I've spoken before about my great quilting dream - owning a long arm machine, or at least having a go at one. I've always wanted one of the machines but seeing the beautiful work a long armer did on my Kathy Schmidt "Towne Square" quilt just reinforced the desire.
Until I have a house and wallet big enough to manage a long arm machine, Naomi the Janome and I are doing the best we can.
Thanks to Leah Day we've mastered lots of all-over quilt patterns including paisley, feathers, spirals and something that I nickname chrysanthemum spiral, which is a spiral with expanding petals around the outside. I've done pebbles (far too time consuming!), straight lines, stitch-in-the-ditch and even finally managed stripling ( which everyone claims is a starter pattern but I found ridiculously hard!).
An all over quilt design means I can balance the "just get it done" mentality with the "you really should practice a new design" wisdom. There's nothing better to perfect a design than having to quilt it repeatedly across a Queen sized quilt.
I haven't tried quilting within a block yet but, following on from Leah's Building Block quilt I might give it a go soon. Last quarter's Quilt Now magazine contained a great guide to FMQ with some within block quilting ideas for me to try out.
It might even encourage me to finally baste up some of my UFOs...maybe.