Here is a fun quilt made by my friend, Diana. She came over to get some machine quilting tips, then decided to let me quilt it for her. The focus fabric features butterflies with a few dragonflies in the mix. Fortunately, I had stencils of both creatures on hand which made design choices easy.
Using a blue washable marker, the top was marked with a 7" butterfly continuous line design (RB42-Promise) in the center of each block. Tendrils were added free form during the quilting. Next I marked a dragonfly in the four corners (http://www.timesavertemplates.com/) Finally the border was marked with a companion stencil of the blocks (RB45-4 1/4" Promise Border).
The next decision was the thread. I played around with Superior's Perfect Quilter (a 30 wt. cotton) and kept getting skipped stitches no matter which needle I tried. Then I put in YLI Machine Quilting Thread (40wt. TEX, cotton) in both the top and bobbin and used this thread to quilt the blocks. This worked best with a 75/11 embroidery needle, which is a smaller needle but has a larger eye like a topstitch needle.
The other thread I used was Presencia 50/3 Color #261--light lavender on top and YLI in the bobbin for stitching-in-the-ditch and quilting the border.
The order of quilting: First stitch in the ditch through the diagonal seam lines, using a walking foot. This avoids stitching over any markings. Next stitch in the ditch along the inside border, all around the perimeter.
Next the internal blocks of butterflies and corner dragonflies were free motion quilted with a darning foot. Finish by quilting the outer border.
Copyright ©2008, Sharon Baggs