In February 2009 I enrolled in a class ran by Lorraine Crocker to teach us how to do free motion quilting. The idea was that I was spending far too much on paying to have my quilts professionally quilted and if I learnt how to do this then the whole quilt is made by me. One of the ladies at the class had a Bernina with a BSR function on it - so guess what was on my wish list for my birthday this year.
As the Government happily gave us $900 to spend I put this towards my new Bernina in May 2009 - Now there is no holding me back. I could do free motion quilting with regular stitch lengths, had 100's of interesting stitches to play with as well as 3 alphabets for labelling quilts - no more laundry markers.
I purchased a wall hanging pattern from Stitch in time (sadly now closed) as they had this on display, and it was not too big a challenge for me to do an all over design heavily quilted . "Butterfly garden". I now quilt all of my own quilts and have not had the desire or need to pay for a professional. I still tend to fill the borders with stipple, but I like stipple. I have not yet challenged myself to create feathers or rolls or anything too fancy but I will - one day. I made the rolling star cushion using left over fabric to match the wall hanging.
I also discovered Jelly Rolls in 2009 and made 2 quilts featuring these, Butterfly fling and Chelsea steps. I love the way you get a whole range of co ordinated fabric that is pretty much enough to make a quilt (all but the borders).