If there is one thing I know about quilters, it’s that we love fabric! We love touching it, folding it, and even collecting it. In this week’s episode of the Midnight Quilt Show, I do a little “stash-busting” with a pattern that I designed.
Shattered Frames Quilt
I am not going to say that I have a large stash….instead, I will just say that I have been avidly curating fabric for quite some time. I finally decided to put some of my previous fabric to use and designed a quilt pattern that is perfect for several different prints.
This quilt pattern is kinda like controlled improv piecing. It can be as random or as planned out as you’d like, which definitely fits my piecing personality.
I love how I can make the fabric wrap around the corners without worrying about exact placement. I don’t know what that says about me, but if it’s wrong….then I don’t want to be right!
Digging through my stash was almost as fun as making the quilt! It was hard to narrow it to a just a few prints. Maybe that’s why I ended up using so many…..
You can definitely tell that these gorgeous prints came from my stash. I have such a soft spot for gray, blue and green. There is just something so calming about the colors. I used some Bonnie and Camille, some Alison Glass and even a little bit of BasicGrey….you know…..all my best quilting friends!
Machine Quilting Shattered Frames
So, I am going to be honest and admit that I designed this quilt especially for the quilting. I knew exactly what I wanted to quilt, I just need to design a pattern that would make it possible.
I wanted to feature some complex looking quilting in the center, almost as though it were artwork. Then I wanted to use the quilting in the borders to act as a frame.
Even though the quilting looks complex, it really isn’t! If you think about it, it’s just like doodling with thread…..Beautiful, shiny, gleaming, radiant gold thread. Now I am drooling a little bit…..
‘Why gold thread?’, you may be wondering……well, the simple answer was that I couldn’t think of a good reason to NOT use it. It adds a touch of elegance to the quilt…….Ok, maybe choosing a shiny gold thread was just me showing off a bit……but it looks so nice…hopefully you can forgive me!
Tips for Combining Quilting Designs
Combining machine quilting designs is one of my go-to quilting tricks, especially when I want the quilting to look interesting. I love the technique so much that I included it in my book, “Shape by Shape Quilting” and I go into more detail about how to do it in my next soon-to-be-released book.
It’s such an easy way to use designs you already know and love to create a beautiful effect. I like to joke that it’s like a party trick….something that looks much harder than it actually is. But just in case you find it just a tad difficult, here are a few tips to make it easier.
1. Drink Lots of Wine
Just joking! I am just making sure you are paying attention…….you are, aren’t you? Good! The real tips are below.
2. Echo, echo, echo.
When it comes to this technique, echoing is the perfect way to ensure that you aren’t let with gaps in the quilting.
Echo around the designs to fill in any weird-shaped or small areas, trying to keep the spacing consistent. For instance, if your quilting lines are about 1/2” apart, make your echo lines the same. This will make the echoing appear as though it is part of the design…..which is ultimately what we want.
You can also use echoing to move around your quilt. This is SO helpful because when switching between several different designs, it can be very easy to end up somewhere you don’t want to be…If that happens to you, echo around the quilted area to get where you need to go.
3. Quilt bigger designs first.
As you work your way throughout your quilt, try quilting the bigger designs first, then fill around with smaller designs. By “bigger”, I mean designs that take more space to develop. These could be swirls, feathers or flowers, just to name a few.
After quilting a larger design, fill in around it with a smaller, less complex design. This helps fill in any gaps in your quilting. I like to use pebbles, back & Forth Lines, and even Wishbones as fillers.
If you think about it, it’s kinda like the important things in life. You put the bigger ones in first and fill in with smaller ones next. Wow, that got kinda deep…..I wonder if should put that on a coffee mug?
4. Get a little uncomfortable.
Use this technique to improve your free-motion quilting skills! For the most part, use designs that you feel comfortable quilting. But pick just one or two designs that you want to improve.
That sllows you to practice a new design without committing to using it over the whole quilt. This is a win win, you get to practice a new design without freaking out the whole time you are quilting. We all know that’s not any fun!
Here’s the thing, let’s say you want to try pebbles so you throw a few in here and there. If it makes you miserable…..stop! Just because you start with a design, that doesn’t mean you have to keep quilting it. Ultimately, you should do whatever it takes to get your quilt quilted!
As with every episode of the Midnight Quilt Show, I drew out some free downloadable quilting diagrams.
This week’s quilting diagrams also include the free Shattered Frames quilt pattern. Click here to download them……you will thank me for it later. Well…….maybe you won’t…..but, hey, at least you will have a free quilting pattern!
Watch me make the Shattered Frames Quilt.
Well, now that we know all about the quilting, let’s see how this quilt comes together.
How about a giveaway?!? One lucky winner will get a fat quarter bundle of the fabric I used to make the shattered frames.
All you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling me how you hide your fabric stash….oops, I mean how you store your fabric stash. I will pick a lucky winner a week from today and notify them via email.