“Do you mark your quilting at all? Or is it all freehand? Do you have a plan before you start? “
I shall try to answer that by showing you different quilts that I have quilted, maybe that would help you better and more creatively quilt your quilts. Please feel free to click on the links provided below for more pictures of the individual quilts. And do ask questions if you have any – I will try my best to answer them.
I mark or don’t mark my quilts based on how I envision the end result I desire. So, I have done them all – heavily marked, sparsely marked, and no marking at all…
1. For my Pieceful Garden quilt, I didn’t want the quilting to be the focal point because I wanted the fabrics to shine. I merely wanted the quilting to provide texture to the fabrics. So, I opted for an overall feather quilting – unmarked and entirely free-handed. I generally do not mark my quilts for overall quilting.
You can see my unmarked free-handed feathers “texturizes” the tonal fabrics really well. Notice on the 9-patches, I free-handed the Diane-shiko motif (by Diane Gaudynski):
A peek at the back of the quilt:
2. My Christmas in Ohio (to be featured by Fons and Porter this winter) is another quilt where the quilting is totally unmarked and free-handed. I did an overall swirly on this. The reason? The toile winter scene fabric was a bit too busy for any planned and fancy quilting to show. I had initially planned to do a circular wreath on the star blocks, but I decided against it because I wanted the star blocks all look a bit different from the effect of the overall quilting. Having planned quilting on the star blocks would have made them a bit too stuffy for me, and taken away the overall cozy feeling of that quilt, I think.
3. Fruit of the Vine is another example of unmarked and totally free-handed quilting. I love feather plumes that curve. So, I knew from the get-go that the space underneath the vine will have curved feather plumes. The curvature of the vines made easy guides for me to quilt the curvy spines of the feather plumes.
Tip: Look for elements on your quilt top to use as guides for quilting (in this case, the vines) to avoid having to mark your quilt. Click here for more ideas.
4. My Marabella quilt was partially marked for me to quilt the apple core motif (also introduced by Diane Gaudynski). But the rest is unmarked.
5. I used a bowl to mark on the border the boundary of the scallops – and filled in with feathers for To A Garden Tea Party. Feathers are unmarked, only the boundary. I thought the scallop feather quilting would make a nice change to just the criss-crossing straight line quilting on the pieced border squares.
I had used the individual wedge on the fan block as guides for me to fill in with feathers. Fun quilting with no marking – yay!
6. When I do my wholecloth quilts, I mark for sure. I had spent 15 hours just on marking a quilt that is in my work-in-progress stash. I would only mark the main motif, the background quilting is still unmarked and free-handed. So, it’s really handy to master a few background quiting motifs you like. You might find some motifs you may use here.
7. I marked the border of Poinsettia Fiesta with a stencil prior to quilting.
Now, as for planning my quilt. I like to have an image of the quilt I am working on up at all times so that I can be thinking about how to approach the quilting when I am working on the quilt top.
Oftentimes, the general theme of the quilt determines the quilting — as in Peppermint Packages (to be featured in the December 2010 issue of Quilter’s World). Ribbon streamers were quilted on these present blocks to fit the theme of Christmas presents.
If there’s not a theme, I would generally decide how I would quilt a quilt based on how I eventually want my quilt to look like after being quilt. Quilter’s World is featuring my article on “Quilting Around the Block” in their February 2011 issue. Keep your eyes peeled for the magazine hitting the newsstands sometime in December this year. You will see this quilt and how I have quilted the different blocks:
I hope this gives you a glimpse of my thought process on how I decide to quilt my quilts. Remember, quilting is a personal and subjective matter. You quilt to please yourself, not me or anyone else! Happy Quilting.