In yesterday’s post, I demonstrated my method of quilt sandwiching. The time has come to discuss quilting and what I call, the appliquilting that I have referencing all week with my Fireside Modern Drunkards Path quilt made with the luscious Banyan Batiks Jungle Rose Cool fabric.
How to choose the quilting for a quilt
There are many things to consider for quilting whenever a quilt is completed and in my mind they are as follows:
- Purpose of the quilt, i.e. is it to be used a lot and needs frequent laundering and therefore requires a lot of quilting?
- Are you showing it in a quilt show? Careful consideration and maybe more quilting needed.
- Does it need to be super warm? If so you might want lots of quilting to help with the weight of your project.
- Design, what does the design seem to need? Consider the shapes you have to deal with.
- Scale, quilting designs should relate to the scale or size of individual blocks and fit.
- How busy is the fabric? Will lots or less quilting show?
- To whom will it be gifted? Will they even notice hours and hours of work and dense quilting.
- Tools available, i.e. what tools do you have to quilt with and can be used to mark and design the quilting, stencils, templates, rulers and marking tools?
- Packaging instructions on your batting, i.e. sometimes the batting packaging will advise that quilting is recommended at 2″-3″ apart.
- Stabilizing or stitch in the ditch quilting needed?
- Color, consider the color of the front of your quilt and the color of the backing in part of your decision making process i.e. will the thread show, do you want it to show?
- Theme, is there a theme in the quilt? i.e. animals, leaves, natural elements, flowers etc, you may wish to consider quilting with motifs relating to the theme of your quilt.
- Rules for success, i.e. stitching from the center outwards to start quilting to avoid scrunches or bunches in the center. This helps the quilt lay flatter.
- Time, how much time do you have to get your beautiful quilt completed?
- Bottom line is personal preference i.e. some people like denser quilting than others, however, you can quilt it any way you like, it’s your project after all.
- Your style is your style and if it brings you joy, do it. (This should be a sewing/quilting mantra.)
The first thing I felt compelled to do was look at the color of the front and back and pick out a color of quilting thread that would blend with the front and backing nicely. I chose Gütermann Variegated cotton 50wt thread – Bahama Ocean because it’s variegated, it will pick up on the light and the dark greens in this quilt and look a little more interesting than a solid color thread. At 50wt cotton it’s also strong enough and thick enough thread to show on my quilt front and back, without taking away from any of the patterns in the fabric. Did I mention that I also used this variegated thread because it’s just so pretty?
The next step for this quilt was to stabilize the quilt from the center out so it was stitch in the ditch quilted with a walking foot on my machine vertically from the top down to the right of the 3rd row, 4th row, 2nd row, 5th row, 1st row, and 6th rows in this order. I then stitched in the ditch in all of my horizontal rows starting in the center and working out. The quilt is now stabilized and ready for appliquilting.
Note This quilt is a great size for the stuff and fluff method, where I stuff as much as I can under the throat of my machine and spread out on a table behind the machine, to the left side on a table and some on my lap to manage the bulk it worked very nicely.
Notice the stitch in the ditch quilting below:
Time to appliquilt. Appliquilt is a mashed together word that means the applique and quilting is done together through all layers of the quilt. The arcs on this Fireside Modern Drunkards Path quilt need to be appliquilted because at this point there’s no stitching to stabilize the curved arc. Remember, I used Heatnbond Lite Iron-On Adhesive to glue the curves down. I was able to save time with this step as no slow, curved piecing was required.
Although batik fabric traditionally does not fray as much as other fabric, I believe the addition of some stitches will further enhance the look of the quilt and make it more washable. It’s also a great opportunity to add some quilting texture and greater quilting density.
With a free motion foot, stitch approximately a scant ¼” from the edge of each curve for the arcs. On the circles and ½ circles, I tried my best to continue the curve to connect the circle with a continuous free motion stitch without stopping. Look closely to see the free motion arc stitches.
I have not done any more quilting because this quilt is a Christmas gift and in the interest of time, I’m running out. Yikes. I also feel that its purpose is not for a quilt show, it will be a fireside lap quilt/couch throw. It’s utilitarian, so not a lot of design required and I’m good with that. It won’t be on a bed, so it does not need to be made heavier with quilting. My personal preference is to leave it as is. I thoroughly enjoyed making it, binding it and it’s done.
If you think you would like some more quilting design options, read on and be inspired.
Some creative quilt design ideas
Using the downloaded pattern from www.quiltingintheloft.com, photocopy the block pattern as many times as you like and do some drawings as shown below to decide what you like. The designs shown are suggestions for additional quilting pizzazz that can be added. They are also an opportunity to audition some designs.
Draw a design on one of the drunkards path block patterns. The one shown below is one I have drawn and is a suggestion.
You could also use a stencil to draw your design onto a drunkards path block, I decided to use a symmetrical circle feather wreath stencil.
Using a pencil and black marker, transfer the stencil design it to your paper block to audition how it will look on your quilt.
Now we can see how all of the 3 above designs look once we have photocopied all 3, 4 times, cut them out and put them together to see what they will look like on the quilt:
To transfer your designs to your quilt I would recommend a chalk pencil if your fabric is dark or a blue wash out marker for lighter fabrics. There you have it. I hope you are inspired.
If you need a quick quilt before Christmas, this just may be the one for you. I hope you have enjoyed this week’s discussion about the Fireside Modern Drunkards Path quilt made easy with the beautiful Banyan Batiks Jungle Rose Fabric collection.
Don’t forget to ask for this fabric at your local quilt shop.
Have a wonderful weekend, stay warm.