Let Your Piecing Guide Your Quilting
Having trouble selecting your quilt design? Let your piecing be your guide! Watch this video for some tips on taking cues from your pieced quilt top to determine the quilt design.
Looking for more quilting design inspiration? See more here.
"Hi, I'm Jennifer, here at the American Patchwork & Quilting sewing lab and I'm here with Handi Quilter ambassador Angela Walters, a machine quilting expert. And she's going to share some tips with for some swirl variations. Angela, what are we gonna start with?" "Well, we're going to start with the concentric swirl and it goes together just like the basics swirl that we learned in the basic swirl video. The only difference is it's a little bit more compact and there's a little bit of traveling but I hope that our viewers won't let that threw them off, because it has a really neat look that I love. And right here I have a sample of just that. So as you can see it goes together like the basics swirl in that you swirl in and come out. The difference is when you touch something else, like another swirl, you're going to travel just a bit and then echo that shape." "Awesome. And what I love about this design is, even though it's an allover pattern, you get a lot of variation in the size of swirls. So we've got a big swirl right next to a little smaller one in between it and then sort of a medium size. So it's not a static design. You've really got some nice movement created by these swirls." "Absolutely, and I tell my students to not worry about keeping the swirls the same size. It's mostly just focusing on keeping the spacing between the lines consistent. But if they're not into the consistent kind of look they can try this, which is a different example of that design. This is just the same concentric circle, the only difference is that we're varying the spacing between the lines not keeping so consistent and gives it a completely different look." "Consistently inconsistent. I think that might be my favorite, because sometimes I have a hard time keeping it a consistent size, so one of the tips you gave was to make a drawing or photo copy of the shape that you're making. And put that on the bed so you can sort of see and refer to it as you're stitching as a great way to keep that shape." "Absolutely. And it doesn't have to be anything too intense -- just a quick little drawing to keep your minders. But I'll tell you, the more that you practice, the more that you get that consistent size down." "It always comes down to practice, practice, practice." "Do you want to get started? We'll start with the concentric swirl, since that where we started with. And I'm going to start at the edge of my quilt here. And I'm going to swirl in just like that -- swirl all the way to the center, leaving myself room to come right back out. And once you do that, you're going to go until you touch something, which in this case is the quilting area, and then travel and echo. And you can do this as many times as you like. I'm going to go into the next one. Now for the purposes of this I'm using a nice contrasting thread, so you can see every little discrepancy, so when you're actually using this on a quilt you want to maybe use the threat that blends so they don't get stuck with you know seeing all that." "Right, and one of the things that I notice is you don't use the stitch regulator." "No, I prefer not to, especially with swirls I find that you get a nice shape, a nice curve to it if you're not dragged down by the stitch regulator. So if you're at home and struggling with getting those nice curved shapes than what they can do is maybe try not to use the stitch regulator. I'll just do one more and then show you the variation. That sound good? So when you've done a few swirls and you're ready to go into your next one, you're just going to kind of travel back a little bit, and then go right into your next one. You just want to get out that corner a little bit, so that you have some space to form that swirl." "And when you're traveling back you're going over that stitching line." "Yes, I'm just going over the line I just stitched. like that and going right into the swirl. Go until you touch. Now we talked about a variation where you just go in and let's say you make this line close and then spread it out and make it a little bit bigger, close, and then just keep changing it that way. Sometimes I'll try to get into a rhythm where I'll say close and farther, but all I'm doing is just trying to do is just vary up the spacing. I'm not too worried that it's perfect or not too worried that it's always the same rhythm. More than anything I'm just switching it up." "Well, it looks terrific. It's something I'm going to give a try to and see if I can perfect my swirls. No matter if you prefer the irregularly spaced swirl variation or the one with concentric swirls, give these both a try, and remember practice makes perfect."