Tips for Making Quilting Decisions
Linda Augsburg chats with Vicki and Cheryl from Handi Quilter about how they quilted two similar quilt tops in very different ways.
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"Hi I'm Linda with American Patchwork and Quilting and I'm here with Cheryl and Vicki from Handi Quilter and we're talking about two really almost identical quilt tops that are vintage but they're quilted in very different ways. So let's give a little background on this quilt." ?"So when Brenda purchased these two quilts she got two that are alike, or very, very similar. Color-wise they are a little different but as soon as I saw it, I thought, it's got to be traditional. And what's more traditional than cross hatching and feathers?" "And you went straight through the design." (I did.) "You didn't work around those at all, you went straight through and I don't think it detracts at all." "I think some people are afraid to do that, but it looks great, doesn't it?" "And it was a lot faster too." "It was. The other thing is she just used a layer of wool batting which makes it nice and soft (beautifully drape-able) but it gives it dimension so you see the cross hatching and you see the feathers." ?"It really does, it makes a big difference, I think that wool really gives it that puff." "So then we have this second example, which is not traditional." "Not at all. And we at Handi Quilter, we like to say we quilt by committee, and so we took both of these and definitely decided let's make one very traditional and let's then take the next one and just quilt it out of the box, just do something totally different, that you would never really think about, ya know. And so as we did this, we placed some preview paper over the top of the quilt and we thought let's make it look different, let's frame them, and let's frame them maybe on point, so as we place with the preview paper and drew a box around it, and then drew a box around it and thought well we've got to kind of layer the boxes so we got them all layered. And then what happened was, this little rooster here, he didn't have a box and there was no room to put a box, so I thought he doesn't, no box for the rooster, it didn't work. So I thought let's turn it and let's frame them, the way we usually see a frame (sure, more rectangular), and then, and it felt good to me. Everybody, every one of them got their own individual box. And I just started drawing, so I drew the boxes and I used just a water soluble marker and you used on yours..." "I used an air erase marker." "So you had to be able to quilt yours pretty quickly (I did.) because that's going to go away pretty fast. You had a little more time." "I had more time because I knew there was going to be a lot of quilting that I wanted to do in here. So I drew just the basic, I drew the boxes and then I just took a line and drew through it, it wasn't a 45 degree angle or a 60, I just drew a line through it and then every 4 inches I drew another line so they were parallel with each other. (ok) And then I knew in between those lines there would be a different design." "So that's where you go to play." "That's where I really got to play but I wanted this design to be, these are floating on top of my lines going through with every one of my different designs. Every line has a different design, that's was what was fun." "Well and it looks so different, once you box it in there it almost makes it look like it's a block but we know from this example that it's all a one-piece quilt." "That's right. I used a darker thread to frame it and to do the first lines and then to echo, then I took a little bit lighter thread but still a little darker than the actual fabric and did all the quilting except I wanted this just to be really matted down, so I did a tight stipple in here with thread that actually matched the fabric. (Ok) So I started with a thread color this color." "Now when I look at this color I think that's awfully dark, you're not really auditioning it as a cone, you're auditioning it just a thread that you're going to see here, that's a better way to choose." "And then a little lighter to do all of the rest of the quilting. But you know the funny thing is, I took a lot of colors, now this is a gray or a silver and this kind of has a rose or a pink color to it. You know any one of those like you said if we audition that as a strand any one of those would work." "Right, but when I look at the whole cone, I think 'oh, that would be pretty overpowering'. So I always have to remember now just one strand, that's what you're going to see in the quilting." So I did finally rule those out and just went with the darker one to kind of give different lines, different depth to it and just stated working up as far as the colors." "And now with a quilt this small, this is a smaller quilt than you would typically have on a long arm, did you load it on the frame in a special way?" "I actually quilt on a Fusion, which is a 24 inch throat space and so I thought I've got a lot of throat space that I can see at one time so I loaded this so it was horizontal to the frame and I had this much throat space so I could see. So as I quilted I would quilt this and then I could go through and quilt some more, but you know I had to advance it of course." "Sure, but you took advantage of the length of the quilt being across which helps a little bit too." "Yes, but I still like to quilt closer to me, I'm more accurate I'm not leaning so far into the frame but with rulers I have more space to use and there's a lot of ruler work in this, a lot of straight line." "So even though you marked these lines you still followed with a ruler to get that so precise." "I absolutely followed with the ruler and with our new echo feet that we use, I put the ? inch echo foot on and then I got accurate ? inch seams (oh that's perfect) or channels." "That's wonderful. So even though these two tops are almost identical they look so different depending on the quilting. Sometimes quilting by committee really helps if you're looking for some new fresh ideas to quilt that quilt top, so give it a try next time you have a quilt top you're stumped with."