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UNIQUE pattern tracing film helps to audition quilting options

by Robin Bogaert

Sewing of the quilt top Spring Blossoms for Mom is complete. Quilting decisions can now take place. It’s important after all the work sewing the quilt, the quilting be considered carefully.

Quilting design factors

  • How much do I want the quilting to show on the front and the back.
  • What color of thread should be used.
  • Which fabrics need enhancing or showing off.
  • Scale of the quilt blocks and in this case appliques as well.
  • The use of the quilt. i.e. Quilt show worthy, art quilt to be hung, utilitarian?
  • How much washing may or may not take place.
  • What texture/design do I want to achieve and show (front & back).
  • How much loft is in the Fairfield Soft and Toasty natural cotton batting.

Closeup view of quilt to help consider quilting options

Quilting design decision

  • I decided I didn’t want the quilting to show very much and only on the back.
  • I wanted the low volume fabrics on the front to stay low volume and therefore decided to blend with a white thread.
  • I wanted the appliques to show off so I decided not to quilt on top of them but rather around them so as not to disturb the beautiful applique fabric and colors.
  • The completed blocks are only 8″ square and have very small details on them which would compete with a very detailed quilt design, so I have decided on a simple design.
  • This quilt is a lap quilt so meant to be pretty for Mom but also utilitarian, I have also kept it warm and cozy with a backing of fabric creations flannel. An intricate design isn’t necessary as it will sink and get lost in the flannel. However, some texture is required.
  • As a utilitarian lap quilt, I believe this quilt will get lots of washing so a moderately dense quilt design may be also needed.
  • I am a free motion quilter so it’s definitely getting a free motion design.
  • A walking foot could also be used to stitch in the ditch around all the blocks. The appliques would still need some free motion work around them.

TIP You can use tracing film to audition your designs. I like to use UNIQUE longarm pattern tracing film and an erasable pen to draw out designs, lay them on top of the quilt to help with my decision making process.

UNIQUE Longarm pattern tracing film

Water ripple and spiral drawing on UNIQUE longarm pattern tracing film to audition quilting designs

Water ripple design on UNIQUE longarm pattern tracing film

  • and the winner is… the water ripple design, it’s simple. With white thread it’ll show a slight amount of texture but won’t interfere with the small details in the fabric. The water ripple design can also go around the appliques easily and echo them.

Water ripple on backing, goes easily around the appliques and provides texture to the flannel backing.

TIP Use a basting spray like SpraynBond basting adhesive to avoid the lengthy process of pinning your quilt layers, it helps the layers to stay put while you’re quilting. This spray is also a great temporary baste to get quilts started on my longarm, the quilt stays put, making it easy to get started. Fantastic stuff!

SpraynBond basting adhesive

Using SpraynBond basting adhesive on my longarm machine

The quilting decisions are made and the quilting is complete.

Come back tomorrow when I show you a really nice, neat and tidy method of machine binding. Yes, there’s a way to make machine binding look nice and function with durability.

I hope you’re having a great Thursday! Happy Quilting.

This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3: Gütermann cotton and invisible nylon threads for piecing and applique

Go to part 5: How to bind a quilt by machine that looks near to invisible


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