Quilting Plan

This gives you an idea of how I approach quilts with regards to my quilting plan.  In case anyone is curious, I sketch in Photoshop directly onto my tablet laptop using a stylist pen.

Step 1: Take a picture of the quilt and import into Photoshop for drawing.

Here is the quilt shown minus any quilting lines:

Step 2: Sketch or draw various quilting ideas right on your digital image of the quilt.  For Photoshop or PS Elements users, I create a new layer for each area of the quilt.  If you later want to alter it, you may now easily do so by working on a layer.

And here is my rough sketch of the quilting plan:

Note: this sketch is used for reference only.

Step 3: Quilt your plan!

I start quilting at the top and work my way down the quilt, advancing as I go.  When you load a quilt, you only see a small portion or slice of it at any time to work on, so you need to know what you quilt on border one, so you may replicate it down at the bottom of the quilt.

This quilt will have no markings,  it is faster for me to do freehand.  The only tool I will use is a heart shape pattern board for the center heart shape.

The borders on this quilt has some slight fullness issues, so I couldn’t quilt what I really wanted to in the borders.  I knew I wanted to quilt some texture in the body of the quilt, but I also wanted to bring some structure to the borders to change it up a bit.  I’ve decided to instead quilt the borders using my freehand border quilting- which I know can “quilt out” any extra fullness easily.

Bargello quilts, by their inherent design, have no well defined areas.  Instead there is a blending of fabric from space to space.  I am using Continuous curve quilting to break up the darker areas and define areas where I will change the quilting.  If the quilt had less fullness, then I might decide to quilt in faux borders or lines and visually break up the spaces with the quilting lines.

My goal with the quilting is to “enhance” the quilt, taking advantage of the focal point of the quilt- which to me is the heart shape and center of the bargello heart.  By the way, to all the non-machine quilters reading this, the light areas in this quilt is where the quilting lines will most show when I am finished.

I change thread when I quilt, I  will use one color for the borders and dark areas in this quilt, a medium tone thread for the medium value areas, and then a lighter thread for those light spots.  I do this because I am enhancing the quilt and not trying to change the color or hue on the quilt top.  By using similar thread value to the colors used in the quilt, this will allow the quilt top to shine.

My biggest advice to newer quilters is to find what works for you, then go with it!

Happy quilting from Carla

PS: Today I got about half way finished in my quilting.  Here is the center:

14 thoughts on “Quilting Plan

  1. Pingback: Next Quilt Up « Feathered Fibers

  2. Hi Carla

    i do that too .. for my 1800 quilt I created a new image and filled the quilt top with 70% white then put my quilting lines on top .. it is a great tool that helps you visualize what your quilting lines will look like ..

    for me, i print out the designs on paper and either trace around or sew directly on top of them .. for my 1800 i’m tracing around them .. i rather need the lines as guides🙂


    Grace, I would love to see your quilts and quilting. Do you have a blog address to share? Thanks, Carla PS: Thanks for stopping by!

    Carla PS: Grace has a new blog at http://gquilts.wordpress.com/

  3. Carla your design is awesome. I can hardly wait to see the finished quilting!

    By the way I have begun a new feature over at Machine Quilters Resource which is a Quilter’s Design Challenge…………..I hope you check it out and submit a design. It will be ongoing on a regular basis.

  4. Carla, it’s going to be beautiful and thank you for the information. Now I have a question. You said you would change thread to match but how do you do that when you are doing the feathers? Are you just changing your thread when doing the CC work?

    I’ve not tried drawing on pictures with my mouse…..I think mine would look more like hen scratch than actual designs.

    Judy in MO
    Hi Judy, terrific question! When I started out, I first chose a darker green for the border and dark green CC, then a darker salmon for the dark red CC and teeny border. I also had a very light green and a light salmon. I was going to use the light salmon in the center heart area, and the light green in the outside of the heart. I ended up liking the light green on the pale salmon areas, and as it doesn’t detract, so I decided to use light green iin both places.

    I like changing plans mid stream. It keeps me from being too rigid! LOL

  5. That was so neat to see how you actually come up with the design….does the computer with the photoshop talk to the machine or do you then have to do it yourself…hope that question doesn’t sound irritatingly newbie, but then again my ignorace of this process is quite profound….

    Oreneta, there are some computerized machines that do that, but I do not have one. It would be nice to simply draw it out, then push a button and viola! it is done! When technology gets a little further down the pike, I may buy a robot system, but I’m not ready yet.

    In the meantime, I do it the old fashion way- by hand. I load the layers of the quilt (top, batting and backing fabric) onto my machine rollers, then I advance the quilt back and forth as needed to work on it. The machine head is controlled by my hand. You can see a picture of my machine (empty) at https://featheredfibers.wordpress.com/2008/07/21/carlas-studio-update/ The machine head glides to make the quilting designs. Hugs, Carla

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