Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Quilting the whopper....

   This one is a whopper......this photo shows about a third of the whole thing.  All the center light areas are quilted.  Next I will do some straight lines through the saw blades, before I move to the border.
  And before you ask, I bunched and puddled up the quilt under the long arm.  I had the extra fabric/weight distributed  on small tables on either side of the machine table.  I concentrated on the 12 inch area that I wanted to quilt.....that is the part I kept smooth and flat.  Everything else was just a scrunched up mess.  I began on one edge of the light area, swirling and twirling my way across the area until filled.
    I tried not to quilt too densely.  And by the time I finished, I knew it took 12 minutes to quilt each one!  I haven't checked the stitch counter yet.....I may not want to know that number.

    The most often asked question in my machine quilting class is not about thread or tension.  It is simply...."How do you know what design to quilt?".
Most patterns say to "quilt as desired".....yeah, right!

    I generally use the principle that what I quilt down will recede (move to the background) and what is outlined or very lightly quilted will be the focus.  For this one, I want the saw blades to be featured, so that is where I will straight line stitch just enough to keep it flat and in place......which means just a line through the center of the blades going vertical and horizontal.  Luckily the blades/blocks  touch, so it will just be long, long seams.
   Anyway, my quilt as desired will include my favorite stitches.....and I can't wait to do the border feathers.  There is lots of room to play there.  Happy stitching.  


  1. That looks beautiful, I can't wait to see what you do with the borders. Is your back O.K. after all that fighting with the huge quilt?

  2. I like the swirls! Nice job so far. :)

  3. Looking good - Very Good! I like your principle about what moves to the background and what is focused. Thanks! ~Jeanne

  4. More often than not my quilting design is dictated by how big the quilt is and how much time I have, tho I realize I should really choose it more to accent different parts of the quilt. If I have a big quilt, I know it will be harder for me to do something intricate--therefore my first criteria is to pick a design I know I can do well on that quilt. Unfortunately, this means I tend to do a lot of plain ol' stippling. But yes, borders are easier to maneuver and so I get a little more excited for them--which is a good thing nearing the end of a project! Enjoy! (One day I will conquer the feather!!)

  5. Looking good! This is a gorgeous quilt and you've picked the perfect quilting designs for it. Thanks for the tip about what design elements to "receded" and "highlighted"... will definitely remember that in the future!

  6. That puddling is just how it works, isn't it? I have tables on either side of my machine's table, too.
    Looking good!
    I had a class a couple of years ago from Karen McTavish and she emphasized that the open spaces are where you put your showy quilting. The colorful, pieced areas are for the more simple quilting, since it really won't show much. That is exactly what you are doing. Great job! : )

  7. Oh wow! Now I'm beginning to question my right to use "quilter" to describe myself. Perhaps I'd better call myself a "patch worker" or "piecer" in future. My quilting is minimalistic. I like the minimalistic look and it's relatively easy to achieve!
    What you have done amazes me and seems beyond the realm of possibility on a twin sized quilt (like "Violet and Friends"). I also love the colours in the fabrics you have chosen.

  8. This quilt is beautiful! I'm looking forward to seeing your border feathers.


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