Marie and Vicki of Handi Quilter chat with Linda about mini quilts created for a 2015 challenge. Let the seven different quilts inspire your quilting!


Looking for more quilting design inspiration? See more here.


"Hi I'm Linda with American Patchwork and Quilting and I'm here with Marie and Vicki from Handi Quilter, and you all did a very fun challenge with your educators that really created some amazing quilts where the quilting really is the star." "And that's what we told them. So we gave them a challenge, we gave them a fat quarter of blue, we gave them about a couple yards of the cream fabric and we told them that they had to make a friendship star, because we're all friends in quilting (right) and that the quilt had to be 20 inches square." "So there was a size parameter." "Size and so those were the rules but the most important rule we gave them is that the quilting had to be phenomenal." "And it really shows how different people's style really plays into how they quilt something." "That's right. Oh there was one more thing (batting)." "We did a layer of wool (ok) and a layer of 80/20" "So that the quilting would really show, so it's really pops." "Gives it a little more loft" "Yes." "Right." "So tell me about them." "We also told them that they had to put a sleeve on it and they had to put a label on it, so it has to have a name. And so a lot of them, you know, there was a reason for the way they did it, so the name kind of depicts that as well." "So they put a lot of thought into the why." This is Debby's, and she quilts on a sit down, a sweet 16 and so she loves to use rulers, she loves feathers, her trademark is this." "The ribbon candy with the little borders." "A lot of her quilts have that but this is all on a sit down machine and it's just beautiful." (Wow, it's gorgeous) "So as we go through these notice where the star ends up on the quilt." "In different places I bet." "Yes, Yes." "And so this is Harriet's." "And Harriet likes the Pro Stitcher which is the computerized quilting and some of these designs she may have digitized herself or she could have purchased designs and done that, but that's her favorite and you can see how she balanced that star with a circle." "That's right because they really struggled with that star" "The four pointed friendship star can be a little intimidating." "Yes. So it did balance it. And then she added the other stars with it, which we didn't tell them they couldn't (Right) we just said they had to have at least one star, and she put hers in the center." "And that circle really sets that off then." "Yes, yes, and you notice all the ones we're showing you the thread that they used is all matching the fabric, so you're seeing texture without thread being one of the main events." "Ok. Let's look at the next one." "Alright, this is Steffani Burton's, she's younger, she likes the modern and so for her she was like 'oh, you're stretching me on this.' But she did awesome. She put a lot of different kinds of feathers, she used a lot of different rulers." "Yeah she wasn't going to go with the rulers, she, you know, but she added it all, swirls up here, some feathers which is very traditional, but she just wanted to do free motion quilting but she did add some different dimensions. "Some straight line there too and even in the straight line grid she has in that corner she put in a little bit of free motion inside." "Yes, she did." (Amazing.) "Diane." "So Diane's is more of a landscape kind of look to it. Where she, you know, it's a practical star where you would see a star in the sky, in the heavens and then the waves which she created in the computerized, which is totally computer is Diane." "And this is one of our designs that is actually in the Pro Stitcher that she used and just repeated that as the waving water." "And the little sailboat down there in the corner really does again have a lot of dimension thanks to that second layer of batting." "And this is all about the history of Virginia where she's from." "Oh interesting, so she really did take the story part to heart." "She did, she really did. And this is Nancy Stein, and she is another Pro Stitcher lover, you know she loves doing that, this is basically an edge to edge design but she cropped out the star so that it wouldn't or didn't stitch through it." "What a great idea, everything else is very much the same." "This is Linda, Linda Matteotti, so you can see this one, she has some skills, so a lot of this she created in Art N Stitch which is a program where you digitize designs and then pearls so they just kind of wind out of there and follow the star rays." "And now, she used a slightly contrasting thread, (She did.) rather than using the exact matching but certainly it's not a high contrast thread." "No, it's really nice, you see what the texture but yet you get a little bit more of it." "Multiple motifs and they're beautifully done." "Oh now we have the star on this side." "Yes, we do because the reason we know it's on this side is because the sleeve is right here. So this is Kelly Ashton, and Kelly really struggled with this star, she did not like the way the star was and she wanted to make it (more symmetrical, more balanced). So she twisted it and she started making that and she made it larger and twisted it again." "And look how she made it run off the quilt here." "And this is all done with rulers, because this is Kelly's favorite tool to use, is rulers, circle rulers, straight line rulers, this grid, this here I just love this. Love, love love." "And it's so dense in here with those lines again that's ruler work." "But also by being so dense there, it makes this wide channel really pop and give it the dimension of that star." (That extra batting.) "So we asked each one of them to label their stars or their quilts, so I'm going to turn this over and her label is 'This took me forever You're Welcome.'" "Now these challenge quilts, we've got another set of them in our next episode but with these challenge quilts I found so much inspiration for what I could do for unusual new patterns and pairing them together and I'm hoping that, I expect that you all did as well, that you really found new inspiration in what was presented. Now whether you decide to make a challenge for your own group of friends or just challenge yourself to try some new techniques on a small piece as a sample, we hope that these tips have given you some great ideas."