Benartex, quilting, Superior Threads, teaching

Rhapsody & planning quilting

This is the first of two books that I purchased today.  I had the privilege of attending a Ricky Tims Quilt Super Seminar with Alex Anderson and Libby Lehman a couple of years ago.  Ricky talks about the kaleidoscope quilts he makes along with the Rhapsody Quilts.  On The Quilt Show Ricky has had a whole series of video lessons on making a Rhapsody quilt.  When a particular number of quilt photos are listed on the website someone will with the quilt that Ricky makes while shooting these videos.  At some point I want to make a Rhapsody quilt for the sheer pleasure of making the quilt.

The next book I purchased is “Show me how to Plan my Quilting”.  Both in beginner and advanced machine quilting I get asked how to plan the thread work on a quilt.

Over the last few years I’ve learned a whole lot from a few different sources about machine quilting.

Opposites attract – when working on a quilt that has a lot of straight lines then curvy thread works compliments the piecing well and softens the overall look of the line of the quilt.

Straight lines on curved piecing works well, aiding in accentuating the overall look of the quilt.

Fabric can often give hints in what kind of thread work will work in a piece.  If a fabric is very busy and has a lot going on a lot of intricate quilting will be wasted.

This Bandana Beauty is a great source inspiration with the flowing lines, flowers and leaves.  One way to approach learning how to quilt is to take half a yard of this with some kind of solid on the back and just stitch the motifs.  While this seems like a potential waste of fabric making totes is a great way to help and very practical.

When working with thread on a solid or solid reading type of fabric the sky is the limit.

One thing I like to do with the fabric on the left –  since most battings require a particular amount of stitching depending on the type of  batting – is to follow the lines on the quilt.  If I think I need to stitch in the black area then I will choose either black or one of the other colors and outline around the center motif.

When I tested and quilted Winter Parade for Benartex I thought about a several things including the sparkle of winter snow in the moon light, so I used metallic thread to create that glistening look (the quilt with my quiting was in Easy Quilts Magazine).

The dots on the white and green fabrics clued me in on how to stitch the  borders around the pictures….stitched around the dots creating some fun texture on the quilt.

When I see solid fabrics “Short Attention Span Quilting” kicks in.  I like to experiment with color and texture and variety.  Usually after a period of time I get bored with whatever type of stitching I’m doing and move on to something else.  It’s a great way to practice and add something fun to the quilting.

When I quilted “Twilight in the Bronx” both planning and not planning were part of the plan.  I knew I wanted to do the 8 pointed star, that the thread colors would change, I wasn’t sure how that would happen.  I know that for the next in the series the color changes will be planned a bit differently.  I’ve fallen in love with King Tut Tone on Tone threads.  Each of the colors are quite subtle and just lovely.  I can hardly wait to get started.

Each quilt leads into the next quilt.  The experience gained gives confidence to approach the next quilt.  One thing I’ve started asking some of my students to try is practicing the types of stitching they would like to accomplish with their non-dominant hand.   Usually I just have them practice on paper however I’ve found that practicing with my non-dominant hand I have to stop and think about the process of the stitching.   How the stitch flows on paper translates to how it flows on the fabric.

Happy quilting!


6 thoughts on “Rhapsody & planning quilting”

  1. Teri,
    I just love how you so generously share your knowledge about all things quilting, I am learning a lot. I have decided I am too old and impatient to begin machine quilting.

    1. Now Jayne, you are neither too old nor too impatient to take up machine quilting. You just need me to come and visit and spend a few days with you.

      1. That would be nice when I get my rooms in order, LOL. The beds are against the wall preparing for painting ( since before
        Christmas). I am too busy running around to actually do work!

  2. Teri,

    Let me know your schedule for tomorrow, ok? I haven’t gotten another turn on the phone all day, between calls to CA and to Vern’s bro.

    I’ll check back in there later.


    P.S. JAYNE!!!! Teri is correct! You are NEVER too old to learn machine quilting. (unless it relaxes your “ticker” too much!)

  3. I thought about ordering that software but haven’t yet. I have an older version which I rarely used, therefore I’m still considering. I have friends who love it.

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