So here we are…..we have talked about picking out the most important thing about a quilt top and also about breaking the quilt down into smaller units. Now we are ready to talk about the actual designs.

Like I said earlier, quilting is a lot like makeup. If I were to dump out my makeup bag, I would have about 10 items. But with just those items, I could fix my makeup in a whole lot of different ways. It is exactly the same with my array of quilting designs. I tend to use the same designs over and over again, just in different ways.

Let’s look at Ann’s quilt for an example:

I don’t know Ann very well, and I don’t really know what her purpose is for this quilt. But just by looking at it, I think that we can all agree that the most important thing about this quilt is the piecing. She put a lot of time and effort into the flying geese and it would be a shame for the quilting to cover it up!  The white block with the flying geese is, of course, the main focus of the quilt……so lets start with that block.

To help us pick out designs, I have invited Lynne,  from lilysquilts,  to weigh in with her opinion. She made this gorgeous block, and I knew that she would have some great ideas on how to quilt it.

Photo by Lynne Goldsworthy

Lynne suggested:

I suppose options in my mind would be (I) all over straight lines, a la Rita red pepper, (ii) radiating straights lines although you’d bet quite a bump in the middle so I guess they’d have to radiate from a shape such as a circle quilted in the middles (iii) dense all over quilting in everything but the geese, such as pebbling, a la flossy glossy, and perhaps the fussiest of all but the nicest in my mind if you had the time and energy which is never do would be a cross hatch in everything but the geese and then diagonal straight lines or some little arched detail within the geese. 

She had some great suggestions, and I really liked the idea of quilting the background with a dense design.

Ann could try picking out a design that she is comfortable with, perhaps a meander or a swirl, and quilt it in a small scale so that it consistent throughout. Then, within the triangles, a simple detail such as straight lines would help add a little contrast. Maybe something like this:

(using Lynne’s block as an example)

You will have to trust that I am much better at quilting then drawing!

So this is one option that is fairly easy, just a little time consuming. Another option could include quilting a design in the center of the white blocks, to add a little more detail. Maybe something like this:

Quilting a design of simple curved lines draws the attention to the center of the block. I would fill the inside of the shape with a the same swirl design, or perhaps a different one alltogether. I wouldn’t leave it unquilted though (but that’s just my opinion)

But what about the alternating 4 patch? Once the design is picked out for the flying geese block, then it is time to decide what to do in the 4-patch blocks.

Should she quilt each block as one large block? Or as 4 separate squares? Deciding this can help you decide on quilting patterns since some designs look great in a smaller block while others look better in a larger block.

So what is the right answer? ……………….That’s a trick question, there is no right answer! Remember, do what you like best!

Personally, I like to repeat the quilting designs in the quilt. So if I were to use option 2 in the flying geese block, then I would quilt the same design in the middle of the 4 patch and then quilt the same swirl design around it.

Other options include doing a swirl design allover those blocks, or perhaps straight lines….the options really are endless!

So to summarize:

– Pick out the aspect of the quilt that is the most important and then enhance that with the quilting.

– Try using parts of your key quilting design in other areas of the quilt.

– Have fun and enjoy the process

-Did I mention that it was important to enjoy the process??

So what do you all think? How would you quilt this quilt? I would love to see your suggestions! Make sure you check back in next Monday, we will discuss another quilt top. And remember, you are more than welcome to email me questions or pictures of your own quilt top….you never know, I just might use it for this series.

And a special thanks to Lynne and Ann for their participation today!

Happy Quilting!