blog name or URL to each of your pictures.  There are lots of free programs out there for accomplishing this.  On my cell phone I use a free application called Add Watermark which works really well.   For my computer I have Photoshop Elements which isn't free, but a program I've had since my scrapbooking days.

My questions for you:  Do you do your own quilting or send it out to a longarmer?  If you do you own, what is your favorite, free motion, wakling foot, or a combination of both.  I like both free motion and using a walking foot. 

The Blog Hop schedule for my hive:  I hope you will visit each and every blog and take a few extra minutes to leave a comment.  This is week two of the Hop.

Blog Hop Week 2 - June 20th
 
Blog Hop Week 3 - July 11th
Blog Hop Week 4 - July 18th

Many thanks for visiting and don't forget to leave a comment.  Bloggers love comments.


78 comments:

  1. I can never remember to take pictures of things I make. I am too busy making sure the recipient gets it in time. My budget doesn't do longarm quilters either, so I quilt my own, by hand.

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    1. Hi Emily! Thanks for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment. I admire you for hand quilting. I plan to hand quilt my hexagon project whenever I get it finished.

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  2. I tied my first quilt and am hand quilting my second quilt. If I machine quilted, I would have to do free motion as my no one makes a walking foot to fit my mother's Kenmore sewing machine. I can't afford to send a quilt out to be quilted.

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    1. Thanks for commenting Susan. It's too bad you aren't able to get a walking foot for your machine. I'm enjoying using one for quilting. I ha "sticker shock" when I sent my first quilt to a longarmer and won't be able to do that again. It is fun to quilt my own.

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  3. I'm fairly new to fmq but getting better at it...I also quilt with a walking foot. I love your pics of all your storage for your sewing items. Do you have any room for clothes?! I make lots of quilts for my family members as well and I love your modern mini.

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    1. Hi Lisa! I actually do have room for clothes in both 5th wheels, just not as much as I used to. Ha! It is surprising how much room there is in RVs.

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  4. I've had 2 quilts long armed - one for a magazine and the other was a wedding present. I usually do my own thing free motion and am hoping to attempt flow quilting soon! Getting brave! I admire your organisation and feel like I could do a better job of organising the kitchen where I sew! our little dog Charly sleeps on top of my backing fabric stash box. Happy to share the space with the furballs!!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Ruth. Yep, Lola always has a spot for her bed under my sewing table. How exciting to have one of your quilts in a magazine. I've not heard of flow quilting.

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  5. I am so fascinated by full time RV living and quilting and really love the peak into your life that you shared today! I do my own quilting, and I love both walking foot and FMQing and try to do whatever a quilt seems to call for. I am starting to find that quilting is one of my favorite parts of the process for me.

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    1. Thanks Yvonne! I love my space in both 5th wheels and love our lifestyle. Right now back at home it is in the triple digits and here it is in the 60s. I've been doing more quilting lately with my walking foot aND love the effect.

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  6. Jennifer, WOW....how amazing that you live in a RV and are able to quilt and keep so organized. I have a bedroom and it is a mess. Shhhh...don't tell anyone, I am not very organized quilter, I need to work on this but things come up ( new quilts and things to make) that it is not my first priority too clean up my area.
    You memory quilt is one of my favorites...what a great way to display photos.
    Answer to question...I send most of my larger quilts out to be quilted. Smaller wall hangings I do my self.
    Have a super week. Hugs, Heide

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    1. I just didn't show pictures of my mess when I'm in the midst of a project or two like yesterday when I had project 2 on top of project 1 and no table in sight. Thanks for stopping by Heide.

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  7. Lovely to get to know you better Jennifer! Your quilts are amazing and it just goes to show that you certainly do not need a huge space for creating wonderful pieces. I mostly quilt my own quilts using my walking foot. I love dense quilting and straight lines. I've really fallen in love with spiral quilting and have done that on a lot of my current quilts.

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    1. Amanda thanks for your comments. I just did spiral quilting on two wall hangings and I loved doing it.

