Today’s Topic: More Machine Quilting Design Tips
Welcome to Week Twenty Four of The Better Machine Quilt-a-long based on my book 25 Days to Better Machine Quilting.
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Good Morning, Quilters!
Yesterday, in How Should I Quilt This? we discussed a few machine quilting design decisions.
First, choose Custom or Allover quilting.
Choose a motif or two and start doodling.
Create thread samples.
Today we will review a few quilt design principles for machine quilting.
Design Tips for Machine Quilting
Prints Conceal, Solids Reveal
While choosing motifs, remember prints conceal machine quilting, while solids show off machine quilting. If you are not confident as a quilter, choose a print backing fabric, on the other hand, when you want to show off an elaborate quilt motif-be sure it is on a solid fabric. Don’t waste your quilting effort where the motif won’t show well. Keep quilting lines simple where the quilt top is heavily patterned and where the fabric is a busy print. Create more interest on solid blocks by designing more elaborate motifs.
Contrast creates focal points. In quilting, there are three types of contrast: Density, Color and Shape.
Place dense quilting around more open motifs to create good contrast.
Stitch curvy shapes near linear shapes for shape contrast.
Use thread in a color that contrasts well with the background fabric for more focal interest.
Stitch less on focal points within a quilt. Stitch densely around the focal point.
Repeat and Vary
Choose just a few motifs and repeat them with slight variations to create a cohesive quilt design. (Bonus–you don’t need to learn a lot of motifs for any given quilt.)
The scale of the motif is also important. When free motion quilting a large quilt on a domestic sewing machine, the scale is usually smaller than if the quilt is completed on a longarm. We quilt smaller, because it is hard to move a large quilt in large sweeping motions. However, there is a range from microquilting to medium quilting possible. Audition a variety of sizes for each motif using a vinyl overlay.
And be sure to do a test drive to be sure you can quilt in the desired scale.
Doodle Your Design
I haven’t been harping on doodling lately…
Doodling is essential for better machine quilting. (This reminds me-I should return to weekly doodle lessons–yes? no?)
Here are two doodle lessons you might find helpful this week:
This week’s project
This week we will work on a table runner. Details tomorrow.
In the meantime, look at your table and choose a width and length.
Choose a solid fabric for the top and a print for the back.
We will also need two threads: one contrast, one matching the fabric on top. (And two 50 wt bobbin threads to match the threads.)
May your day be filled with creativity,
Your quilt designer,
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!
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