Special thanks to Maryellen McAuliffe for taking time to create this text transcription of the video in the "September 2012" tutorial.
FMQ Challenge Tutorial for September - by Paula Reid
Abridged version (to ease translation).
Before I start stitching, I want to show you my Fluff & Stuff method to help move your quilt through the machine. I have a knee-lift for my presser foot. It’s a bar that attaches to the front of my machine, and allows me to lift and lower the presser foot without moving my hands off the quilt. It looks like this. It raises and lowers the foot, and saves me about 20% of my quilting time. I can adjust the quilt without touching buttons or using the hand lift. It’s a great feature.
The Fluff & Stuff method works like this: First, determine where you want to start sewing. Put the quilt in your lap. (I’m never really happier than when I’m sitting right in front of my machine with a big quilt in my lap.) Pleat the quilt into your right hand until you are close to the point you want to stitch, place the quilt under the machine, and shove the pleated portion into the machine. I call this Fluff & Stuff because Fluff and Shove doesn’t sound as good. I use my Bat Scooters to help feed this though, but I’ll talk about that in a moment.
I did take the lid off of the machine. It is still the same beautiful Isador that I’ve been sewing on, but I took the lid off so you will have better visibility to the thread and to what I’m doing.
Start sewing, doing the backwards stitches, then the forward stitches. You should be able to sew about 4 to 5 inches before you feel the resistance, and need to adjust the quilt. You know that point, when the stitches get small and you’ve lost sense of direction. You need to move the quilt, and that’s where the Fluff part works.
Stop sewing, needle down, and pull up the quilt on your lap, to allow the quilt to move again. Stitch another 4 to 5 inches, fluff, stitch, fluff, stitch, and shove. Adjust the top as needed. If you don’t fluff, you can’t stuff. That’s what I call the Fluff & Stuff method.
The Batt Scooters: I found that I need traction to help move the quilt. I personally thought the gloves were too hot, and I had to keep removing one to grab threads, scissors, or other things, so I discovered these foam shapes that help move the quilt. I place them pointy side in towards the needle, which allows me to get close to the needle when quilting. I put the smaller, Baby batt on the inside, where the quilt is scrunched up, and the larger, Mommy batt goes on the outside. You can easily grip your quilt, and even move it with just one finger. This is what I use to help move the quilt through the machine.
Editor’s note: More info on Quilt Batts http://battsintheattic.blogspot.com/2010/09/here-they-are-batt-scooters-with.html