Saturday, January 6, 2018

Formulating a Quilting Plan

In my last post I made reference to joining in with Aby Quilts to complete an unfinished quilt each quarter. I'm actually hoping to complete three this first quarter - all of them for the Faith Circle of do. Good Stitches. Last year, with moving to our new home, I was able to coordinate the planning of these quilts from my circle, but not able to pull off getting them completed. Now that the new year is upon us I will be coordinating two quilts in 2018, so I need to get myself in gear and finish the 2017 quilts.

First up is the green and blue improv log cabin quilt. I am thrilled with how saturated the colors are in this quilt top. Yesterday I got it pin basted using a nice open space on the basement floor. It just took a little over an hour to baste this 48" square quilt. The challenge was to keep our dog from walking back and forth on it while I was working. At one point she even decided to lay down on it. Maybe that means it's snuggle worthy?

Sandwiching the quilt
All smoothed out and ready to pin baste

As it was spread out on the floor I mulled over how I'd like to quilt it. Options considered include:
  • Edge to edge straight line quilting using painters tape as a guide
  • Grid quilting using painters tape as a guide
  • All over meander/stipple and possibly include loops
  • Flame/wood grain quilting the individual squares
It's been a while since I've done any free-motion quilting so I think it's time to give it some practice again. As I've written about before, I have a pretty small Janome domestic sewing machine. It can be a challenge to use it for quilting; however, for the most part I've been pretty happy with what I've been able to do with this machine. I decided to try the flame/wood grain design in each individual square. This saves me from having to feed large sections of the quilt through my machine as I will only be working on one square at a time. I'll start by stitching-in-the-ditch along the seams where the blocks are joined. This will stabilize the quilt sandwich, and allow me to stitch along this same line as I work back and forth in the wood grain design. 

Planning out the quilting design
Searching for quilting options in my reference books

I have a couple of great books I've written about before that are so helpful with learning about developing the skills needed with free-motion quilting. I pulled them out along with an old composition book (left over from my son's schooling days!) and practiced sketching out the design.

Practicing my quilting design
Sketching out the wood grain design

I'm thinking I will alternate the direction of the wood grain stitching from block to block. I also plan to use up various shades of blue and green thread I was gifted from a friend whose mother used to quilt. Here's to a good plan, now wish me luck as I get started! 


  1. I love to see your quilts and hope the quilting goes well. I, too, start by pulling out my books and trying to decide what I want to use and how I will do it. If I don't, I'm inclined to stipple and that is just not satisfying. Learning to take my time and not try to finish it all in one sitting is my challenge.

  2. Cheering you on as you quilt this charity quilt. The colors are so fresh - like spring; it will be fun to work on.


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