Everyone loves a blue and white quilt

July 10, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Posted in Custom quilting | 2 Comments
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Earlier this year I reached a momentous decision when I realised that, without some help, I would not be able to quilt all the patchwork tops waiting on my schedule.

My “precious” quilting machine with it’s IntelliQuilter robotic controller attached

I wasn’t sure how to go about finding an assistant quilter but thought that I would ask if any of the staff would be interested in learning to use a Longarm machine. In response, Judy put up her hand, and I am so glad that she did.

Apart from learning how to use the machine, one of the critical skills is being able to choose the right quilting design, in the right size, to compliment a patchwork design.  It is possible to learn this by trial and error, but it is much easier if a quilter already has a good sense of how quilting designs, and patchwork patterns, work together.

Well Judy is an expert hand quilter, and also quilts her own quilts on a domestic machine, so she had a head start when it came to matching quilting designs to the patchwork.  This has left her free to concentrate on learning the idiosyncrasies of how the machine and computer work.

She is rapidly mastering the skills needed to quilt pantograph designs by herself, and this week we team quilted a custom quilting design.

Our customer wanted a motif set into the white open space on this pretty blue & white quilt

The quilting plan for this quilt, agreed with the owner of the quilt, was to ditch stitch the outer edge of the stars, & setting four patches, and to inset a motif into the open white space.

We really wished that our customer would have allowed us to stitch a motif over the blue stars on this quilt, but that was not to be.

Fortunately the batting that was used allows for quilting to be up to 10″ apart, but I still think that an appropriate motif, stitched in the blue stars, would have added to the finish of the quilt.

The design for the white space required a little thought as it is not a true square. The  small blue blocks intrude into the space, so our chosen design had to fit around these “corners’.

We ended up using a design from a Double Wedding ring pattern set:

The leaf design, on which we based our final quilting plan

We had to turn the design on-point to fit into the space, but once this was done it worked beautifully.

The leaf motif stitched out in the open spaces on the quilt

The next trick (y) step was, that on this quilt, some of the blocks along the edges of the quilt were only partial blocks so we had to modify the quilting design to fit into these new spaces.

Our modified design, with one leg cropped to fit into the space on the quilt

This modification gave Judy the opportunity to split, re-size, stretch and combine elements of an original design to make a new quilting design to fit the specific shape.

Our modification allowed our quilting design to fit into the space with a clean finish

It took a long time for me to let go of my obsession about not allowing anyone else touch my longarm machine, but I am so glad that I did finally decide to share the machine with Judy.

We will now be able to steam ahead quilt ahead at double speed!!

PS: The quilt was quilted with Aurifil Cotton Mako’ 40 colour 2021


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