I’m not sure when I first started free motion quilting my tops. I do know my early forays were done with great trepidation. I just knew I was convinced I was going to ruin my quilt with my inept quilting. Did it stop me? No, yes, and sometimes. If my work was too big to maneuver I would pay to have a long arm quilter handle the quilting.
I devoured every article and book written about ways to free motion quilt, especially ones designed to make it easy. I took classes on free motion quilting. However, it wasn’t until I devoted a year to free motion quilting with Leah Day that I reached a mastery sufficient to tackle the stitching. I also treated myself to the George, an APQS, sit down quilting machine with an 18″ throat. Is a machine with a large throat necessary? No, there are several less expensive ways to handle the bulk of the quilt while quilting. The George suits my personal preference.
There are quilters who design their tops with quilting in mind. I’m not one of them. So, as I pieced Rainbow Aura, thinking about how I would quilt it, I was stymied. Why? The colors are clearly defined, meaning one thread, other than a clear one, which I hate, won’t work. The quilt has strong straight lines which could be echoed with straight line quilting or softened with circles or curves. Maybe I could try feathers in the deep blue circles. It didn’t take many off quilt doodling attempts to nix the feathers. So, I opted for mini stippling instead. Tempting as it is to use a thread with variegated primary colors, I opted for the more conservative, several shades of blue.
Why mini stipple? Any mini or micro all over pattern will work. The advantage of doing numerous stitches is it creates a wonderful bas-relief effect. It is hard to capture it in a photo. You will have to trust me that the yellow and orange squares stand out not just color-wise, but physically from the blue they are surrounded by.
I am linking up with Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Fridays.