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  8. Jennifer, you've definitely set my dream into play. My husband wants to get a trailer and travel a bit and I've been trying figure out how to incorporate my sewing machine. Happy Travels, your playing in my childhood stomping grounds.

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    1. Hi Paula, glad I could help. My motto is "where there's a will, there's a way". Not sure who said it. I started quilting after we were living full-time in our larger 5th wheel and I just made room for my quilting with my husband's help. He was the one that suggested to take the couch out and put the table in. Of course, in the little one we travel in I use the table and we've kept the couch in it, so far that is.

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  9. I so enjoyed reading this post. Just amazing, living in an rv and quilting such beautiful quilts. I send bigger quilts out but quilt small ones using my walking foot. Mostly straight lines or wavy ones.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and commmenting. I started out FMQ but have been using my walking foot more and more, especially spirals.

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  10. I've quilted all my quilts myself, mainly due to the cost factor. Also, though, I really like learning different quilting motifs. 😊 I prefer FMQ because it hides my mistakes better, but if the quilt wants the walking foot, who am I to deny it? Lol. I need to get into the habit of adding watermarks to my pictures, I always forget to. Thanks for sharing your little sewing space with us, it is so organized! 😊

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    1. Thanks Jennifer for commenting. Cost of sending a quilt out is a shocker for use and I only did it the once. It takes time to add the watermarks, but worth it. Your quilts are always amazing. I look forward to seeing what your next project will be.

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  11. Thanks for sharing your story with us - you sure have a unique life. I really need to start taking more pictures of my quilts. I do my own quilting andlike to do both free motion and walking foot quilting.

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    1. Hi Donna! Yep, be sure to take lots of pictures and post them. I love to visit blogs with lots of them. I get a lot of ideas that way. Thanks for visiting my blog and hope you'll stop by again soon.

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  12. If the quilt I've pieced needs straight-line quilting, I do it myself. If it needs something fancy, I send it to the long-armer. I love your blog! :)

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    1. Thanks Laurel for taking the time to visit my blog and to comment. Hope you'll visit again soon. I try to post at least twice a week. It gets a bit hard while we are traveling as I don't always have an Internet connection even with my MiFi. :(

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  13. I mostly do my own quilting. Would send out more to a longarm quilter if it was finacially feasible. I prefer quilting with my walking foot (and am so glad there are so many new tutorials on this way of quilting!)

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    1. Hi Laura! I do love using my walking foot for doing spirals and also using a decorate stitch like a wavy line. Thanks for stopping by.

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  14. Well done, Jennifer! I've spent a lot of time in our truck camper--you know, the kind that slides into a pickup bed--and I truly appreciate the space constraints. Your solutions are brilliant! And kudos to your husband for understanding your needs and talent! I'm all about the straight lines--with an occasional box thrown in--using a walking foot.

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    1. Hi Karen! Thanks for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment. I like some of the newer truck campers and maybe one day we'll downsize to one for traveling so I can drive. I do not like to pull the 5th wheel as I kill curbs. :)

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  15. I am amazed that you can fit all of your sewing accoutrements into an RV! I have been doing more and more FMQ on my new machine.... I need to practice more!

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    1. Thanks for taking time to comment. Yep, I need more practice too. They say practice 15 minutes a day, but that just doesn't happen for me. Happy Stitching!

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  16. That peek into your life was fascinating! You've really got that storage thing down to a science! I just learned how to FMQ a few months ago. If I had known how much I would enjoy it, I would have started WAY sooner! Just curious which books you liked the best in learning how to FMQ? I am thinking about buying a few but don't want to choose wrong and be disappointed! Any advice for me? I LOVE your Lightning Strike quilt! WOWEE!

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    1. Hi Janice! I like all of Angela Waters books. One of the first books I used was "Free Motion Quilting for Beginners" by Molly Hanson which was a great beginner book with lots of small projects. I also was fortunate enough to get several of Patsy Thompson's videos from the library and they were fantastic. She also has some free tutorials at patsythompsondesigns.com. Also check out Christa Watson. Hope this helps.

