The Free Motion Quilting Project: Quilting a Sampler Quilt Part 3

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Quilting a Sampler Quilt Part 3

Let's move on with the next three blocks of Randi's sampler quilt designed by Annie Smith.

Center Block - In my opinion, this is absolutely the most important block of this quilt. It's smack in the center of the quilt and the first thing your eyes see when you look at the quilt.

Because it's such a bold block and because the triangles extend all the way to the edges of the block, I'd probably just follow the piecing lines entirely.

In some situations, the best thing to do is stitch in the ditch because to add anything more would be jumping into the realm of "too much."

3rd Row, Right Block - With this block I felt like there was room to fit a new design in over the existing piecing.

Rather than follow the piecing lines of the pink diamonds, I instead sketched a curving petal shape, again playing off the dresden plate design.

By covering over the other piecing with dense fillers, you choose what areas you want to be dominant.

4th Row, Left Block - This is the butterfly block, and you could easily just stitch in the ditch around the block and fill in the background as is.

But there are details added in the applique that should be enhanced if possible. Randi bothered to stitch them on so we may as well quilt them nicely!

The leaf shapes, darker lines, and circles could all be filled densely, making them flatter in comparison to the butterfly wings.

You could even fill in the circles with spirals, or add more circles to the wings. The possibilities really are limitless!

So how do you add quilting motifs to a pieced or appliqued block?

Here's how I take an existing block and create a custom design for it:

1. Place the block in question over a light box.

2. Take a large sheet of graph paper and lay it over the quilt top.

3. Sketch the block onto the graph paper using the light box to illuminate through the quilt top.

4. Once you have 1/4 of the design drawn you can remove the quilt top. You really only need a quarter of the design if your piecing is symmetrical.

5. Fold your graph paper into half lengthwise and copy the drawn lines over to the opposite side.

6. Fold your paper in half width wise and now transfer the whole design to this other half of the paper.

When you open your paper, you should have a full sized design now.

7. Now start playing with the design. You only have to make changes to one quarter area because you can always fold the paper to transfer those marks to all the other areas of the block.

A light box really comes in handy for this type of design work. While I know most quilters don't have them, you can always use a window or glass door to get the same effect.

I'll try to add illustrating photos soon!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

1 comment:

  1. The ideas you show us are entrancing, THANKS! For playing with designs, I use my digital camera instead of tracing. I photograph the block, open it in PhotoShop Elements, then choose the filter that draws outlines. I might have to delete some details of a print fabric, but that usually only takes seconds. Then I can print the block several times to check out different designs.


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