Monday, December 12, 2011

Chasing Chevrons {part 5}

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Welcome to week 5!  This week just happens to be my favorite part.  I love quilting far more than making a quilt top.  There's just something about having an almost finished quilt piled up in my lap that makes me happy.

There are many different ways to quilt a quilt and I'm certainly not going to reinvent wheel.  In my last quilt along I put together a post with lots of links to tutorials so I'm going to be resourceful and use that post and instead talk about how to pick your quilting design in this post.

How you quilt your quilt can separate your quilt from the typical quilt.  There are always the clear choices... you can follow the lines of the quilt. 

For example, our chevron quilt has strong lines and angles.  If I were to pick the obvious, I would probably choose straight line quilting.  Straight lines can be visually stunning but they can also detract from the overall design if the design already has lots of lines.

Free motion quilting with lots of busy fabric patterns might be a good choice if you want the quilting to blend in.  However, the opposite can happen too sometimes... a busy quilt + busy quilting might end up being overwhelming.

I obsess over symmetry in general and I tend to go the opposite of my quilt design.  If there are strong lines, I might use quilting with lots of curves.  If there are curves or a busy pattern I tend to lean towards straight line quilting.  I like using opposites to balance the overall quilt design.  But that's just me... ;)

Another thing to consider is how the quilt is going to be used.  If it's going to be used and washed a lot {a baby quilt} free motion quilting is a good choice.  But if you want a quilt that isn't flat as a pancake and has some "fluff" to it, straight lines or even a grid pattern might be ideal.

And lastly, time and skill have a lot to do with your quilting.  Free motion quilting might be a lot for a first quilt; but as you improve it can end up being the fastest way to finish a quilt.  Straight lines close together are pretty simple but they are also hugely boring and time consuming.  You might find your balance somewhere in between using a grid layout or even random straight lines.

Still stuck??  When in doubt just doodle!   Sketch your quilt on paper and audition different quilting designs.  Some of my favorite free motion patterns have come from doodling. 

As always, if you have questions please email, comment or post in our Flickr group!

It's going to be a busy day around here tomorrow... I'm guest posting over at Sew We Quilt, it's Chaney's birthday and I'll be showing off her first finished project on her new sewing machine!


Lucy @ Charm About You said...

I found this really useful, thank you! I always finish a quilt top and then stare at it for ages wondering how to quilt it. I nearly always do straight lines but then I've not been quilting for long!

Needled Mom said...

Sketching it out is such a great idea.

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