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  17. Nice post about your RV sewing. I have a longarm to do my quilting, and I love having it, but it wouldn't fit in an RV, LOL!! Nice piecing on your quilts. On watermarking your pictures, you can do this in Preview on any computer for free. I do all mine that way. I agree about going outside to take pictures, the light is just so much better for finished quilts.

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    1. Hi Carole! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I hadn't heard of Preview so will check that out. Great tip!

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  18. RV life sounds fun! I love the quilts you shared, especially the mini.

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    1. Thanks Jodie. Glad you were able to stop by and hope you'll visit again.

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  19. Hi Jennifer, I'm amazed at the way you've set yourself up for quilting in a small space. I had imagined you sitting in an annexe, cutting on the nearest picnic table. I do my own quilting. I enjoy free motion quilting but the results are a little disappointing so I certainly don't mind experimenting with the walking foot even though turning the quilt is a pain. Thanks for answering all my questions.

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    1. Hi Sue! My FMQ isn't the best for sure, but it does get better looking each time I quilt. I just need to practice more. I usually make up a bunch of practice sandwiches to keep on hand for when I'm in the mood.

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  20. I truly loved your post. Your work is beautiful, & so is your dog.I send my quilts out to a woman that belongs to the same guild as I do.

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  21. Wow! I admire anyone who can live in that small space and still quilt like you do. Great post. I look forward to more of your story.

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    1. Thanks Rochelle for visiting and posting a comment. My quilting spaces have evolved over time and I'm sure will keep doing so. I try to post twice a week so be sure to stop by again soon.

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  22. Good Evening Jennifer! Oh, I really enjoyed reading your post and discovering all about you and your quilting life! I have read a few other RV quilters stories and they all are very happy with their choice and would not change a thing about it. It sounds like you would not either and boy are you organized; that is an excellent accomplishment! I am working on getting everything organized, but it is going very slowly. I also loved seeing pictures of some of the quilts that you have made, they are beautiful!

    I do my own quilting both with a waling foot and a free motion foot. I prefer the walking foot more and more and am learning to try more designs with the walking foot that are a lot of fun. With the free motion foot, I really enjoy doing free motion machine embroidery! Yet, as much as I do enjoy it, I have not made the time to do it in quite some time. I must do this soon. Thank you for sharing everything that you did and have a fantastic creative day!

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    1. Hi Brenda and thanks for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment. I do love my lifestyle and hope to be able to do it for a long time. Yep, being organized is the key and I didn't get my fabric stash organized until we were getting ready for this trip so things are always a work in progress, not just my quilting. :) Hope you get some time to do more free motion machine embroidery.

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  23. This is such a wonderful introduction post Jennifer, so comprehensive. I loved the way you described your life in the RV. I am so impressed at your organisational skills, I could learn a lot from you. You have made some beautiful quilts, but I love your Night Flight, I can see why you are proud of it, you deserve to be.
    In the past I always made larger quilts and sent them out to a logarmer, now however I quilt my own. My quilts tend to be smaller just now, but as I become more competent and confident I plan to increase the size I quilt. I mostly do quilting with my walking foot, I love the Bernina stitch 4, the serpentine stitch, and I have spiral quilted quilts too. I have only done FMQ on one quilt, after securing the blocks by quilting in the ditch first. I do plan to practice more though, it's mainly a confidence thing. As my motto is 'Just Do It' I tend to just get on with things now and have a go.
    Smiles
    Kate

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    1. Great motto Kate! I usually spend time practicing my free-motion quilting before I start on a quilt. On the memory quilt I actually made several of the blocks in it and practiced on them. I'll have to set up my Bernina at our next stop in Oregon and see what stitch 4 is. I have used a wavy line with the walking foot and liked how that turned out. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Hope you'll visit again soon.

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    2. If you check my blog for City Lights and Bluebell Woods they were both quilted with stitch 4. Apparently is was originally designed as a stretch stitch for making bra's.

