The Free Motion Quilting Project: Machine Quilting Adventure on the Road Work Quilt

Monday, June 26, 2017

Machine Quilting Adventure on the Road Work Quilt

Last month I collaborated with Sheri Cifaldi Morrill from Whole Circle Studio and quilted her mini Road Work quilt with a very simple design using ruler foot quilting. Click Here to check out that post.

Now it's time for me to fess up - Sheri actually sent me two Road Work mini quilts! Now it's time to hit the road and quilt this block with a totally new design.

As you can see, I really went for it this time! For the first mini Road Work I got stuck on it being a ROAD, but for this version I decided to completely ignore the road effect.

In fact, I ignored almost all of the pieced shapes except for the tiny pieced triangles. That was the only shape I stitched in the ditch. because my goal was to quilt free form and allow the quilting design to take shape and flow across the quilt surface. See how I quilted it step by step in this new video:

Click Here to find Sheri's pattern for the Road Work quilt which includes instructions for the mini, throw, twin, and queen sized quilt.

This quilting design looks really intense, but it started very simply. I marked a mixture of curving lines and straight lines to break up the space and make it clear to my brain - you are not quilting a road here!

Then I thought about one of my favorite designs, Tree Roots, and drew the lines branching out from the triangles to hit the curving line. Then I just kept drawing curving lines and a few straight lines until the space felt broken up into small enough pieces.

After breaking it up, I picked a few more designs to quilt including Pebbles in a Stream, Modern Weave, and Garden Maze. I wanted a lot of high contrast with straight lines and sharp angles juxtaposed to soft curving lines and stitched circles.

I also intentionally travel stitched to create bold thread effects on the quilt surface. I've used this technique a lot since Duchess Reigns and I think I need to experiment with thicker threads!

This takes awhile and I have to quilt multiple passes when quilting with Isacord so maybe I should try some 28 wt thread. It's on my list to experiment with more types and thicknesses of thread next month.

Overall I'm delighted with the results! Yes, this is very, very different from the first version of Road Work. I set myself free from the pieced design and focused on the filler designs I love best. The ultimate test is to check the back and yep, it's just as pretty as the front:

Don't forget to check out the first video quilting the Road Work quilt with ruler foot quilting. Click here to check out that video.

What do you think about this quilting design? Do you like this take on the Road Work quilt better than the first or less? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

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