BLOCK Quilt­ing Strate­gies

Quilts can have many op­tions for the quilt­ing. Debby uses Magic Kisses on page 50 as an ex­am­ple of just some of the many pos­si­bil­i­ties.

Quilter's World - - Front Page - by Debby Brown

Af­ter “Where did all this fab­ric come from?” the most com­mon ques­tion quil­ters ask is, “How should I quilt this quilt?” This ques­tion is fol­lowed by:

“Is it OK to quilt an allover de­sign on pieced blocks?”

“Should I quilt each block sep­a­rately?”

“Should I quilt each piece of patch­work sep­a­rately?”

“Do I have to stitch in every ditch in a pieced block?”

This in­de­ci­sion can send that quilt top to the un­quilted pile in­def­i­nitely.

I have a few strate­gies for choos­ing a quilt­ing de­sign for pieced quilts. My first hint is the most im­por­tant: There is no wrong way to quilt a quilt! Let me re­peat that: There is no wrong way to quilt a quilt! I have quilted iden­ti­cal quilts in dif­fer­ent ways, and while I had my fa­vorite de­signs, the quilts were all quilted and all loved. Some were stitched-in-the-ditch and some were not. No one pointed at a sin­gle quilt and screamed, “But the quilt­ing on this one is all wrong!”

Now that you know you can’t pick a wrong way to quilt your quilt, let me give you a few more sug­ges­tions.

Allover or Edge-to-Edge De­signs

When quilt­ing a pieced quilt, you can choose to ig­nore all the seams and quilt a sin­gle de­sign over the en­tire quilt. If you are not a con­fi­dent ma­chine quilter, you may choose to use your walk­ing foot and stitch near the ditch or stitch an­other sim­ple walk­ing-foot de­sign. (See the Quilt­ing on Your Ma­chine ar­ti­cle “Start Sim­ply With Walk­ing-Foot Quilt­ing” fea­tured in Quilter’s World sum­mer 2018 on page 72 for walk­ing-foot quilt­ing ideas.) For quil­ters who are com­fort­able with free-mo­tion quilt­ing or those will­ing to try, stitch­ing a sim­ple loop, me­an­der or swirl all over a pieced quilt is a great choice. It adds tex­ture and in­ter­est to the quilt top with­out adding too much stress to the quilter. The quilter has enough stress al­ready.

Quilt­ing a pieced quilt with an allover de­sign in­stead of cus­tom quilt­ing is not cheat­ing. Even ex­pe­ri­enced and ex­pert free-mo­tion quil­ters will choose to quilt a sim­ple edge-to-edge de­sign when they know that the fab­ric in the quilt is too dark or too busy to show the ma­chine quilt­ing. Not much in quilt­ing is sad­der than strug­gling to per­fectly cus­tom-quilt a quilt only to be un­able to see the stitch­ing when the quilt is com­plete. If you de­cide to quilt an allover free-mo­tion quilt­ing de­sign on your pieced quilt, pick your de­sign and quilt it with­out worry!

Whole Block De­signs

Quilts are of­ten de­signed with a sin­gle-style pieced block re­peated through­out. You can choose to re­peat a sin­gle quilt­ing de­sign on each block. Choose a sten­cil or printed de­sign, trans­fer to your quilt top us­ing a mark­ing pen or chalk, and ma­chine-quilt along the marked lines. You can also trace the de­sign on stitch-through pa­per such as Golden Threads Quilt­ing Pa­per, then ma­chine-quilt through the pa­per and quilt lay­ers, and re­move the pa­per af­ter the stitch­ing is fin­ished. Stitch­ing a sin­gle de­sign over each block of the quilt can be a quick and easy way to ma­chine- quilt your quilt top. It’s also very for­giv­ing. Re­mem­ber: Once the marks or pa­per are re­moved from your quilt top, no one will ever know if you veered off the line in a few places.

Cus­tom Block De­signs

Some quilts let us know that they are spe­cial and want to be quilted in a spe­cial way. Cus­tom-quilt­ing each block based on the piec­ing of the block can en­hance the quilt. Pick a neu­tral thread, quilt dif­fer­ent de­signs in each part of the block, and in­vent your own cus­tom-quilt­ing de­sign.

Sim­ple Loop, Me­an­der or Swirl

Sim­ple Walk­ing-Foot De­sign

Golden Threads Quilt­ing Pa­per.

Con­tin­u­ous-Line De­sign

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