Thursday, November 5, 2015

Choosing My Quilting Design...

About 3 or 4 weeks ago, I pin-basted two quilt tops in the hopes of getting them quilted up. Then they sat. They sat because I didn't know what to quilt.

A few weeks went by and I decided to start with the easier of the two. A very minimalist triangle quilt that just needed some texture and was asking for a simple all-over design. That one's done, bound and ready for some less cloudy weather to be photographed. Soon!

The second one sat a little longer. Remember my Ikat quilt? I just love it and it will go at the foot of my bed. I wanted to be happy with the quilting.

I often get stumped on these quilts that have very high contrast. The stark white against the dark navy is what really creates the strong design. I considered all-over quilting and straight-line, diagonal and grid quilting. All of those options would require one color thread. Navy thread was out of the question. I seldom like seeing dark thread on white fabric. White or light gray was a possibility, although it would stand out and detract the eye a bit on the solid navy fabric.

What I really wanted to do was use navy thread on the navy, white thread on the white, and blue/gray thread on the medium blues. I also really wanted straight lines in the navy and the white areas. So then it sat some more. The idea of turning the quilt under the machine to do straight lines seemed daunting even though I've done it many times.

And you know what I did on Monday? I put my walking foot on the machine and did all those straight lines in navy and white thread. And you know what? It was much more difficult in my head than it was in actuality. And I'm super pleased with how it's turning out...

Using a walking foot to do straight lines and turning the quilt isn't impossible. It helps to have a machine with a larger throat opening, but with that it's totally doable. It takes some time, but not as much as you would think. And if you're sewing on a newer Bernina, be sure to use stitch 1324 which has a securing stitch at the beginning and end of the stitching.

I went on to do some free motion designs and texture fill on the rest of the quilt. That portion is about half done - so the final reveal will be soon!

Do you agonize over your quilting designs?


  1. Agonize? Oh, yes. Until my gut hurts. Once I get started, I'm often left wondering what all the fuss was about. Can't wait to see the finish on your ikat quilt.

  2. Great! All my favorite colors :)

  3. Love your quilt and the quilting. I definitely agonize! If you spend all that time piecing it, you just as well take some time to make sure you will be happy with the quilting and that it enhances the quilt. Can't wait to see the final reveal.

  4. Oh yes. Being somewhat new to quilting, I fear attempting a complicated design. I tried on a sample block, and picking the stitches out was nearly impossible to do. So, for now, I just stick to a simple allover meandering design or stitch-in-the-ditch. The ikat quilt is lovely. Love that navy and white contrast :)

  5. I agonize over every next step, including the quilting. I don't want to mess up what I've done so far.

  6. I so am with you on the thread colors. I really don't like dark thread on a light background or light thread on a dark background. This usually means a more complicated design and thread changes but is usually worth it in the end (like your quilt, it is going to look fantastic when it is finished!)


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