Today’s Topic: Outlining Basic Shapes
Welcome to Week Twenty One of The Better Machine Quilt-a-long based on my book 25 Days to Better Machine Quilting.
Find all of the previous Lessons HERE.
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Good Morning, Quilters!
Today we are going to look at three outlining techniques for quilting pieced blocks: In the Ditch, Curved Line and Contour Outlining.
Complex Piecing=Simple Quilting
Quilting motifs stitched on pieced or patterned fabrics are difficult to see. Therefore, it is not worth the time to stitch ornate motifs on patterned blocks. Instead, show off the piecing with simple quilting like outlining.
Outlining Three Ways
There are three ways to outline a shape: In the Ditch, Curved Line and Contour.
Mix and match all three techniques within a single block, or choose one method for an entire quilt. Use a vinyl overlay or boogie board to test ideas and determine the most efficient stitching path. (Learn how to make a vinyl overlay for quilt design HERE)
Also, consider thread choice carefully. It is often best to choose a lightweight thread in a neutral or matching color for outlining techniques.
In the Ditch Outlining
Stitching in the ditch gives the shapes more definition. Whenever possible, stitch on the “well” side of the seam.
Read more about stitch in the ditch quilting: Stitch in the Ditch Quilting: When, Why and How
It is usually easier to free motion stitch in the ditch for this purpose.
Stitch in the Ditch outlining quilting is nearly invisible.
Curved Line Outlining
The easiest way to outline a block is to use the curved line method. A shallow curved line is stitched from corner to corned within the block
Curved line outlining is a very pleasing looking stitching line.
Another way to outline a shape is to connect alternate corners with a chevron (V or inverted V shape).
Contour outlining emphasizes the geometric shape of the block.
Stitching Path and Traveling
It’s important to plan the stitching path before beginning to quilt. Use the vinyl overlay to determine the most efficient way to travel from one block to another.
Read more about traveling techniques: Six Ways to Travel for Machine Quilters
Retracing and In the Ditch are the most likely methods.
Also, the most efficient path may be to stitch 3/4 of every block and then complete the final row of all the blocks at one time.
Give Outlining a Try
If you are following along in my book, 25 Days to Better Machine Quilting, place your vinyl overlay over the quilt samples on page 105. Follow the lines to test each of the outlining methods. (If you don’t have the book, skip to the next step…)
Then test the methods by doodling over a block in your collection.
What about YOU?
Can YOU believe we are in Week 21 of our quilt-a-long already?
Are YOU feeling more confident about machine quilting?
What quilt in YOUR collection will you machine quilt next?
Is quilting YOUR happy place?
We’d LOVE to hear!
PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy Quilts and are intended for personal use only. Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to LKQ. For all other purposes, please contact me at Lori@LoriKennedyQuilts.com. Thank you! This post contains an affiliate link to amazon.com. If you choose to purchase, at no additional cost to you, I may receive a little pin-money. Thank you for supporting LKQ in this way!
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