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Step 5 – quilting, how and how much, add the finishing touch

Welcome back. We’re at day five and have already accomplished so much!

All we gathered our supplies, did our cutting and preparation work, pieced and added borders then accented our Artisan Spirit Water Garden panel with both trapunto work and thread painting.

As an added benefit we’ve been putting our needle and thread knowledge to work by pairing SCHMETZ needles with a variety of Sulky and Gütermann threads for beautiful successful stitching.

For today’s fifth and final post in this series, we’ll put that knowledge to good use once again as we add the finishing touches to our piece.

Quilting the background – SCHMETZ needles and Sulky thread make it easy

I’ll be using a SCHMETZ quilting needle size 75/11 for all of today’s finishing work. This is such a versatile needle that I have to say it’s one of my favorites.

A package of SCHMETZ 75/11 Quilting needles suitable for many quilting techniques; using Sulky / Schmetz / Northcott / Gütermann / Fairfield. A thread painting and free motion quilting tutorial
SCHMETZ quilting needles

I’ll be doing some free motion quilting, so I’ve left the same darning foot on my machine as yesterday.

The background of the panel needs to be quilted to make it lay flat and for the heron to stand out.

First I used a green Sulky rayon thread to outline the tall reeds. Because we see the thread it helps to add a bit of visual weight to the bottom portion of the panel as a nice counterbalance to the heron.

The tall reeds on the Artisan Spirit Water Garden panel have been outline quilted with Sulky rayon thread; using Sulky / Schmetz / Northcott / Gütermann / Fairfield. A thread painting tutorial
Tall reeds outline quilted with Sulky rayon

Next, I used the same Sulky rayon and outline stitched around the lily pads and the lilies that were not thread painted.

You don’t need to be too precise with your stitching so this is another great way to practice your free motion quilting skills.

The lily pads on the Artisan Spirit Water Garden panel have been outline quilted with green Sulky rayon thread   SULKY / SCHMETZ / Northcott
Outline stitch the lily pads.

The water and sky need to be quilted next.

The fabric itself gives a wonderful design to follow for the quilting. The heron needs to be the ‘star’ so thread colors need to match the background so as not to take the focus away from all of your wonderful thread painting.

I chose to do the remainder of my quilting with Sulky Invisible thread.  This thread is a very fine clear filament so all the texture of my quilting will show but not the thread. Though you can put the Invisible thread in the bobbin I used one filled with Sulky Poly Deco.

I don’t need to change my needle as the SCHMETZ 75/11 quilting needle works beautifully with SulkyInvisible thread.

Sulky Premium invisible polyester thread will be used to quilt areas where we want the texture to show but not the thread  Sulky
Sulky Premium Invisible Polyester thread

I followed the swirl of the sky on the upper left of the panel and some of the curving lines on the remainder.

The swirl design of the sky has been quilted with Sulky invisible thread to add a nice texture; using Sulky / Schmetz / Northcott / Gütermann / Fairfield
Quilt the swirls in the sky for a nice texture.

Part of the water was quilted following the curved lines back and forth and the remainder with a wavy design.

The water area on the Artisan Spirit Water Garden panel has been quilted with Sulky invisible thread to add texture using Sulky / Schmetz / Northcott / Gütermann / Fairfield
Quilt the water area.

Quilting the borders

To straight line quilt the borders, I attached a walking foot to my machine. This foot has feed teeth that will help move the quilt evenly through my machine.

A walking foot for straight line quilting  has been attached to a sewing machine threaded with Sulky invisible thread and a Schmetz quilting needle; using Sulky / Schmetz / Northcott / Gütermann / Fairfield
A walking foot for straight line quilting

As there are so many different colors in the inner and outer border, I decided to quilt these with my Sulky Invisible thread as well. You’ll want to quilt the inner border first. I wanted this to be a visual frame of the thread painted panel so opted for very simple quilting in the ditch.

Quilting the narrow inner border in the ditch with a walking foot and Sulky invisible thread for a nice subtle appearance; using SULKY / SCHMETZ / Northcott
Quilting the inner border

For the outer border, I quilted all of the diagonal seams. If you quilt in a chevron pattern and pivot at the inner and outer points you can quilt almost continuously around the border.

Pivot at the points for continuous quilting.
Pivot at the points for continuous quilting.

The finish line

The quilting is done and I need to bind the piece.

You’ll need five 2½” strips of your chosen fabric to make a continuous binding.

The binding is the final focal point, just like the frame of a painting. I used a dark blue fabric from Naturescapes Blue Heron grouping that looks like water.

There are several excellent QUILTsocial posts on how to construct and attach the binding to your piece. Two of my favorites are Binding a quilt and 7 essential tips for sewing the binding on a quilt by machine.

Gütermann 50wt cotton thread in both the needle and bobbin were used to piece and attach my binding. This strong, long-staple cotton thread is ideal for piecing and construction.

I continued to use my SCHMETZ quilting needle to attach the binding. This needle is strong and sharp enough to quickly pierce the multiple layers of fabric and batting resulting in perfect points even along the very edge of the quilt.

The correct needle helps us achieve perfect points.
The correct needle helps us achieve perfect points.

I hope you have enjoyed this week’s project as much as I have enjoyed creating it for you!

We have completed our thread painted quilt made with the Artisan Spirit Water Garden panel using Sulky / Schmetz / Northcott / Gütermann / Fairfield
Our project is complete!

This week we’ve seen how the perfect pairing of our SCHMETZ needles, Sulky and Gütermann threads make our stitching look wonderful and every technique easier.

I hope you’ll join me next time for a new adventure. Until then keep having fun using beautiful threads and don’t forget to change your needle!

This is part 5 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 4: Step 4 – thread painting for incredible lifelike detail

Julie Plotniko is a quilting teacher, blogger and designer from Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Teaching for almost 40 years, recent credits include Quilt Canada 2016 and 2017, many quilt guilds and groups throughout Canada and CreativFestival Sewing and Craft Shows in Victoria, Abbotsford and Toronto. When not on the road Julie works and teaches at Snip & Stitch Sewing Center in Nanaimo, BC. Her favorite things include free motion quilting (standard bed and mid-arm machines), precision piecing, scrap quilting, machine embroidery, blogging, designing and of course teaching. Julie believes that to see a student go from tentative beginnings to having confidence in themselves and their abilities is one of the greatest rewards that life has to offer.

1 Comment

  1. Sarah C

    Thank you for the great tips tutorial

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