Quilt Whisperer Wednesday #3

Another Wednesday is here, so time for another QW quilting plan.  This first quilt comes from Dory, a quilter who lives in Quincy, CA.  Dory has a quilt made exactly like this Hoffman  quilt called “Tradewinds:”


I first saw this quilt and thought of the Linda’s quilt I recently completed.  I recommend breaking the block designs into 2 blocks- the smaller pinwheel and the larger darker brown spaces.  I have done this in my first design sketch, which, by the way, would not be my final design pick:


But what if the recipient dislikes flowers?  So here are two more quilting plans:


The quilting above would be a terrific custom choice, plus for you professional machine quilters out there, this one would quilt up fast.  Here is the next one:


Personally, I do not like the feathered design on the darker block in the half quilt design above.  I would go with the middle plan if this were my quilt.  If you scroll up and down looking at the 3 plans, the middle one feels most balanced to me.

Thread Choice: I would choose 2 colors of thread; one for the light areas and one for the darker block areas.  It would blend nicely and look fabulous in both areas with low contrast.  I feel that picking low contrast thread is important here.  You want the quilting to enhance the quilt and the piecing and not overpower it.

Let me explain this further…  if the quilter were to pick only one color of thread, say a dark brown, the thread (and quilting) would look lovely in the dark parts of the quilt.  However, in the light areas would look awful and detract from the quilt.  Trust me on this!

Beginning sit down quilters: Here is an easy beginning quilting design appropriate for this quilt.  New quilters could use their walking foot and just follow the lines:


For sit down quilters who free motion quilt, choose the design that you believe you can do with you current skill level.


Quilt Whisperer Extra: I have mentioned I am quilting a quilt for a local guild.  Here is my quilting plan for this quilt:


For this current quilt I am working on, the thread choice for each area is what will make this quilt work.  I have intentionally chosen less contrast thread for the inner black area around the star, so from a distance it will read as “black.”  I have intentionally done this to give the viewer a place to rest their eye before moving onto the outer piping ring area- which is quilted with a high contrast Rainbow  by Superior Threads. To show you this principle, I have left some areas black in the drawing above.

2 sided quilt: I have made this a 2 sided quilt, which is a quilt with an interesting back, by also choosing exact thread color for most of the colors in the star.  Combine this with the thread and quilting choices in the black area and the black area on the backing looks pretty cool! When I am done with this quilt you will see what I did- and know my thinking behind it.

I hope you have enjoyed this week QWW!  If you want to see my first two QWW, here are the links:

Quilt Whisperer #1

Quilt Whisperer #2

For all of you who have kindly sent me quilt pictures… keep watching!    Regards, Carla Barrett

15 thoughts on “Quilt Whisperer Wednesday #3

  1. Very lovely!

    May I ask what software you use to draw out your designs on the photos?

    Hi Deb, I use photoshop to draw on the quilt image- along with a tablet laptop and stylus. I do all my drawing that way. Thanks for asking! Carla

  2. I agree with you on the 2nd design and your thoughs on threads are great!

    I can’t to see this guild opp quilt from the front!

  3. I love your thinking and have learned so much in the short time you have been ‘teaching’ me about listening to my quilts. When I load a quilt now, I can hear it talking to me and telling me what it wants quilted. I am no where near you skill level, but can see where different areas need different types of quilting. One day…
    thanks for sharing with all of us!
    I really look forward to Wednesdays.

  4. What a great quilt. I love the 2nd quilting ideas the best … I like them all but #2 is my favorite.

    I’m loving Wednesday’s more than ever … thank you.

  5. Oh yes, the second one! I have to admit to liking the one for domestic machines too, as it doesn’t draw too much attention away from the staright lines of the pieced block.

  6. Thank-you!! I was jealous of the gals on the APQS site who took your class out in CA–and being from Iowa knew I couldn’t get there to take the class. Thank you for letting me “take” your class here!!! Love learning how to hear the whisper–I can usually hear the quilt talking–but now trying to hear the whisper!!!

  7. Carla, you’re my hero…or is it heroine??? I love what you did and I think you are totally right on. The second is more balanced and I do think she’ll love it.

    I rarely ever use thread that does anything except blend in to enhance the quilt rather than the quilting, plus, it has the added benefit of hiding my mistakes. Her quilt is perfectly pieced, so I don’t want to do anything that detracts from it or the fabrics.

    Here’s a thought for you…design service. I think you should charge for your expertise–I’d certainly pay! Although, since this was my idea, rather than having you pay me a commission for such a good idea, you could just do my design work for free!!

    Thank you so much for such great ideas!!


  8. I’m really loving your “Quilt Whisperer Wednesday” posts, as a beginner i need to move away from doing it only one way, thanks for the inspiration!

  9. Carla – Are you still doing the quilt whisperer on Wednesdays or was this just a temporary thing? I just got a quilt from a friend and wanted to do something different from my usual style. It’s “cabiny” in style with bears and trees and I just feel like I’m in a rut and thought I would submit the pic to you for ideas if you are still accepting them.

    BTW – I just love your style – wish I had an ounce of your talent!!


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