Sunday, June 7, 2009

Kaleidoscope Quilt

Following up on how to layer a quilt, here's how it was quilted.

I started off with stitch-in-the-ditch using Sew Art's clear monofilament nylon in the top and Presencia's 50/3 100% cotton thread (color 225--part of Jo Morton Coordinates Spice Collection) in the bobbin.

This process of quilting a grid through all the horizontal and vertical seam lines is called "anchoring" and provides a basic, minimal amount of quilting. A walking foot (or even-feed foot) is used because it is designed to "evenly feed" the three layers of the quilt under the needle. It handles the bulky work and can also be used for the next step of quilting.

With the same thread in the top and bobbin (Presencia #225), a series of arcs were quilted along the rose-colored triangles. This is referred to as "continuous curve quilting". In 1980, Barbara Johannah, published a small booklet by the same name which illustrated how to incorporate this technique on blocks featuring squares and triangles.

I used a closed toe free motion foot to quilt the continuous curve pattern; although I typically use an open toe foot, it kept getting caught in the triangle edges of this block. There was a greater amount of bulk at the center of each block so I switched back to the even feed/walking foot. For slight curves, such as cables, this foot can be used--it's not just for straight line quilting.

The third step was to stitch-in-the-ditch around the inner frame of the quilt between the block area and the green accent border using the monofilament/cotton combo. I used matching Presencia thread to stitch between the aqua and the green and again between the outside border rose print and the aqua.

Lastly, I used medium green Presencia thread to freehand quilt an oak leaf design continuously around the outside border. There is an oak leaf printed on the rose fabric so I looked at the curve of the leaf to adapt my basic leaf design to look like an oak leaf. There was no marking on the quilt so I had to gauge the spacing between each leaf and pay attention to the corners. An alternative for quilting the border would be a straight line design such as channel quilting--three lines 1/4" apart with a 2" gap between the next three lines, for example. Because the print is busy, these leaves aren't too visible so lines are a good option.

After quilting is complete, check the corners with a square ruler and trim the edges even around the perimeter of the quilt. I basted 1/8" from the edge this time--not always--but now it is ready for binding.

Copyright ©2009, Sharon Baggs