I ended my last post with a bit of a cliff hanger. You won’t believe what happened next (ok, you probably will believe what happened next).
“Every quilt top deserves to grow up into a finished quilt!”
Before I begin, I encourage you to join my mailing list (just wait for that Hello Bar to pop up and enter your email address), because I spent the week of September 12-18, 2016, at the European Patchwork Meeting in Val D’Argent, France, where I got to spend HOURS learning how to longarm quilt from Angela Walters. My next few posts will talk about what I learned (and will be sprinkled with funny “Angelisms” like the quote above)–you won’t want to miss it!
Three of my quilt guild members belong to another quilting group and in November they’re holding their annual quilt show. At their retreat this year they worked on a group quilt to be auctioned off for charity at the show, and they asked me to quilt it.
The quilt is made of paper-pieced spiderweb blocks, which I believe are based on this tutorial from Sew Mama Sew.
It didn’t take me long to decide what to do with the colour segments of the quilt–they were just begging to be quilted as a spider web, but I did debate a little about what to do with the white space, eventually settling on a small double-paisley filler. I then used a ribbon-candy design for the borders.
Since I needed to have the seams of the coloured segments quilted for the spider web quilting to work, I stitched in the ditch vertically, horizontally, and diagonally. I started out using a ruler, but my ditch stitching with and without the ruler looked about the same, which is to say not particularly straight or entirely in the ditch, so I eventually skipped the ruler. I don’t think this takes away from the quilt though, so I’m not terribly fussed about the straight(ish) lines popping up over the coloured parts here and there. Interestingly, the faster I moved the machine (without the ruler), the straighter the lines came out.
Once I finished the seams, I began quilting the spiderweb pattern across the colour blocks (starting from the centre of each block and gently curving outwards) and then filling in the paisleys as I went along. It took a bit of planning to get to where I wanted to be, but I eventually figured it out.
I’m not sure how long it took to quilt this quilt – maybe three or four hours? I broke thread far more than was strictly necessary and had lots of threads to bury. I was trying to avoid stitching over seams too many times to get from one place to the next, but the truth is that it’s a much more efficient way of quilting, so I’ll be working on improving this next.
This quilt was a fun learning experience and I really enjoyed working on it. I’m looking forward to seeing it hang in the exhibition!