Today is part 1 of my new weekly post on the topic of Quilting design, which is one of the final steps in the quilting process. The “quilt whisperer” title came about as a joke title for my “How Do I Quilt This Quilt” kind of class. Perhaps margaritas were involved, I can’t remember. LOL (Apologies to Caesar though)
First quilt is courtesy of Sandy from the Quilting Nanny blog. Here is the before quilting picture:
When I see a quilt like this- with lots of black empty spaces, I really get excited because I know good quilting will elevate and make this quilt shine.
From a quilting standpoint, any quilting in the colored fabric areas will not really show, so most of my effort will be in the black areas that do.
This is also a feminine quilt, so feathers, flowers or anything frilly will look just fine. Here is how I would quilt it:
I have chosen freehand flowers in the negative black space for two reasons- lots of interesting visual punch and I also can easily quilt this flower in my sleep. The ferny feather in the triangular spaces would also be freehand, however the straight lines would be quilted with a small ruler.
The freehand fill in the outer border is also one of those designs that is easy to do for me, so I would quilt it to match the “feel” of the quilt. Same goes for the floral block in the interior of the quilt.
Threads: I would audition threads for the floral sections, picking something that would blend nicely and not fight with the fabric. The thread for the black area would be a dark gray. My thought is that using lighter thread for this quilt in the black would diminish the stark contrast between the black and the floral parts. Sometimes, subtle is better.
Those of you wondering why I would not pick black thread? LOL Because if I used black, I would have a hard time seeing what I was quilting, much like quilting in the dark. Using a dark gray allows me to see what I’m doing.
Domestic Machine Quilters (sit down quilters): What would I suggest for a quilter who is using their home machine?? Here is a simpler design that you could easily manage with your walking foot:\
Other than the flower circle center, and the curve at the end of the flower, the rest of the quilt are straight lines or slightly curving lines. For thread choice, the same reasoning applies as above.
There are thousands of ways to successfully quilt this quilt, however, this would be how I would quilt it if it were on my machine table today. Thank you Sandy for sharing your quilt!
I’ve decided to do a second quilt today, this one is from Maggie. This one is a very traditional design (called a Churn Dash) using modern fabrics in a black and white fabric palette:
From a quilting standpoint, the complexity and busy-ness of the fabric would rule out any custom quilting. Certainly, the customer could pay for- and get a custom quilting job on this quilt, however, I see an Edge-to-Edge (E2E) quilting design or a panto design for this quilt.
Before I chose the E2E quilting, I would need to know more information. For instance, who is this quilt being made for? What will be the use of the quilt? It would be a shame to quilt trucks and sailboats on the quilt if the recipient were a little girl who loved flowers.
So Maggie, go ahead and tell me who the quilt is for, do they have any particular likes or dislikes, and next week I’ll suggest some E2E and panto quilting choices for you. In other words, to be continued next week- or once I have more info. LOL!
I hope you have enjoyed this first of many QWW posts. I hope this will be helpful to people who quilt their own or send their tops out to a professional machine quilter. I also hope this is helpful to newer machine quilters who quilt for others.
Let me know what you think? Regards, Carla