Want machine quilting inspiration, a free tutorial and an in-depth video that shows you how I quilted this amazing quilt for Tula Pink? If so, keep reading!
Quilting A Quilt for Tula Pink
So what do you do if amazing fabric designer, Tula Pink, brings you a quilt to machine quilt for her? Get excited, of course. But what do you do if it’s an exquisitely detailed quilt that she english paper pieced? Well, then you get a little nervous.
I have been quilting for Tula Pink for almost 9 years. Besides quilting her quilts, we have been friends and have even wrote a book together. Each of the quilts that we have collaborated on over that time have been such a fun challenge to work on. I like trying to come up with interesting and maybe even crazy ways to quilt each one better than the last. This latest quilt, Bloomers, is no different.
Getting over Quilter’s Amnesia
Even though I have been a professional machine quilter for a long time, I sometimes still get stumped on what designs to use on a quilt. If you have even machine quilted a few quilts, you probably have run across that feeling as well. I like to call it quilter’s amnesia. It’s what happens when you finish a quilt top and forget every quilting design you have ever learned…..it sure isn’t fun!
If you are are suffering from a case of quilter’s amnesia, here are a few machine quilting tips to get you going!
1. Use Dot to Dot Quilting designs.
Even though I want to quilt intricate looking designs, I want to do it as quickly as possible. Connecting “dots”, or reference points on a quilt, is an each way to create geometric designs that really fit the piecing. In fact, most of the designs I quilted in Tula Pink’s quilt used variations of this technique.Dot to Dot Quilting Designs are a quick way to quilt blocks
The best thing is that you don’t have to have the whole design planned out before you get started. You an just start connecting dots and see what you come up with.
I used the points of the star and the center of the block to create this particular design. I really love the way it breaks the block up into smaller shapes….too much fun!
Free Downloadable PDF Quilting Tutorial
If you’d like to see just how I quilted it, I have a downloadable step by step tutorial you can get by clicking here. It’ll show you step by step how to quilt this designs. I promise it’s much easier than it looks!
2. Follow the lines…in the fabric, that is.Quilting around the tiny birds is a great way to show off Tula Pink’s fabric prints.
Quilting beautiful fabrics is as easy as following the lines. If you think about it, you bought the fabric for a reason, let’s show it off! Quilting around the designs will make them “pop” up just a bit, especially when combined with filler quilting in the rest of the blocks.
Don’t feel like you have to quilt around all the different designs on the fabric. Highlight your favorite parts and quilt a filler in the rest of the area. This is especially fun if there is a hidden, or less obvious, design in the fabric.Amazing design by Tula Pink
Whenever I work on one of Tula Pink’s quilts, I know that she has done most of the work already. Her beautiful fabrics are the perfect canvas…I just have to follow the lines she has left there for me.
3. Use designs with different textures.
It may sound too simple, but I really love using designs with different textures next to each other. I suppose I could say something artistic, such as ‘the juxtaposition of the designs really completes the composition” but, nah….that’s not why I do it. Using designs with different textures keeps me from getting bored and really highlights the patchwork of the quilt.
For instance, if I used a geometric design in one part of the block, I tried to use a curvier design in a different part.
Straight lines combined with swirls? Yes!Diagonal Lines and Swirls
Dot to dot quilting with a swirly center? Love!
Of course, this is completely a personal preference….I am only the expert of my own opinion after all.
4. Keep a snack close…..but not too close!
I mean we need nourishment, right?!? (disclaimer: The quilt was not harmed during the quilting process and the wine was kept well away from the quilt)
5. If you make a mistake…..keep going.
Machine quilting is supposed to be fun. It’s not the punishment for finishing the quilt top….it’s your reward! If you are quilting a block and don’t like how it looks, quilt the next block differently. Besides, having several different designs makes the quilting more fun to look at!
I should point out that I use a 50wt. thread. It’s thinner so it blends in nicely with quilt and keeps the quilting from overwhelming Tula’s gorgeous piecing. Especially if I am quilting several different designs on a quilt.Matching thread colors to the quilt.
Deciding which thread to use is a matter of opinion. But for most quilts, I use either Superior So Fine (a 50 wt poly) or Aurifil 50wt cotton.
A Peek into the Quilting Process:
I thought it would be fun to give you a peek into what goes into working on one of Tula Pink’s quilt from start to finish. So, I put together a vlog post that let’s you into my crazy life. You will also see the whole quilt top, before and after it’s quilted…..talk about eye candy!
If you like the video, I hope you will subscribe to my YouTube channel. I plan on making more of these and I’d hate for you to miss even a single, fun episode!
*Don’t forget to download my free tutorial to see how I quilted part of her quilt step by step!