Free Motion Friday -- Karen's Quilt (again)

FREE MOTION FRIDAY! HAPPY FRIDAY! And it's actually Friday :D. Well, actually, for me it's Tuesday. But this week I'm on the ball, and not going to forget.

Karen writes:

   I was so thrilled with my Star Surround quilt. I would love to see what you would do with this one. Especially the negative space. Remember, I am not as skilled as you. Thanks so much for your time and talent.

You might remember her Star Surround quilt from this FMF. And her finished quilt picture:


Which mostly makes me NOT REMEMBER that she is not as skilled as me... as that is clearly not true. Here's a secret... I'm not that skilled. I like to think that I have some good ideas about how to quilt a quilt, but I don't do lots of things that require actual skill. Lots of ribbon candy, straight lines, ruler work & thread colour changes... things that often take time, but not skill. I call it Quilting for Cheaters. No feather motifs, insane fills, precise lines... Thread colour changes are one to note, as if you match your thread, no one can see how good or bad of a quilter you are, they just see the awesome texture that you are making. So quilting for cheaters. Not quilting for crazy talented people.

Anyways, Karen's quilt for this round:

Vice Versa.FlimsyKaren makes some great quilts doesn't she?


I started by adding diagonal lines the same distance from the blocks as the sashing is wide... mostly so I can avoid quilting in all those sashings. I hate quilting sashings. I can never make it look good. I used this same technique on Debbie's wedding quilt:


You can see I quilted in what looks like a sashing around my blocks before going into the background filler. Not only does it save me the horrid work of quilting sashings, but makes it look like I did MORE work with my quilt and actually put sashing around all those blocks.

Next up, two idea's for the negative space:


The first -- (sort-of drawn out on the top half) DIAMONDS! You can read my post on diamonds here.  You can also see them in the background on Debbie's quilt. Diamonds take a while (though not as long as you think) but take NO SKILL. I'm serious. All you have to do is be able to quilt a straight line and a circle. Not hard. Lots of starts and stops, so if you like to burry threads, maybe not a good choice. But I don't burry threads, so not an issue for me. I just pull up my bobbin, take some super small stitches, trim the threads, and away I go.

The second choice (poorly drawn out on the bottom half) is a ribbon candy / bubble line that I have been in love with recently. You can see it in action in these two quilts:

Contrasting Thread


You can see a how I marked and quilted this design in this post. I simply turned it on the diagonal for this quilt to follow the blocks.

The one thing I will say, is turning it on the diagonal when quilting on a longarm is going to make for starts & stops, as you aren't going to load your quilt diagonally :D. Which doesn't bother me. But if it does bother you, you could do your lines straight up and down for a bit of a different look.

4I didn't go too far into how I would quilt each individual block. Some thoughts I did have though,

I'd probably do all the white negative space, particularly on the middle rows of blocks with the same background filler to add some uniformity. I also like to re-use the same design elements in different ways throughout the blocks.  So I might use a lot of dot-to-dot in any triangle I can find. Or ribbon candy in any straight lines. Or so on.

I used this theory when quilting Granny's Butterfly Quilt:

P1030777-0Lots of ribbon candy and diagonal lines rilled with ribbon candy to give some uniformity to the blocks. Not a hard and fast rule that I followed, but you can get the idea.

Anyways, at the moment I'm just feeling pretty proud of myself for getting a post done ON TIME this week. Go me.

Remember, if you want your quilt to be part of Free Motion Friday (and please do!) email me a picture to kathleen(at) or tag me on instagram (@kathleenquilts) with the hashtag #freemotionfriday.

Later days! Kathleen