Quilt Whisperer Wednesday #2

Time to see more quilt designs and how I would approach them both.  First up is a quilt pieced by Barb for her new granddaughter, Kelsey:


If Barb wanted a custom job, and perhaps this was going to hang on the wall as a decorative quilt, rather than used as a utility quilt, here would be my quilting:


Again, the above quilting would reflect what I might do if Barb told me this quilt was going to be an heirloom wall hanging, then I would quilt some fancy quilting.

Be sure to notice the border quilting, sometimes it is fun to play off the fabric and use the fabric as your quilting lines.  The other design elements play off of the border fabric, too.

Thread: While the quilting looks busy in the drawing, by choosing thread that will not have any contrast, it will enhance the piecing and add lovely texture to the piece.  For that reason, I would take the time to use threads that match where I am quilting, for instance, the green border would use that shade of green, each flower would be quilted using different colors of thread, and the backgound fabric color would dictate the thread color used in that area.

Here’s a different  plan: Another way I would design this quilt is using a technique borrowed from Suzanne Earley called meandering magic.  This is how it would look used in the background as a filler:


I drew up a few other quilting ideas for this quilt, but I liked the two above the best.


Remember this quilt from last week for Maggie?  Here it is again to refresh your memory:


I wanted more information before I could suggest some designs. so now I’m ready to suggest:

From a quilting standpoint, a custom quilting job would not show, so I would not suggest it for this quilt.  It is tempting to quilt a large zebra on this quilt, however it would not show, too.  Just for fun, I decided to show you a large zebra and I added some black sections of the quilt so you could see parts of the design:


Obviously, you would not want to quilt a large zebra on this quilt because it would not show.   So what would I suggest?

#1- Panto  or Edge-to-Edge (E2E) that looks like zebra stripes.   Here is a rough drawing to show you:


Another idea if you wanted to practice an all over texture is a different Suzanne meandering Magic using ferns to suggest zebra stripes:


or soften the piecing by quilting rounded swirls on the piecing:


Finally, the quilting I would choose if I were to quilt this quilt would be #1 above, the large faux zebra-ish stripes E2E.

As for thread choice, you could choose a value in between the black and the white, but also be bold and audition red, lime green, or other bright thread or rainbow.   Take the thread off the spool and drape it around both the light and dark areas of the quilt.  How does it look?  This is how I chose my thread colors- using the audition method.

Sit down quilters (Domestic machine users):  The E2E zebra stripes would be the method I would suggest for you.    If done large enough, you could use a walking foot.  If dones smaller, free motion quilters could also create the pattern.

Keep watching!  Each Wednesday I will post an unquilted quilt top and suggest quilting designs.   Regards, Carla

13 thoughts on “Quilt Whisperer Wednesday #2

  1. Love the 1st idea for the flower quilt.

    Ebb & Flow panto might be a similar style to what you suggested for the black/white.

    This exercise is so very interesting … thank you so much for taking the time.

  2. I also like the first flower quilt design. The circles look the best to me on the black and white quilt. It would be so much fun if the zebra would show up…darn.

  3. The zebra is cool but depending on what the customer is willing to pay, I would select zebra for less and meander for a higher price point. I do love using circles with straight lines, though. Hard decision. And I love the idea of using bright yellow thread.

  4. Love the first design for the flower quilt, but would use a little less on the flowers so they pop out from the surface a bit.
    Nothing much will show up inthe black and white so the zebra one would do. With the right back it would be fun to hide a real zebra in there though.
    Judy B.

    Thank you for pointing out what was not right for me in that first photo… I was rushing this week. LOL

    Quilting a large motif over the full body of the quilt can actually be challenging to any newer machine quilters. You don’t want to take the time and effort unless is will really enhance the quilt and show. Ask me how I learned this… obviously the hard way!! LOL, C

  5. I like both designs on the baby quilt and the second design on the black & white quilt. How fun to see your ideas!!

  6. Hi Carla
    I love the zebra! The backing for this quilt would show the zebra perfectly. i could quilt it back side up with red in the bobbin but how do i draw a zebra that size on the back in order to follow the design. it would have to be marked before being put on the frame which i’ve never done.
    don’t know that the owner would go for this but it’s a great idea to experiment with for myself.
    the zebra strips look like flames to me so am thinking circles or go back to my original thought of stippling.
    your design ideas are a great help. i have several other tops i
    plan on sending to you if you’re not overloaded.
    thanks much

    Maggie, if you talked to your client and they were completely 100% sold on the zebra idea- you would need to mark the quilt before loading. It is pretty involved, a lot of work for basically not showing on the front. I’m not one to discourage you to be adventurous, so here would be the steps though as I would do it:

    1. Draw a zebra (and blow your design up at Kinko’s or using a projector)
    2. Transfer the drawing to the quilt sandwich (consider loading the backing on top so you can easily see your design since the backing is plain and the top is so busy).
    3. Load your machine and Quilt as desired.

    Since some of these steps above may be new, you might practice on a smaller piece before attempting a client quilt.

    I would like to encourage you to try something new- even if it is a new panto or E2E design. Break free of the plain stipple or wormy meander!! Good luck! Carla

  7. Hi Carla
    it’s a ‘no’ on the zebra. we’re looking at several different e2e designs. however i plan on experimenting with some large design on a solid color just for the experience and practice. i’m pretty new at my long arm.
    thanks again.

  8. Hi Carla, I have a customer quilt that I could really use some ideas on. Can I send you a picture and get some help???

    I love your ideas–you’re so creative.

    Thanks, Dory

  9. Carla,
    The more I see of your design ideas, the more excited I get. I love the zebra look and have a jungle-ish throw that would look great with some wild animals superimposed on the back. I was thinking of doing some applique figures in black, but I like the idea of quilting the animals. I would go for the circles on the black & white. Thanks for taking the time to help us new quilters get ideas. Darlene

  10. Pingback: Quilt Whisperer Wednesday #3 « Feathered Fibers

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