Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Dandelion--Quilting Tutorial

Last week I shared with you my tutorial on piecing together the Dandelion Mini Quilt.  This week I thought it would be fun to spend some time talking about how I chose to quilt my wall hanging.  One of the biggest hurdles I found myself jumping along my quilting journey, was figuring out how to quilt my projects.  There are thousands of ways to quilt something, so how do you chose what is the best way?  I absolutely dreaded the words "quilt as desired" at the end of quilting patterns because I had no idea what I desired.  It wasn't until I started studying pictures of other quilters's work that I was finally able to start generating some ideas.

One of the first decisions to make is what threads to use.  I personally like to use 50w cotton thread most of the time and more often than not reach for my trusty Aurifil thread stash.  For this project I chose to quilt my top using thread colors that would match the different sections.  Using a matching thread color can hide almost all of your quilting blunders.  I chose Aurifil 2135 yellow for the flower, 4026 green for the leaves, 2692 black for the ground and boarder and 2309 cream for my background.  I also stitched in the ditches of my seams before I started free motion quilting using Sulky Invisible.

Let's talk about the flower and the leaves first.  I wanted my quilting to be somewhat simple so I chose to do continuous curves in all of the squares.  Continuous curves can be a bit tricky at first, but once you get a rhythm of how to move around the squares, it's really quite simple.  Below is a numbered diagram showing the order in which I quilted my curves.  From start to finish it took 140 curves to quilt the flower.  When I quilted mine I did not mark them but eyed it.  Even in my diagram below the curves are not perfect, but you can tell it does not take away from the overall design.  Fear not and quilt forth.

The leaves can be quilted with 111 curves.

When working with continuous curves, if you have a way to draw them out or even running your finger over your possible quilting trail can really pay off.  I like to lay Plexiglas over my project and use a dry erase markers to audition designs (just make sure you do not mark on your quilt).

For the ground area, I chose to do pebbling.  The easiest movement for tackling this design is to make your pebbles in a figure 8 movement.

I started at the arrow and made a circle counter clockwise, then swung up to make the rest of my figure 8.  It's ok if your circles are not completely round or not even the same size.  And it's 100% ok to travel around your circle twice to get to where you need to go.  I almost always use a thread color that matches my fabric so that my flaws are hidden and whats left for the eye to focus on is great texture.

For the borders and the background quilting I added some straight lines.  In the background I marked diagonal lines.  I started by marking a line that went from the upper left corner to the bottom right and then spaced my lines every 2."  I chose to quilt these lines using my walking foot.  I marked straight lines every 2" apart in the border.  When I stitched the border piano keys, I used my free motion foot.  This allowed me to stitch a line up and then travel in the ditch to stitch the next line down.  Since the lines were marked and not very long in length, I felt I could keep them pretty straight without the use of the walking foot.

 And this is my wall hanging all finished

If you decide to make this little wall hanging I hope that you will email me at tishnwonderland@gmail.com.  I would love to see your version and how you decide to quilt it.  Thanks for stopping by!

And a big thanks to Freemotion by the River for featuring my last weeks piecing tutorial on her linky party!

Come join the party!!  Today I'm linking up with


quiltnparty.com said...

I really like the quilting you did on this wall hanging. The Plexiglas is a great idea, I never thought of that!

Joy said...

Thank you for taking the time of showing us how you quilted this and especially the path you took. So many times I'm left wondering how to apply the quilting with the fewest number of thread breaks.

Lorna McMahon said...

The quilting is perfect for showing off the piecing in this sweet wall hanging, Tish. Thanks so much for sharing your secrets with us!

Shauna said...

wow that is a wonderful wall hanging, bright and cheerful. I love your quilting, great job.

Mari said...

It's beautiful! What a wonderful finish.

Cut&Alter said...

Thanks for taking the time to share your quilting designs and thoughts. Having just got a long arm machine the actual quilting is now what I am looking at on other people's quilts more than the quilt top! Love how you can do all those curves in a continuous pass.

Sandra Walker said...

Wow Tish, this is such a comprehensive tutorial of how to quilt the wallhanging, good info anyone can use on any quilt, really. I cannot get over that you figured out how to continuously quilt the entire dandelion and numbered each pass!!! As you know, I intend to make this for my grandson, who loves dandelions. Thank you for taking time to write all this very very useful information out; I will point some of the ladies in my guild in your direction if they are wondering about just how to and where to start FMQ. :-)

Connie Kresin Campbell said...

The quilting looks great and using the Plexiglas is a neat idea!

Jayne said...

Love the quilting and all the tips! I always have a hard time figuring out how to quilt something. Eventually an idea will come to me, but it sometimes takes a while! You did a fantastic job!

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