Quilter's Academy - Volume 2 - Sophomore Year

Vol 3 - Junior Year

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Vol 2 - Project 2 - Nine Patch On Point (Bryce's Quilt) - Quilting

I took out this quilt a couple of times and auditioned quilting designs for it.  None of the stencils I had seemed to be right and I wasn't inspired by any designs from books etc.  What to quilt for a child's quilt?  Finally I settled on simply quilting his name into it.

I found a suitable font - it needed to be rounded and simple, not pointy.  Bryce's name has 5 letters but I had 6 squares across and down - so an exclamation mark was added (ok, not very original but it worked for me).

The letters were traced onto quilting paper, as I'd already sandwiched and ditch stitched.  To help make the words stand out, I used coloured thread - yellow, brown, red, green, purple and blue.

The quilting went quite quickly as the letters were simple to do but they were hard to see, even with the coloured thread.

Hmmm, not quite the result I was after.  To make the words stand out, some stippling was in order.

The letters are outlined in pen so I could see the edges easily

That's better - and I like the texture, the dirt looks sort of rocky

I'd recently purchased a pair of quilting gloves.  I've always quilted bare-handed previously, but thought I'd give them a shot.  Well, they certainly did the trick, I had more control but for some inexplicable reason I tended to slow down while wearing them and my stitches got huge.  At first I was puzzled as to what was happening, but I removed the gloves and my stitches got back to normal.  How odd.

I must admit to being a little wary about using quilting aids anyway.  Don't get me wrong, I love gadgets and have a nice collection of handy little helpers, but for free motion quilting I prefer to go 'naked'.  My main reason for this is a concern about being dependant on them.  What if I loved my gadgets then found I couldn't quilt unless I used them?  What if I lost them or damaged them?  I'm pretty good at losing, breaking and forgetting things.  I've been pondering a Super Slider, but for the same reason am reluctant to get one in case I love it.

Anyway, stippling.  I decided I didn't want the stippling too small, just small enough to make the letters pop out - otherwise it'd take forever to finish.  I started out that way but found my stippling to be getting smaller and loopier.  I was trying to make my stippling look like some picture I'd seen, but it wasn't happening.

Then I remembered something Harriet had written in Heirloom Machine Quilting - that stippling is like handwriting and that everyone's is unique.  I stopped fighting my natural style and allowed the stippling to become small and loopy.  Funnily enough the work got faster!  Interestingly, I also tried out the gloves again and found wearing them for this sort of work is great with no stitch length problems.  So for me, quilting gloves work better for free-style than they do for pre-drawn designs.  How weird.


The borders were kept simple with a small pinwheel design. 

The binding is on and waiting to be hand-stitched.  I can't wait to see how the lettering looks after washing and shrinking. 


  1. I really enjoy checking in on your blog.
    The quilt is coming along nicely.

  2. Hi Dee - thanks for dropping in!