Taking the day to learn from an expert

Free Motion Quilting with Harriet Carpanini

I love weddings. Now that may not seem relevant in a quilting blog, but the reason that I bring it up here is that a wedding brought Harriet to Israel. Harriet Carpanini is a Handi Quilter Educator from Indiana. She came to Israel for her neice’s wedding, and during her week-long trip she found some time to share her knowledge with a few of us on this side of the ocean.

Besides being an amazing teacher, Harriet also owns and operates The Last Stitch, a long arm quilting service. She quilts professionally for her clients. They come in with their patchwork tops and she does her magic on them.

We met at Cindy Richard’s house and learned a ton of new things about free motion quilting.

Cindy and Harriet

Before the actual learning got started, we spent time oohing and awing over Harriet’s award winning quilt. As you can see, it’s just stunning! Every time you look at the quilt, you can notice a different technique that she used to create this masterpiece. She was very generous with explaining how she worked through each of the sections.

I’ve had my Simply Sixteen long arm quilting machine for about half a year now, and I’ve been having a lot of fun with it. I thought I had become pretty proficient with it. Spending the day with Harriet has shown me new ways to use the machine and have amazing results.

I haven’t been marking my quilts before I quilt them. That’s not 100% true โ€” I’ve been using my piecing as the marking. I bought a pounce pad a while back, and it’s been sitting on the shelf forever. I now have a reason to dust it off the shelf (pun intended).

Harriet taught us how to use templates. She recommended using Cindy Needham’s templates. Wasn’t it just mother’s day? Perhaps I’ll get myself a little gift of a box of templates, not that I know how to use them.

We worked with dry erase markers and page protectors. I thought that was a very clever way to audition designs.

When I got my long arm, it came with a bunch of rulers. Besides the straight ruler, that I use all the time, I have never known what to do with the rest of them. Harriet gave us some great ideas about how
to use them properly and incorporate them into quilts.

Cindy had two machines set up for us to use. She had the same machine that I own, the Simply Sixteen and also her new Amara quilting machine. I now have quilter’s envy. The machine itself is beautiful, and it gives so much more room to quilt. The laser pointer needle is so cool. And the amount of light on the work area is to die for.

The whole day was so full and enjoyable. I’m really glad that I was able to be a part of it.


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