I have been a piecer for 20 years, but rarely finished my tops myself. When I first started quilting, I had a few tops quilted by a long armer, but realized it was too expensive for me to do that and continue to buy fabric for piecing. I used a walking foot to quilt a few tops, but mostly just stacked them in my closet and moved on to the next. I figured I would get a short arm and frame someday and finish them myself.
Thanks to Rachel, who organized last Sunday's virtual quilt day, I've accomplished some firsts! I spray basted a lap quilt last Saturday so I could quilt it on Sunday. I used to have a basting phobia, but found the spray made it much easier and quicker. Last Sunday I started to FMQ my top with a loopy meander and got about half of it done. Yesterday, I finished the quilting, and there were even moments when I thought "I like this." :-) Today, I sewed the binding on and decided to do it all by machine, which was also a new thing. It's not too bad, and I think I would do it again, especially on a kid's quilt.
I have two tops for a great-niece and -nephew to quilt and another lap quilt just like the one I finished only in a different colorway. I think I will stick with my loopy meander for now, and then move on to something else - a flower meander maybe?
I have taken several classes through the years on FMQing, but never got past the small sandwich stage. I know I was concerned about "ruining" a good top, but at this stage of my life it's quilt them myself and let them be used, or end up with a stack of tops that never see the light of day. What was I waiting for?
Oh, I used a size 16 denim needle and left the feed dogs up. I don't have a camera, but will try and get a picture up later. Thanks for letting me share my happiness. :-)