I'm trying my hand at free-hand feathers, and from the front, they don't look too bad. If you look at the back of the quilt, it's a whole other matter. Not being able to see where you stitched when you're going in reverse and supposedly retracing your steps doesn't work too well. I don't know if another foot would improve things, or I just have to wait until I get a long-arm machine to really be able to do these properly, but all-in-all, I'm not disappointed in my progress as a quilter. This is an improvement over my last quilt.
I also used that basting gun to baste this quilt, and it's not too bad. The tacks sometimes get hung up on the throat plate or in the thread so I cut them off when I'm working near one.
It does take a while to get back in the rhythm of quilting after not doing it for a while. I should probably have some practice pieces sitting around to warm up with before going at a quilt that I want to do something with. In the future, I will remember to have a warm-up piece waiting before I get started. I still have a ways to go before I'll be happy with my quilting results. So the debate is: do I quilt Goose by myself, or send it out to a long-arm quilter?