Come up with quilting motif/stitch ideas, that is. First, I will look at the fabric…….the piecing, the prints, the “feel” of the finish. I’ll be thinking about this as I sew/piece it, pin-baste it and/or put it on the design wall for a while to ponder and maybe even dream about it (I do some of my best idea “birthing” while I’m asleep!!! How ‘bout you???) The “Stained Glass” quilt (here) was one that I knew I would be doing some type of ‘ruler’ work on. By that I mean, using a specially made acrylic straight edge, that is laid along side the machine’s hopping/quilting foot, which helps to guide the stitching either in a straight line or a certain curve pattern. The ruler is 1/4” thick to prevent it from slipping under the foot and having the needle come down on it. It can be a bit more time consuming/tedious but the results are worth it. Some examples……….The ruler to the left (my homemade version) is the straight edge I used in this quilt.
The photo above shows the final pencil ideas on the paper copy. Now, on to the machine…………. The “cross” is the central pieced motif I wanted to emphasize with the ‘rays’ stitching. Here are the dry erase board versions…
If you follow (as best you can) the arrows….the first photo indicates the first section and the second, how I traveled to the next section, leaving the colored/batik areas unquilted. I must note that I SID (stitched in the ditch)……every seam before beginning any of the quilting. A time consuming but very necessary step to stabilize the 3 layers. This would be for (especially) DSM (domestic sewing machines) and for sit-down mid-arm machines, such as I use (HQ Sweet Sixteen). I broke my stitching at the finish of each block.
The next motif was the one used where the 4 smaller batik blocks come together to form a 4-patch. These were each done separately. The first stitching was a diagonal one (the green ‘x’), then I “mentally” divided the piecing line in 3. Then, began making 3 stitching rounds to form sort of a star effect.
And the finished motif on the quilt……
And here is the dry-erase version…….. I know this looks extremely confusing, but if you follow the arrows carefully, you can complete all the stitching in a continuous line. I did mark the border at approximately 4” intervals (green line), using a water erase pen. This gave me the necessary demarcations to work with. The “rays” flow from one set to another, switching origination directions each time. As with all quilting motifs, after a while the FMQ (free motion quilting) becomes “second nature”!!!
I hope this helps a bit to clarify how this finish came into being. Click on any photo to enlarge and be sure to let me know of any further questions/clarifications!!!!!!!
Til next time…………………………..