Okay! Let's get started with our very first tutorial on USING these free motion designs!
This beautiful quilt was sent in my Meredith K:
When I saw it I was instantly reminded of the 2 log cabin quilts I've made: the Rainbow Quilt and Eye of the Forest.
I was also reminded by how hard it was to decide on the quilting pattern for both quilts!
Log cabin quilts are pretty tricky because the design is typically very bold and there are so many piecing lines.
Should you follow the piecing lines or ignore them? Should you enhance the bold color differences with more contrast or less?
So how the heck do you quilt it???
Remember stitching in the ditch is NOT allowed!
Well, I played with it in paint for awhile and came up with 5 different quilting designs which I will share in subsequent posts.
Here's the first I came up with:
Note: I draw this in contrasting lines so you can see it, but you don't necessarily have to quilt it with contrasting thread.
This design is really basic and I feel that most beginners should be able to quilt it.
You will definitely want to mark your quilt using clear rotary ruler and either a Water Soluble Pen or a Soapstone Marker if your fabrics are dark.
While the marking may take awhile, this design is very forgiving. Don't get too nit-picky with having exactly the right number and spacing of rays. Just make sure your lines are drawn straight and then quilt the sucker!
Yes, it's all straight lines, but don't chicken out and use your walking foot. It's far easier to quilt straight lines with your free motion foot once you get used to it.
The thing I like about this design is that it definitely takes advantage of the piecing, but it also adds a new dimension of texture over it as well.
As far as a bed quilt goes, this quilting design is perfect.
There will still be lots of space between the lines of stitching so the quilt will hold together nicely without being "overquilted" or "hyperquilted" where the quilt feels more like cardboard than a cozy quilt!
As far as where this would fair in a quilt show, it's hard to say.
Just quilting the straight lines is probably not going to win you any ribbons, but the judges will look favorably on you stitching different designs in different areas of your quilt and not just meandering over the whole surface.
A cool variation of this design that would definitely put you in the running for a Best Machine Quilting award would be to first stitch the lines, then go back and fill the space between every other ray with dense filler stitching.
Which fillers would I suggest?
The rays are what I would call uncomplicated quilting spaces so you can quilt just about any of the designs we've done so far in them.
I personally think Henna Fooffy or Spiral Chain would look excellent starting small and then expanding out of the rays.
If you've got a log cabin quilt hanging around in your closet, pull it out and give this one a try!
Or you can wait and check out the next variation of this design I come up with. Meredith's quilt is so awesome, there's going to definitely be a lot of different ways to quilt it!
Let's go Quilt!