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Planning the Quilting part 2.2

hand quilting 001When I first started quilting I thought and thought about the motifs. At the time I was “limited” by my perception of quilt making, the love of straight lines and the motifs the local quilt shops. This was what I knew. I’d not yet “discovered” quilt shows (Oh the first trip to Quilters Heritage Celebration in Lancaster PA was an amazing day) and all of the amazing vendors. Amazing vendors with stencils and quilt books with ideas loads and loads of ideas. When I got ready to quilt my sweeties quilt the Big Idea was to do something “traditional” and show off my hand quilting. I love this quilt as it is the quilt I made for my sweetie and I can see the love in every stitch.
The love in every stitch is the essential ingredient in our quilting.
That love in every stitch is the sustaining joy for many quilters.
When the moment comes where wanderlust takes over your quilterly soul and doing the same old, same old isn’t satisfying it’s time to think out side of your box. The other day I read a line on a blog “TO think outside the box, we have to get out of the box“. And then the other day Lisa Calle wrote this blog. Getting outside of our box requires action on our part. And truthfully it’s not easy because frequently we start to feel embarrassed that our quilting isn’t quite good enough to share with others. We’re afraid of the comments coming back saying how awful our quilt/quilting is.
This is justification enough to stay inside our box.

Quite frankly the quilting some people do inside their box is just dandy.
They’re good at it, they get better at it and should be proud of it.

So fast forward to Tilde.

Tilde hung out in the studio for quite a while so that I could Ponder (word of the year alert) what motif’s I’d stitch into this lovely quilt. Because this is a competition quilt and Keith pieced it I am much more mindful of what and how I quilt. Pondering a quilt allows us to look at it and let it speak to us. Yes dear quilters, quilts to have a lot to say. They give us quilting motif clues that are sometimes hard to miss.
Tilde has lots of shapes and the fabrics Keith used lend clues to the motifs that would complement the quilt. They also give clues to colors that work well. Experience tells me that the quilting needs to be outstanding but the quilt itself takes center stage. Shocking! What is a machine quilter who is kind of a diva to do? Quilt her heart right into the quilt top listening to the shapes that the quilt already has.

First thing on this is Stitch in the Ditch. Every single ditch.  While stitch in the ditch can feel mind-numbingly boring it can also be rather calming and comforting as we make sure that our quilt will be stable and behave throughout the rest of the quilting process.

You can see in this close up 3 different shapes I used in the quilting. On the inside I used tiny bubbles – this quilt is where I started earning my new nick name “bubbly” – the center of the tildes I echoed the arc and the outside small simple arcs. The quilting on the circle/squares is a different motif entirely.

Tilde pebbles

Here you can see 2 more motifs used repeating one. Can anyone say bubbly? It was important to highlight the applique. Okay okay so I did show off a bit.  Don’t tell anyone tho that I’m a bit of a show off, it’d ruin my ahem, humble and demure reputation.


The only thing I wish I’d done is use 2 battings!

one of the fab BERNINA headshots


Happy Quilting!


2 thoughts on “Planning the Quilting part 2.2”

  1. treadlemusic – A quilter who rides motorcycle, living on a small hobby farm in southeastern Minnesota. Grandmother and Great Grandmother.
    Doreen says:

    Great post!! “Spot” on!!! I will have to say that some quilts have a lot more to say than others!!!!! LOL!

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