ProStitcher Retreat


I bet you thought I was never gonna write this, it sure kept getting delayed, but finally it is here! It was almost 3 months ago, but to be honest,  it seems like a lifetime ago I love using Tabitha, my HQ Simply Sixteen with Prostitcher and I was excited to learn more about it.

Bits ‘n Pieces, Pelham NH

Bits ‘N Pieces in Pelham NH ran this retreat weekend which had quite a few HandiQuilter educators come and teach for a weekend. This wound up being one of the last events I attended before the Covid 19 Quarantine began. It began on a Thursday evening, with a a show and tell and ended Sunday at noon. Now, there were other classes for quilting but I took not a one of those. I really wanted to take advantage of this time and learn a lot about my Prostitcher and the new Prostitcher Designer Program.

I felt like a little girl going to school again!

So, without further ado here is a list of my classes.
Symphony in Piano Keys with Mary Fisher (PSD)
WholeCloth Quilt Design with Linda Gosselin (2 parts) (PSP)
Rose Embroidery Design with Linda Gosselin (PSD)
ProStitcher Designer with Linda Gosselin (PSD)
Creating Repeatable Designs with Mary Fisher (PSD)
Bakers Dozen Feathers with Linda Gosselin (FMQ)
Updating the Pro-Stitcher Suite with Diane Graf Henry (PSP)
All about Edge to Edge with Linda Gosselin (PSP)
Evolution of Design with Debby Brown (FMQ)

I understand this was a little like going to Handiquilter Academy. The classes were 2 hours long, and some could have been longer. I was entirely blown away by all the cool things I learned. I am going to divide them into ProStitcher, Prostitcher Designer and Free Motion Quilting.

Prostitcher (PSP)
Prostitcher is the computerized system for Handiquilter and some other machines. These classes were so helpful and particularly since I had been using it for a bit. Here’s some of what I learned:

  • confidence in edge to edge designs
  • how to install updates for my system
  • how to start over from a thread break in mid-design
  • how to reposition in a design using start/end
  • how to wrap designs – needed for tops/bottoms of quilt to close up space and also to offset designs into every other row
  • edit a design
  • reposition start and end points
  • encouraged to try something new every time you quilt

Prostitcher Designer (PSD)
This is a new program and it allows you to edit and create your own designs. Two interesting features are that you can manipulate embroidery designs and have them quilt on your longarm or audition your designs with an image of your quilt in the background. The list goes on. As I tried to summarize this I realize there are a few handouts I need to do review as we didn’t finish and I really want to understand the techniques.

  • skew(adjust) a design to fit in a triangle
  • making connector pieces
  • how to connect designs and make connectors
  • blocks that lend to whole cloth quilt design
  • plan for stitching out a whole cloth design
  • add stitching designs around an area
  • create design that follows a line (follows a wave)
  • use a font to create a quilting design
  • change starts and stops

Free Motion Quilting (FMQ)
This provided the needed break from all the computer work. My feathers are ok but new ways of looking at them is a great help.

  • how to make feathers
  • practice feathers on a “handwriting sheet” in sheet protector
  • add curlicues to feathers
  • ways to think about design in FMQ
  • work with a design and change one thing
  • use stencils to transfer some basic lines/grids for designs
  • swirl feathers are not “feathers” but act like feathers
  • only do one side of feathers
  • stitch in the ditch or 1/8 or 1/4″ away is your design decision

Some of you prefer to do this all in your head and by yourself. I love having the computer help me and learning this proves to be fun and a great reason to keep making quilts, especially charity quilts.

Coming Up on the Blog:
Hosting TGIFF (5/28-30)
Hosting 2020 MCB for June (6/1)
Tips and Tutorial (6/22)
Stitching Sunshine Hop (6/25)

Linking Up:

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  1. Vicki in MN
    May 27, 2020 / 8:40 AM

    Sounds like you had a great time and learned a lot. I hope you are really having a blast longarming:) I went to MQS for several years when it was alive and well, so much fun!

    • kathleenquilts
      May 28, 2020 / 11:35 AM

      I was looking forward to MQX although I hadn’t signed up – it would have been pushing my luck — quiltcon, this retreat, a spring quilt weekend (cancelled) and then MQX all in 5 weeks might have been too much for my wonderful husband.

  2. Nancy Bekedam
    May 27, 2020 / 9:12 AM

    Some great info there!!! So glad you got in before the shutdown. I added a couple of questions to my list for my current online class, after reading what all you learned.

    • kathleenquilts
      May 28, 2020 / 11:34 AM

      I can’t tell you how glad I was and so glad you have a few more things to think about for your class. It is a lot to take in.

  3. May 27, 2020 / 10:59 AM

    LOL I have a couple of posts that I’ve been meaning to write FOREVER, so I get this. Lovely to read all that you learned, and I sure do like the quilt on Tabitha, as well as the FMQ design. I don’t have a Pro Stitcher, so all I do is FMQ, haven’t even done a panto because I look at the ones I like and think I can just stitch that myself… HQ Academy and another super-secret quilting desire with a true guru are on my bucket list for one day.

    • kathleenquilts
      May 28, 2020 / 11:34 AM

      Oh, there are a few more that are long overdue, but shhhh! I love FMQ but I love the precision of consistent stitches. HQ Academy is certainly on the bucket list. I’ll let you know if/when there is another retreat with these folks. Our dealer brings lots of people in; which is awesome.

  4. May 27, 2020 / 11:30 AM

    Hi Kathleen! Wow – those sound like some wonderful classes you were able to take. And then, while it sounds odd, but you were given the gift of social distancing to be able to practice all of these newly acquired skills and techniques. I just love the feather quilting piece you shared. It looks fabulous. Your setup doesn’t look huge as some of the others I’ve seen. I love hearing about this whole topic and what you’ve learned. ~smile~ Roseanne

    • kathleenquilts
      May 28, 2020 / 11:33 AM

      They were wonderful classes. I only regret that a few didn’t get to finish the whole bit they planned but I do have the sheets to work through. Those feathers are something aren’t they! My set up is not huge, if the room is 11 x11 I’d be surprised

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