Thank you so much for all of your nice comments about the quilting on the Queen Baby Quilt. I though I would share more about how I did it, so I put together some step by step illustrations that should make it very clear.

I recently took a workshop from the amazing Angela Walters and one of her biggest tips about quilting is that you need to plan how you’re going to work through the quilt in advance. This of course makes sense, but sometimes I get too impatient and just jump in. Not anymore!

I should add that my straight line quilting has improved dramatically since I started sewing on the Janome Horizon. (Full disclosure – they did sponsor me with the machine but I would recommend it regardless.) The combination of their feed system and being able to turn the pressure of my presser foot waaaay down have made it so that I don’t deal with fabric shifting like I used to. Amanda Jean did a post on this recently and the follow up post has lots of helpful ideas.

Additionally, the size of the Horizon makes it so that I can easily turn the quilt in my machine as needed. And there’s a lot of turning happening with this quilting because I turn a lot of corners. I keep my lines equidistant by just using the edge of my walking foot as the guide for each seam.

The quilting started with this basic idea.

BeginningIdea

We’ve all seen it before – the idea of making blocks into beads on a string… Pretty simple, right? But with all of that negative space, I knew that I wanted to fill it in with dense straight line quilting, so I had the idea to echo quilt this first concept.

So I started quilting!

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First I sewed a line that was the beginning of the idea.

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Then I worked my way out to the edge of the quilt, filling in all of the negative space. My quilt was in my machine turned 180 degrees (meaning sewing from the bottom to the top) while quilting these lines and I slowly worked my way out, so that more and more of the quilt was to the left of my machine. You can see that when a smaller section of the negative space got filled in (like between the blocks or below the bottom block) I just stopped making those turns.

3

Next up, it was time to fill in two of the blocks with freemotion quilting. I did this before finishing the straight lines so that I could keep the fabric smooth through the whole process. If I quilted dense lines all around the blocks, and then quilted the blocks, any extra fabric (in an ideal world there wouldn’t be any but I’ve learned this lesson the hard way) wouldn’t have anywhere to go and would bubble and ripple.

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I then continued with filling in the straight lines. Because there’s so little negative space between the blocks, I knew I had to fill in the framing line around the second set of blocks now or there wouldn’t be room for it later. Lots of planning ahead!

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Then I filled in all of the space between them. There was only room for a couple of complete lines (that run from the top to the bottom of the quilt) between the blocks, so I then filled in the top and bottom spaces, again echoing the pattern that the quilting lines created.

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And then it was time to freemotion quilt the last two blocks!

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Finally, the last framing line happened…

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I echo quilted around it to the edge of the quilt…

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And finished up by filling in the corners, again echoing the existing quilting pattern.

And there you have it! It is time consuming, all of these straight lines, but I think that the result is so worth it. I love that it is quilting that takes the piecing in to consideration, yet it is graphic and works to create a very modern feeling quilt.


So much going on with The MQG these days. We just announced a call for quilts for an MQG exhibit at Fall Market 2012! This is very exciting stuff and I know that it will be an amazing show!

And meanwhile, are you going to Market or Festival in Houston this year? There’s going to be two different meetups kindly hosted by The Houston MQG. All are welcome and it’s always so much fun to meet other like minded quilters from around the country and world.

Go MQG!

Queen Baby Quilt

Sometimes friends having a baby have a great last name (Queen in this case) and you just gotta use it when naming the quilt! Well, that and the fact that I’m the absolute worst at coming up with quilt names and there you have it… The Queen Baby Quilt!

Queen Baby Quilt

I loved the central gray sorta plus sign created in this quilt, and was doing that that again here. I was also exploring intentionally ever so slightly wavy seams. Not just cutting with no ruler, but also cutting both pieces of fabric at the same time (overlapping them a bit) before sewing them together. Fun stuff and something I’m gonna do more of. It’s a subtle difference, but it does effect your “wonky” look and I’m ever continuing to explore that… It’s endless that wonk exploration, isn’t it??

Queen Baby Quilt Detail

I did dense straight line quilting (yes, I’m stuck there right now) but I tried to mix it up a bit by outlining the blocks and then echoing that outline. And I filled in the blocks themselves with the wavy watery pattern I just did on my mother’s quilt. I will be handing this quilt off to its new lil’ baby owner on Saturday and I hope he loves and cuddles with it for years.

I’m headed to NYC for Fashion Week for all of 36 hours tomorrow. And in other exciting news, I found out that I’m going to the Emmys this year! Fun!! Project Runway is nominated and my fingers are seriously crossed that it’ll win. My outfit is 90% sorted out. Now I just need to get used to walking around in my new super high stilettos…

Home again.

I’m back in LA after a great visit to New Hampshire. It’s always so nice to go back. I grew up there and then moved to LA for college and stayed. I’ve lived in LA for 17 years now. It’s surreal to think I’ve been away almost as long as I lived there. Anyhow – it was a great visit with family and old friends and it was nice to take a break from everything for awhile.

And now I’m diving right back in! A couple of friends having are baby boys. In fact, one was born just yesterday so I have to get cracking!

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Just getting started on them but they will be simple and come together quickly. Just need to add some more negative space to this one…

And I dove into some fabrics I haven’t touched in ages with this one! Hi brown. It’s been a while… but their registry was all blues and chocolate so it should work out!

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I hope to make a lot of progress on these in the next few days.