While I thoroughly enjoy piecing and to some extent applique, I also love quilting and some years ago bought a long arm quilting machine. For me quilting makes the quilt and I find it a very creative and liberating activity.
As well as being able to quilt larger quilts more easily than using a domestic sewing machine, it also gave me the opportunity to improve my quilting.
I’ve been lucky enough to be entrusted to quilt some friends quilts which means I get more quilts to work on and also have the challenge of quilting something I’ve not made. I find it quite scary, given how much time and effort someone else has put into the piecing but at the same time it ups my game. The quilt above and this one below were the same design in different colourways, made by two friends.
They had been challenging quilts to make and I wanted to make sure the quilting matched their efforts while not taking anything away from their efforts.
I attended the MQX Quilt Festival in New England some years ago and took a class in McTavishing. When I got back I included it in a wall hanging I had made -
And then I went mad and used it in the background of a friend’s quilt.
It turned into a bit of a labour of love and took forever as well as vast amounts of thread but in the end it was worth it. I particularly like the way it raised the blocks giving them a slight trapunto look.
Sometimes it’s fun to just do a large random design as I did for this quilt that one of the quilt groups I belong to raffled at our quilt show.
I did something similar on a friend’s quilt which she wanted very lightly quilted so I just did meandering loops.
For the border and the sashing I did one of my favourite quilting patterns of “e”s and “l”s.
The first time I used that pattern for sashings was on a quilt I made from Australian prints
The next raffle quilt I quilted was rather different -
At first I thought I’d quilt it fairly lightly, not least as I was rather pressed for time. But as I got into the quilting, I found providing some texture really brought out the applique. It was my first serious applique quilt and I was very pleased with the result.
When you are long arm quilting, ideally you don’t want to be stopping and starting too much not least because it really slows you down. But it’s also nice to highlight blocks rather than do all over patterns at times.
For the snowball blocks I did a free motion flower design
And for the border I did a double ring pattern using semi-circular rulers