Preparing to Quilt-The Carolina Lily
Today’s Topic: Preparing to Quilt-The Carolina Lily
Good Morning, Quilters!
It’s been a very cold and very snowy week here in Minnesota–what I call perfect “quilting weather”!
I’ve decided to take on a project I’ve been fretting about–my Carolina Lily quilt.
I’ve been fretting about this quilt for a very long time because I really love this quilt top. I found the pattern in an old magazine and immediately fell in love with the design. I hand pieced the flowers and applique, then stitched the blocks together by machine. When it was finished, I hung it in my sewing room for a long time, but I was too afraid to quilt it. (Does this sound familiar to anyone?) At some point it got relegated to a basket and the basket eventually went into a closet…
But it was always there…daring me to quilt it.
I made more quilt tops, but they filled the basket too–after all-I was too busy writing tutorials LOL!
A few years ago, I purchased a BERNINA Q24 longarm and decided it was time to tackle my UFO basket. A quick inventory revealed I had accumulated 30 quilt tops–many purchased at ridiculously low prices on Ebay or at garage sales.
For the past two years, I’ve worked my way through all of the quilts (more on that soon) and the Carolina Lily is the last quilt. I told myself I need to practice and learn the longarm before I started this favorite quilt. To be honest, practice was only half of the procrastination-the other half is the fear I will ruin the quilt with my quilting!
(You might like my number one post of all time–Six Ways to Ruin Your Quilt with Machine Quilting)
But as I’ve said before, the only real way to ruin a quilt top is to leave it buried in the back of the closet, unquilted and unloved-and risking some later sale on Ebay!
Preparing to Quilt
This week, I took the first steps to turning my favorite quilt top into a quilted heirloom. Please join me as I share the process.
Step One–Get over yourself! It’s only a quilt!
Step Two-Press the quilt top and take a few photos
Step Three-Start Planning the Design
Take a Few Photos
The best way to start the design process is to take a full size photo of the quilt. This can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be perfect! I was able to lay the quilt out and take photos from the stairs above.
This tip is from Lisa Calle: convert the photo to black and white-it makes the next design phase easier. You can do this in any photo app or just print the photo in black in white on your copier.
Which brings us to the next step-print a copy of the photo on regular copy paper-8-1/2 x 11 is great- in black and white.
Begin Playing with Dividing Lines
The next step is to start planning the quilting. Usually, you will need to add more dividing lines.
Place a piece of tracing paper over the black and white copy and see if you can come up with a few ways to divide your quilt. Save all options.
In addition to the dividing lines, start doodling a few motif ideas. Consider how the motifs work together. It is best to have some contrast between the motifs.
I prefer to work digitally, and use the Procreate App ($35) on my iPad. The app allows me to save layers and is very easy to use. If you have an ipad that supports a pencil–I highly recommend this app!
- Design options
- Loading the quilt
How’s YOUR doodling progress? I know it’s hard to keep up the pace–but it’s the pace that helps you work spontaneously and intuitively! Don’t give up!
When you are ready, doodle your motifs in fabric. It doesn’t have to be a real quilt–just test your designs!
The silverware doodles above are a sneak preview of an upcoming American Quilter Magazine tutorial. Check out My Line with Lori Kennedy in every issue!
How is YOUR doodle practice proceeding?
Do YOU have a quilt top or a basket of quilt tops?
Does fear ever prevent YOU from quilting?
Or are you stymied by the process?
We’d LOVE to hear!
YOUR Fearless Quilter (ahem)
Lori the Lionhearted
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!
Check out my books on Etsy: LoriKennedyShop
17 responses to “Preparing to Quilt-The Carolina Lily”
I’d love to be able to create my own plans for quilting my quilts. Your description of the Procreate App sounds like just what I need to start that process. But when I go to the iPad App Store, the only Procreate app I can find is $12.00, not $35, and while it has all kinds of pictures displayed, I don’t see any line drawings or uses that look like they might apply to quilting designs. Is that the right app or is there a more specific name I need to look for?
I have the $12 Procreate on my IPad and am slowly learning to use it to try out quilting designs. It does way more than I need it to do, but I do utilize the layers, which is very useful. My iPad is older and does not support an Apple Pencil. I did get a good suggestion from a YouTube video about a pencil (stylus) that does work. It is called the Meko 2nd Generation 2 in 1 Stylus. There are probably others, too, but this is what works for me. Good luck and happy quilting!
I’m struggling learning how to “undo” on Procreate, yet alone anything else. It is not intuitively obvious.
I use the edit feature of the photo app that is already on my iPad. I use my Apple Pencil to draw quilting designs right on the quilt photo. (A finger or stylus will work as well.) The mark-up part in editing allows me to use different colors, different line weights, write notes. When I’m done I just save it. If I want to try different designs out & compare them side by side, then I duplicate the original photo as many times as I need. Makes it easy to compare different designs side by side. 🙂
I completely identify with the ‘fear of ruining’ something that has taken so long to make. I took a class with Ruth McDowell about 10 years ago (last year she was teaching). I made an art quilt that I absolutely love, but it took me 9 years to get up the courage to finally quilt it. Lori is right about getting over your self. It is far from perfect but so much better than languishing in a drawer and I love it even more now that it is done.
O M G I love your dinnerware and silverware doodles!!!
I was a bit disappointed, joined because the “free” shamrock embroidery was not available unless I was doing it all wrong. Thank you. Deb
Love your quilt! Is the pattern available somewhere?
I can totally relate to being hesitant to start quilting a very special quilt you labored over and love. But, even when I’m not entirely happy with quilting I’ve done on a quilt (I am a longarmer, quilt for myself and others), I always think that (somehow, magically?) quilting makes quilt tops look better, makes them look as if they were meant to look as they do now, when finished (even better when the binding is done). I also remind myself that, for the rest of its existence (unless entering it in a show), no one else will be looking it from as small a distance as I will be looking at it as I quilt it.
If you’ve quilted all of those quilt tops, you know what you can do, and what you’re comfortable doing . . . and you can practice anything new you include in your quilting plan. I sometimes attach a narrow quilt sandwich next to a quilt, with temporary clamps, so I can practice anything I really want to be just right.
I really think that, almost no matter how you quilt it, you’ll be thrilled to have it done. And one last thing I have only been wise enough to decide on in recent years (when more of the quilts I see have been quilted with computerized machines) — if it’s NOT perfect (and it won’t be, of course) — even if it’s not as good as I want it to be — it’s those very imperfections that show that it is hand made, quilted by machine but also by a person, not by a computer. So your own!
Your own quilting is just right for it . . . really.
I can hardly wait to see your finished result on that beautiful quilt. I can so relate to your dilemma. Simply saying “go over myself “ helps.
Thank you all for such encouraging comments and suggestions.
Just got a sit-down long arm Bernina…
Love the copy quilt B&W printout to start the designing process.
I must say it is encouraging to learn that even the big name quilters get nervous about quilting their quilts. Just know that “You’ve got this” and it will look beautiful
Yes, just trying to “get over myself”! Thank you !
Yep, I also have a “few” quilt tops that are waiting, waiting, waiting…. I think putting them out front and center to see, instead of a box, will encourage me to go for it! Thanks for the process tips!
Es alentador saber que a pesar de tu experiencia aún sufres dudas, yo aún acolcho a mano y desde hace muchos años admiro tus garabatos y tu acolchado tan creativo. Pero me ha faltado el coraje para acolchar a máquina, creo que el único camino es decidirme y practicar en pequeños paños. Gracias Lory por compartir tus conocimientos. Saludos desde Argentina a mi admirada maga del acolchado.