Feeds:
Posts
Comments

The Sampler Quilt I’ve been working on has a lot of background fabric between and around the various blocks. The fabric is quite dark and busy, so I knew that whatever design I used to quilt it would barely show up. It didn’t make sense to do anything too intricate or fancy. On the other hand, I wanted to fill the space up with some sort of dense free-motion quilting design so that the blocks would pop out of the background.

For inspiration I turned to the wonderful resource that Leah Day has provided on her blog of quilting designs “400 Hundred + Quilting Designs.” This is an amazing resource for quilters, and I’ve learned a lot just from browsing through her site.

The design I chose to use is what she calls Pipe Maze (number 249 in her database of designs). This design creates a jumble of squares and rectangles that work well with the slightly wonky woven print on my background fabric. It has the added bonus of being really easy to do. Here is my little sample/practice piece:

Pipe-Maze-quilting-design_0

As you can see from the photo that follows, it’s very hard to see the actual stitching on the busy fabric in my quilt. What you can see are the little squares and rectangles that catch the light.

Quilting-the-background-fro

It’s a little more visible on the back, because most of the backing fabric is lighter. The backing fabric has a very similar wonky woven print, so it also works well with this quilting design.

Quilting-the-background-bac

I’ve just finished doing all of the background quilting. I’m very pleased with how it has turned out. This is the most free-motion quilting I’ve ever done, and I learned a lot in the process. I followed a couple of the suggestions that Leah Day has on her web site FAQ page, including leaving the feed dogs up with the stitch length set to 0.0, and slightly limiting the pressure from my free-motion foot by wrapping some elastic around the top of it (this is described in this post by Leah Day, although I didn’t bend back the bar at the top of the foot like she does because I want the foot to go up and down a little bit). That seemed to make it easier. I also cover the flat bed of the machine with a SewSlip teflon sheet so that the quilt moves easily.

All that’s left for me to do on this quilt is trim off the excess batting and backing fabric and sew on the binding. When that’s done, I will show you the whole quilt in all of it’s busy glory. Stay tuned!

Threads used for the free-motion background quilting are: Superior Threads Masterpiece in colour 168 on top, and Superior Threads Bottom Line in colour 617 in the bobbin. (This worked out okay, but if I was starting over I think I’d have used Masterpiece in the bobbin as well as the top thread, both for a more easily balanced stitch, and to have top and bottom threads made of the same material.)

Related posts:

Planning the Layout of a Sampler Quilt

The Sampler Quilt – All Together Now

Pieced Back for the Sampler Quilt

Quilting the Sampler Quilt Blocks – Part 1

Quilting the Sampler Quilt Blocks – Part 2

This post covers the quilting of the second half of the blocks in my sampler quilt. You’ll find the first half of the blocks in my previous post.

First up is the Baby Blocks block. This block is a bit different than the other blocks in that the lines are on 60 degree angles instead of 45 or 90 degrees. It’s also the only block that was pieced first and then appliquéd onto a background. I decided to emphasize the angularity of the blocks by quilting a grid of lines at the same angles as the lines of the blocks. The quilting lines are roughly one inch apart.

Baby-Blocks-13

The Peace and Plenty block is all about angles, too. I like the pinwheel effect of the triangles, and I thought that concentric square quilting lines would emphasize the feeling of a pinwheel spinning around. The lines on this one are also approximately one inch apart.

Peace-and-Plenty-block-11

These Bow Tie blocks were a little bit tricky due to the 3-D effect at the centre of each one. I didn’t want to stitch that down, so instead I quilted around it. Then I stitched straight lines on the diagonal. Once again, the lines are about one inch apart, with minor adjustments to avoid stitching in the ditch. I like the way that the lines emphasize the bow ties.

Bow-Tie-blocks-22

For the Steps to the Alter block I decided to emphasize the strong diagonal lines already present in the block by stitching a series of straight diagonal lines. Once again, these lines are about one inch apart, with a small adjustment to avoid stitching in the ditch.

Steps-to-the-Alter-block_15

Those are all of the pieced blocks in the quilt, but there are also two strips of the main print fabric and a square of one of the secondary fabrics that needed quilting. For the latter, I repeated the same square spiral quilting that I used in the Log Cabin blocks, because that square was next in line on the diagonal that they create.

Fabric-Square_60

For the two strips of the main print fabric I stitched a simple Greek Key design along their length. I thought that worked well with the horizontal and vertical lines created by the print. To do that stitching, I drew out the design on strips of Golden Threads Quilting Paper, and pinned it to the fabric. I stitched along the lines using free-motion quilting, then tore the paper away.

Fabric-Strip-35

Fabric-Strip-44

Fabric-Strip-52

That completed the quilting on the blocks. In my next post I’ll show you what I did to quilt the background fabric that comprises the sashing and borders.

Some details:

Thread used for quilting the blocks is Mettler Poly Sheen Multi in colour 9938 on top and colour 9302 in the bobbin.

Related posts:

Planning the Layout of a Sampler Quilt

The Sampler Quilt – All Together Now

Pieced Back for the Sampler Quilt

Quilting the Sampler Quilt Blocks – Part 1

 

I’ve been working on quilting the sampler quilt that I wrote about in previous posts. It took me quite a long time to decide how to quilt it. Sometimes the choices are simply overwhelming. I used my usual method of taking a digital photo of the quilt top and printing it out in draft mode on regular paper, and then drawing lines on the photo. It usually takes me a few tries to find something I’m happy with, but in this case I think I printed a dozen or more copies of the photo and drew all over them before settling on something.

I wanted to quilt each block in a way that would bring out some aspect of its design. I also wanted to have some sort of consistency from one block to the next, so that they would come together as a whole while still being individual blocks. I settled on sets of straight lines, in most cases about an inch apart.

The first quilting I did was in the ditch on every seam around the blocks and sashing to stabilize the quilt sandwich. I used cotton thread in a colour to match the background fabric on top, and a neutral polyester bobbin thread in the bobbin, to help keep that stitching invisible. Then I quilted the blocks. For that I used variegated polyester thread on top and in the bobbin to provide a bit of colour and sheen. I used the walking foot on my machine for all of that straight line quilting.

I’m splitting up the photos of the quilting over three posts to keep them from being too long. Here are the first four blocks.

I quilted the Log Cabin blocks in a square spiral about a quarter inch away from the seam lines:

Log-Cabin-blocks-01

For the Fair and Square block I wanted to add some movement, so I quilted diamonds that echo out from the centre. The lines are an inch apart.

Fair-and-Square-block-04

I had a harder time deciding what to do with the Mother’s Basket blocks. I wanted to stick with the straight line quilting, so I stitched lines on the diagonal that are parallel to the lines of the top and base of the baskets:

Mothers-Baskets-blocks-03

The Broken Dishes block is quilted with straight lines in an incomplete diagonal grid. There are some places in this block that are quilted in the ditch so that there wasn’t too much space between lines of quilting.

Broken-Dishes-block-06

That covers the first half of the blocks. The remaining blocks will be in the next post.

Some details:

Thread used for the initial quilting in the ditch is Superior Threads Masterpiece in colour 168 on top, and Superior Threads Bottom Line in colour 617 in the bobbin.

Thread used for quilting the blocks is Mettler Poly Sheen Multi in colour 9938 on top and colour 9302 in the bobbin.

Related posts:

Planning the Layout of a Sampler Quilt

The Sampler Quilt – All Together Now

Pieced Back for the Sampler Quilt

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 33 other followers