Quilt as desired. Is this not the most dreaded “instruction” for quilters?
Even though I hate it myself, I’m still guilty of writing it in my patterns. Doh! It’s a tough one because quilting can be such a personal choice, and there are just so many options (even within one “type” of quilting) you just can’t list them all. That’s why I’m going to give you some ideas and guidance for quilting my Everlasting Star pattern. And I’m going to work to add similar posts for all my other patterns soon.
Quilting design #1
The block in Everlasting Star has two main vertical and two main horizontal seams. For this straight line quilting design I used a walking foot and quilted 1/4″ either side of the main seams plus either side of the block joining seams too.
This design is quick and easy because you can use the seam lines as your guide (no extra time marking your quilt top), and it’s great because it doesn’t take away from the actual block designs. The downside is the lines of quilting are quite far apart so you need to make sure it is suitable for the batting you are using by checking the “quilting distance”.
Quilting design #2
This straight line quilting design uses diagonal lines about 3″ apart. At this distance, they cut through the corners of the middle square and through the middle of the four diamond units of the block.
This design is also an easy one but takes a little longer than #1 as you’ll need to mark your quilting lines to keep your lines of quilting nice and straight, and hitting all the right corners in the block design. Although this style cuts through the block design, I don’t think it takes away from the overall look of the quilt. Like ideas #1 the lines of quilting aren’t dense so you’ll want to double check the quilting distance of your batting but this style of quilting will keep the quilt nice and floppy so its perfect if you’ll be using it as a “snuggling” quilt.
Quilting design #3
This last design is a bit more complex. It combines straight line quilting and free motion quilted switchbacks, and mostly involves quilting on the “background” areas.
This design isn’t quick and a bit fiddly but, I think, worth the extra effort. By mostly quilting only the background areas, the features of the design really pop out. Plus if you’ve used a mix of colours for the stars, you don’t need to worry about choosing the right thread colour for quilting (or changing thread colours a lot to match) because the background fabric will be the same across all your blocks.
The straight lines reflect the shapes of the corner stars (these are the square-star units that are created once all the quilt blocks have been sewn together) and fills in the background areas between the central star units of each block. The sawtooth star around the central square (which appears in the background fabric) has FMQ switchbacks that run at right angles to the diagonal edge of the half square triangles.
Testing out design ideas
Sometimes really simple designs can just go straight onto quilt. Once you’ve worked out the right distance for all-over straight line quilting (horizontal/vertical or diagonal) I think you can just go for it but with a more complex quilting design plan, it’s a good idea to sketch it out first to make sure it looks good and compliments the patchwork design.
Here’s a few ideas for how you can test out your design plan:
- Draw over a photo or digram of your quilt; you could use tracing paper over the top (this is a great way to try out different designs and switch between them to help you chose your favourite) or you can draw directly onto your photo.
- If you have a tablet with a drawing pencil you can open your quilt photo or diagram in a sketching app and drawing straight onto it.
If you fancy trying out the Everlasting Star pattern you can buy a digital copy from either of my two shops:
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