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  24. Morning Jennifer - I love this post ... it is so good to see exactly how you go about quilting in a smaller space - and you have two machines!!! I noticed your beautiful mini on the wall in the RV from the top photos! Your quilts are lovely and really varied. I quilt my own quilts ... on a longarm which I have had for almost a year!!

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    1. Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment. I'm so envious that you have a longarm. I was trying to figure out how to have one in the spot where my table is in your larger 5th wheel, but got the Bernina instead. :) I would love to find a quilt shop near our home base that rents out their longarm. Maybe one day. Happy stitching!

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  25. Jennifer, excellent post! Loved the tour of your home on wheels and how organized you are with your fabric and notions. For quilting, I do both. Right now, I'm loving my walking foot.

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    1. Hi Paige! It seems that a lot of quilters are using their walking foot these days. I know I just started not too long ago and love quilting with it, especially those spirals. Happy stitching!

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  26. What a great post Jennifer! It's great getting to read more about you. I to am a quiltaholic. I have a sticker on the back of my vehicle that says so :) I love the idea of living in a 5th wheel and traveling. And you have definitely showed us it is possible to take your quilting on the road with you. All of your quilts are beautiful but I especially love the memory quilt for your son. I usually do most of my quilting free motion style. Sending quilts out to be longarmed just got to expensive.

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    1. Hi Tish! Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. It is fun being a quiltaholic, isn't it! I'll have to get me one of those stickers for our truck. :) Believe it or not, there are lots of full-time RVers that quilt.

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  27. Wonderful bit of organization to make this work - kudos to you! And your quilts are lovely!

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    1. Many thanks Susan. So glad you stopped by and took the time to comment. Hope you'll visit again soon.

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  28. Hi, Jennifer! I so admire your organization skills to make this work. "...drawer that used to house my t-shirts..." well who needs clothes anyway when it can store fabric and quilting stuff? Love that Lightening Strikes quilt and Cole's quilt is also very nice. Who would have guessed it was upcycled material? You have a great blog. You give new meaning to "quilting in small spaces!" I sent out one quilt to a professional and decided to either rent time on a longarm at a local quilt shop or free motion, especially full-size and under.

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    1. So glad you stopped by. I do have a lot of fun quilting and just had to figure out how to make it happen in small spaces. How nice to be able to rent time on a longarm. Something I've wanted to do for awhile, but no one around where I'm at does that. Happy stitching.

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  29. Wow Jennifer, you are an inspiration! You really make it work in such a small space. I love each of your featured quilts. They are not only lovely, but made with love! Oh that memory quilt is heartbreaking. It's so hard to lose a pet but I know that quilt must have helped a lot.

    Let's see....I do my own quilting mostly because I don't have a lot of money either! I send out quilts that are larger than twin to a longarmer because they are just too big for me to want to wrestle with. I favor a free-motion foot because I like curvy designs and just winging it, but I do use a walking foot when I have a straightline design in mind.

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    1. Hi Jennifer and thanks for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment. It is very hard losing a pet and Alder was the center of my life for several years. I need to spend more time practicing my FMQ, but will probably wait until we aren't traveling. Happy stitching!

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  30. Small quilts I quilt myself. Bedsize go to a longarmer. Loved hearing about your sewing arrangements. I too have a Bernina and Featherweight. Love them both.

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    1. Hi Kathryn. I love both my machines, but mostly sew on my Featherweight when we are traveling as I don't have a big sewing table like I have in the big 5th wheel. Thanks for stopping by.

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  31. I do my own quilting, unless it is bigger than a queen size. I use a combination of free motion foot and walking foot, but like to free motion the most.

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    1. Thanks for commenting. I love both ways too, but lately been doing more quilting with my walking foot. Happy stitching!

