I have learned a few things in my attempts to imitate how the big girls (those who quilt with longarms) quilt all-over quilting motifs on their quilts. [My definition of allover quilting: Quilting that is allover, not bound by schematics of block or quilt layout, and the same motif is repeated over and over on a quilt top. Motifs can be somewhat defined in design, or random.] I thought I would share them with you…
[Pieceful Garden, The Quilter, November 2008, UK's Popular Patchwork, March 2010]
1. Prepping — I find that basting my quilt is an important step for this endeavor, not that it is not an important step in other forms of quilting. But you see, for domestic machine quilters, we do not have advantage of stretching our quilts over a frame for longarm quilting to take out the slack. If there’s too much slack in the quilt sandwich, I would more than likely encounter the dreaded bubbles (extra humps and lumps) when I do overall quilting. So, I normally press and starch my quilt top really well before basting when I know I am doing an overall quilting motif on a quilt.
2. Related to the aforementioned matter, I pin, pin, pin, and pin my quilt sandwich like crazy. I pin baste all my quilt sandwiches, and I normally use lots of pins anyway. But for overall quilting, I use even more pins.
[Dancing Daffodils, Cover Quilt, Quilter's World Presents SPRING, Spring 2011]
3. The important thing in overall quilting is to have an even overall look. I think that’s really tricky for domestic machine quilters because we only have that teeny little area we can see around the needle. So, it’s very important I know the motif well so that I would not stumble what to quilt and where to go next. Be ready to whip out an extra curl, or swirl, at a moment’s notice to fill in just that area where I can’t fit in an entire motif.
[Reaching for the Stars Growth Chart, free pattern for RJR]
4. Oftentimes, I have to stop and see which area needs more filling, and I have to go back to the area for more quilting. Unlike a longarm quilter, she gets a better bird’s eye view on how things look on her quilt, and the chances of having to go back and fill in an area are probably lower. But there’s certainly no shame in having to go back over areas.
[Christmas in Ohio, Easy Quilts by Fons & Porter, Winter 2010]
5. Lastly, I find that I definitely have to square up my quilt after quilting an allover motif because of all the handling of the quilting in trying to fit my quilt under that tiny throat area of my machine. But squaring up one’s quilt before binding it is just good practice anyway.
[Holiday Spinners, The Quilter, Christmas 2010]
One last thing before I leave you… meandering/stippling over an entire quilt is definitely a form of allover quilting. If you are looking to allover quilt, but do not want to meander or stipple and want to do something different, why not try these swirls and add them to your repertoire?
I hope this post gives you that extra boost in getting you out of your quilting comfort zone and try something different! As you can see from my pictures, it is possible to quilt like the big girls with your domestic machine. Give it a try!
Thanks for stopping by… things are happening at my end. I am hopping from one thing to the next trying to get everything in order before company arrives. I will be scarce, but will try to sneak in email/blog time when I can.