At last Saturday’s Beginners Course we reached the quilting stage of constructing our quilts. I demonstrated a few ideas for quilting using a walking foot eg. in-the-ditch, echoing, wavy lines… I’d had a think about how to quilt my version of the Dashing Stars quilt. In-the-ditch would work but I favoured stitching a quilting design over the patchwork to add ‘movement’, helping to take the eye roaming around the patchwork design. I considered a diagonal hatch across the quilt and considered curves, maybe echoing arcs or a swirl. Eventually I came up with stitching a large zig-zag down the centre of the quilt and then echoing the shape to either side.
I used masking tape to mark out the first zig-zag. I kept the angles open, thinking that if they were acute the bulk of the quilt would have to be turned a long way each time the stitching changed direction and the echoing lines might start to merge or distract from the patchwork.
More decisions: Which thread? I heard the advice of Angela Walters repeated in my head and put aside the light grey and off-white threads in favour of a light yellow.
Angela Walters maintains that yellow thread carries well across a multi-coloured quilt. My thread is a 40wt Aurifil, number 2110, a light, creamy shade of yellow. It’s proving a good choice as it blends well with the off-white background fabric and almost seems to take on the colours of the feature fabrics.
Although it’s not as accurate as using a ruler to mark quilting lines on the quilt top I decided to use my machines quilting bar as the guide for creating echoing lines of stitching. Some of the lines of stitching are a little bowed but not enough to bother me 🙂
It took me a while to figure out how to judge the pivot points as I stitched the zig-zag lines. The echo lines are 2 inches apart so it was hard to judge by eye when to stop stitching and turn the quilt. After a few ‘hit and miss’ incidents I realised I needed to draw a lines through the previous turning points and use them to determine the pivot point – when the needle reaches the line it’s time to change direction. I’m using a ruler and a Chaco marker with white chalk to mark these lines as I need them.
One half of the quilting is now completed, so I’ve turned the quilt around and will begin echo stitching the zig-zag across to the opposite edge of the quilt.
Loving the craft of patchwork and quilting – every project presents the opportunity to try out new techniques and ideas 🙂