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  32. Fantastic to read about your lifestyle! It must take some real discipline to not allow the quilting to take over the whole RV! I'm not sure many of us could do it. :)

    I prefer to free motion quilt, although I suppose for the right quilt the walking foot would be better. I actually have a nice deal with a local quilt shop for whom I do some editing and translating and they offer me time on the longarm machine. And that, is by far my favorite method. Is it legal to drive an RV with a longarm on the roof?...... lol :) Thanks for such a great post!

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    1. Thanks for commenting. You made me laugh at the thought of a longarm on the top oy our 5th wheel. I have thought of turning our little 5th wheel into a quilt haven when we stopped traveling.

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  33. Wow, this is something I'd never expect - quilting in an RV while visiting so many great places! Nice to meet you on the hop. I really like free motion quilting, just wish I could finish things more quickly so I could do it more!

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    1. Hi Diana, thanks for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment. There never is enough time to do all the quilting we'd like to do.

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  34. I do most of my own quilting due to my budget. I like to use both the walking foot and free motion foot on a project. I always use the walking foot to stabilize the quilt sandwich before starting to really quilt it. Thanks for sharing your space!

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    1. That is a great tip. I've not stabilized my quilts before quilting them and didn't know anything about stabilizing. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Happy stitching!

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  35. Hi, Jennifer! I also quilt in a small space and while there are some challenges, I love it. It helps keep me clean and organized, plus it keeps me in line with my budget. I won't buy something if I can't find a home for it. :) I do my own quilting and I prefer using my walking foot. It was great to learn more about you!

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    1. Hi Sarah! It is a good thing I have a small space as I'd probably be buying out all the quilt shops along our trip route. I have seen a recent row-by-row from a quilt shop here in Oregon that we'll be about 100 miles from and I'm going to do what I can to get to it as I love their pattern with campers on it. Happy stitching!

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  36. I enjoyed reading your introduction post and taking a peek at your sewing space. When we are off in our living quarters horse trailer, the only spot for machine sewing is outside on a little table. I mostly do hand quilting and piecing when I'm in the road and save the machine quilting for when I'm home. Mostly I do walking foot quilting, but I am trying to get better at free motion. I know right where Pahrump is located. We have family there

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    1. How exciting to learn that someone has family where I now live, except at the very moment we are in Oregon. Maybe one day you'll visit your family and we can meet up. Next week we'll be in a campground with no hook-ups so I'll be doing a lot of hand stitching, which I totally enjoy. My sister-in-law had a living quarters horse trailer so I know you don't have a ton of space when in it. Happy stitching!

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  37. I've been wondering how you have things set up in your space. Thanks for showing us around! I totally envy your amazing adventures! My first machine was also a Singer Confidence. I got a little more than two years out of it, but it was a great machine while it lasted! I remember you commenting about your upcycled Mountain Majesties quilt - you did such a wonderful job - it's absolutely gorgeous!! To answer your question, I do my own quilting. Straight lines because I'm not that courageous yet - and without a proper walking foot (I know, I know... it's on my never-ending supply list!). 😄

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    1. Hi Amanda, thanks for stopping by and commenting. Get that walking foot, you'll love all you can do with it. I enjoy taking Craftsy online classes and have learned a lot from them. My next big step is to enter a quilt into a show. I have lots of ideas but haven't taken the step to make one yet. Happy stitching!

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  38. Hi, Jennifer -
    I love seeing your RV setup. My husband and I talk about retiring to an RV. It is great seeing how a quilter handles it.
    I do all of my own quilting. I like free motion, but I use my walking foot a lot, too. I cannot justify spending on the quilting when I have already spent so much on fabric.

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  39. Hi Jennifer! Your set up is impressive. :) I do both, quilt myself and send out. It depends on the size of the quilt. I can do lap size quilts, but even those get a little big for me.
    I look forward to getting to know you better.

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  40. Thanks for the site! I quilt on our TV table. I need my tools organized. I just hate the clutter! However we do not eat at the table. Wish it looked neater. We will live here another two years. We are seniors and traveled extensively throughout the US and Canada. Before traveling and living in our TV, I had the best quiting room ever! I still. Dream about it. Too cold to quilt outside now! Thanks again!

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