Last week I asked for questions that you wanted me to answer. I thought I would start with these – Please remember this is what I do and what works for me; no more than that.
I’m wondering how you transfer your design to the quilt top when it can’t be done freehand? What are your favorite marking tools? Your work is beautiful! – From Beverly
I don’t mark quilting design. I did a stencil or two several years ago and while I liked the resulting quilting I did not like marking the design. (Maybe because there were 32 alternate (blank) blocks to mark and it took forever!) The 2nd problem I personally have with marking is it makes me nervous to mark on a client’s quilt…really nervous. Sure, the blue mark is supposed to wash out or disappear on it’s own.
And now, with the Intelliquilter I don’t have to mark block designs at all.
The tiny bit of marking I do is just a dot or tiny hash mark to find a center of a block or divide up a border or sashing evenly for a freehand design. Oh! I also mark the center circle for feather wreaths…I just can NOT quilt a circle of any size well enough to go without marking it.
For that I use the Bohin Ceramic pencil (white) for dark fabrics. And the PURPLE Marvy Fabric Marvy Marker for light colored fabrics…the Bohin you will be able to find at most quilt shops. I believe Fons and Porter make a similar one, but the Marvy marker may be harder to find. I order mine online because I can’t get them locally.
The Bohin pencil can be rubbed off easily and the Marvy Marker is air erasable. How fast the Marvy Marker disappears depends on how much humidity is in the air. You don’t want to mark ahead with the Marvy Marker. Just mark the bit you are working on right now ‘ cause it may be gone in 20 minutes!
My one question for you is…. when there are several design elements in the quilt that require different quilting designs, do you quilt one element throughout first and then go back and quilt the next? If so, do you quilt one motif throughout the whole quilt before switching to the next motif or do you complete each quilting area before rolling the quilt to the next quilting area? – From Siena
Order of quilting. The short answer is – It depends.
If there will be thread color changes I will chose the thread color that is prevalent and do the quilting that will be done in that color all the way to the bottom of the quilt. There are a few exceptions. I am unlikely to quilt the very center of a quilt and then the outer border leaving everything else unquilted even if they are the same color thread.
Then I will chose the next most prevalent color and work my way back to the top of the quilt. I have no problem rolling back and forth unless there are some serious issues with the quilt top or backing that might cause me trouble.
Many quilters will do everything across an entire pass regardless and change threads back and forth as they advance.
In general for freehand designs I will quilt the body of the quilt first; all of the blocks and sashings regardless of different quilting designs used as long as the thread color remains the same. Then I will quilt each border all the way around if they are vine or continuous type designs. If I am doing beadboard or something that isn’t continuous in the border and the thread color is the same as I am using in the blocks I will go ahead and quilt that with each pass as well. I may still have an inner border that is a continuous design (feathers, vined leaves, curliques, etc) and I will do that last.
If I am doing some of the blocks freehand and setting some of them with IQ, I will do all of one and then all of the other because I leave the tablet off of the machine when I am doing freehand work.
If the blocks I am quilting require SID around each one I will do the design first then the SID. Many quilter’s do all of their SID first to stabilize the quilt…I have done this and it doesn’t work for me. It is one of the few times I get pleating in the backing. So I do my SID last or at least after I finish the design work in an area. Try both ways and find what works for you.
SID between borders or between the body and border of a quilt is also done after the designy quilting.
Every custom quilt is different. I am pretty flexible about order of quilting depending on the quilt and what kind of quilting is going to be done.
Lastly I have had a couple of questions about the simple feathers I often do in borders or as background fill. I call them simple because I don’t use a separate “spine” and then the feather fronds…I build the fronds off each other…I drew a couple of quick pictures of the process…please disregard my lousy drawing…I hope these make sense.
With the feather fill you just keep building fronds off of each other to change direction. Sometimes you may have to travel back and then between two previous fronds to strike out in a new direction. And obviously you want to quilt them a little more gracefully than I have drawn them here. 😉