By now I feel like we’ve all had a lot of practice making half square triangles and flying geese units. We know how important it is to nest our seams and to trim carefully. And most of us (except my pooch, Zoey) agree that trimming off the dog-ears is a good idea.
Now that we’re approaching the halfway point for constructing the blocks for the Batik Sampler quilt top, I’m starting to imagine the different possibilities for quilting it later on. For this month, I thought I would forego the block construction and talk about how I’m planning the quilting. If you would like to see a little more about the block construction for months 4 and 5 check out Pam Heller’s AccuQuilt videos for the Batik Sampler. The videos are a great resource and can be found here:
One of the first things I ask myself when planning a quilting motif is whether the design I’m considering is part of my current skill set. If it’s not, I can put off quilting the quilt top until I’ve gained the skills from a class or some practice. The Quilting Company offers excellent courses and books for a broad range of skill levels, including:
Of course, time can be a factor no matter what a quilter’s skill level is. Stitch-in-the-ditch, ruler work, and custom quilting simply take a long time. Conversely, edge-to-edge quilting can be both beautiful and time efficient. (It tends to be more economical as well, if you are paying someone else to do the quilting.)
A bigger quilt such as the queen-sized Batik Sampler requires a lot of effort. For a larger quilt, an edge-to-edge, continuous design is a very good choice. By zooming in on the photo for the finished Batik Sampler, I can see the gorgeous continuous line quilting treatment that was used. I really like the how the quilting’s soft swirls balance the sharpness of the square and triangular piecing in the blocks.
Another consideration for the Batik Sampler is to do a stitch-in-the-ditch over the entire quilt. The patch sizes with this quilt are small enough to end up with a sturdy quilt sandwich and some of the larger patches could get a little more quilting. Although time consuming, I think this would be a great way to quilt the Batik Sampler. Stitch-in-the-ditch provides excellent practice at this necessary skill, especially for longarm quilters. This is also a straightforward technique for domestic machine quilters. There would also be very little, if any, quilt top marking required.
For my quilt, I’m looking at the secondary designs in the blocks. I notice for the smaller blocks, an “X” seems to be a common secondary shape. I would like to find a way to bring out this secondary shape and apply it to all of the blocks.
To do this, I use an electronic tablet.
I take a picture of the blocks and use the tablet’s edit tool to draw some different designs.
Since sampler quilts, in general, tend to be “busy” I intend to use only 2 quilt motifs. The quilting for the diamond quadrant can be repeated in the hourglass units that make up the inner border. Aside from the diamond quadrants, I plan to quilt small-scaled swirled background filler outside of the secondary X on each quilt block, repeated in a large scale on the outside border.
I think the current plan fits well with my own skill set and amount of time and effort I want to devote to quilting the Batik Sampler.
There are so many ways to find quilting inspiration and help. Magazines, books, videos, classrooms, quilt shows, and fellow quilters are constant sources for learning and inspiration!