Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric... Welcome to the Patriotic Quilter where I like to share all things quilty as well as red, white, and blue! Please feel free to look around and enjoy yourself! I would love to hear from you.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Quilting Morning Joe

Hi Everyone,

I meant to write this post last week, but I have been busy.  We are traveling for the holiday this week.  Not only are we celebrating Thanksgiving with family, it is also my Mom's 70th birthday, and she and I are helping to host a baby shower for my sister.  We will be seeing our daughter for the first time in almost a year, so I am seriously excited about that, too.  I've been wrapping presents, coming up with baby shower games (seriously, microwaving candy bars in diapers?!!  Yuck, no thanks!) doing laundry, etc.  It is nice to sit a spell and do some writing.  And thinking about quilts!

When I finished the top for this quilt, I knew that I wanted to spend some extra time and effort in the quilting process.  Normally, I just do an all-over meander which results in a finished quilt, but with a little custom work, one can achieve way better results. 

The first step was to make a plan.  I knew that I wanted something in the snowmen's faces that was different from the other areas.  I considered pebbling, but I've not tried it before, and was worried about it.  I ended up doing a paisley-type shape. 

I left off the buttons and nose for the quilting--I added them after the binding and washing.

For the stars, I stitched them in the ditch (so not my favorite, but using the walking foot on the new Juki was better than on my Bernina.)

I drew out a pointed-oval template and traced it whole in each segment, then I traced two more times, pulling the template to the center.  This step required marking.  Except for the navy blue areas, I was able to use my favorite marking pens.

Crayola washable markers!
I know it may seem scary, but they are designed to wash out, after all, and as long as you plan to wash your finished quite, it doesn't get any easier!
On the red background of the center of the quilt, I did a small stipple.  It seemed like a real treat after all the stitch-in-the-ditch! 

For the red inner border, I wanted to do something more "border-like" and I decided on a line of spirals.  I marked for those, too, to keep them even.  I just drew vertical lines every 1.25" of the border.  They were lots of fun!
That just left the sawtooth border.  I didn't have any obvious ideas.  I spent some time on the internet looking at ideas.  Finally, I decided that I wanted to try doing lines that are close together.  I've been seeing this technique a lot lately and it adds lots of texture.  It was easy, too! 
See how fun it looks?  I left the blue/tan triangles plain, and they really puff up next to all the quilting in the red background.  There are two plain background squares in this border.  For them, I drew a diagonal line and did each half of the square in a different direction.
You can see that result up above in the photo in the left foreground.  I like how it turned out.
I spent nearly two entire days doing the quilting, and my back sure felt it, but I am really pleased with how it came out.  I keep meaning to make myself do more custom quilting.  I always love the results, I'm just usually too lazy or uninspired to do it.  I must say that having the Juki helps a lot.  Hopefully, I will be more drawn to doing some custom stitching in the future.
Have a great day!


  1. Very, very nice.... the quilting looks great! Congratulations.... it was definitely worth the 2 days you spent.... and I know you're pleased with the results!

    Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

  2. I also use the washable markers just not pressing really hard

  3. Beautiful, just beautiful Joanne. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  4. Your quilting looks great! You definitely put a lot of thought into it. It can be hard coming up with ideas. I'm struggling to do that right now for my Dresden Plate quilts. I'm always surprised at how long it takes to do custom quilting, but it always seems worth it in the end.

  5. Your quilting is just gorgeous JoAnne! Your guys look pretty happy:)

    Enjoy your time with your family and Happy Birthday to your Mom. My Mom turned 70 last month...we had a great time celebrating with her.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Very amazing quilting! Thanks for doing this as a separate post. It is great to understand your thought process. It gives me encouragement to try new types of quilting. Have fun with your mom. My birthday is Wednesday. So it is always tricky when it is right near or on Thanksgiving. I love your quilt! K-

  7. You did a great job with the quilting!!

  8. What a fun quilt, JoAnne. Thank you very much for mentioning Crayola washable markers. I've been wondering about using them. I'm glad to know they work.

  9. Looks wonderful--so fun!
    Good call to not use pebbles. It is a very labor-intensive design to use on large areas.

  10. Very beautiful job and thanks for the idea about washable markers. I will try it.

  11. Just love your snowman quilt and your quilting on it is really great. I am so envious of all of you who can machine quilt. That is just not a talent that I have!

  12. It's an adorable quilt and how great that you have it done before winter! I like your quilting--especially those tight lines in the triangles--I'm stealing that idea!!

  13. How cute is this quilt ! Congrats on a great finish ! Love your quilting you did !

  14. I love the way you changed up 'Joe' with the cute snow men and the quilting is wonderful

  15. Your quilting turned out lovely!! The more you play - the better you will become. This looks fantastic. This is how I started and I just became obsessed from there....three good domestic machine quilters that I adore....Patsy Thompson, Cindy Needham, and Diane Gaudynski...they all three offer great tips on their blogs!! Sharon Schambers also does some work at the domestic machine if you visit her YouTube channel. Keep it up and I'll tell you what...if there is ONE thing I would recommend to ALL people who want to develop their free motion skills...do pebbles!!! The tiny little micro movements and muscles you develop doing those tiny movements will carry over to all of your other work. :)