Triple Quilting Challenge – Part 4 Stitching the Motifs

All right, now we are cooking with gas (although Mr. Steam does prefer coal). The top is marked it was time to get it loaded on Millie and start SEWING!

Enter another “gulp” moment. I have no clue what I was doing! Do I need to worry about the quilt top distorting? Should I baste it loosely? Should I work from the top down like I normally do? Should I do all the motifs at once and come back for the fill?

I couldn’t find any answers on the internet. Ok, how about more old fashioned? The library! Nope, no books on whole cloth quilting. Nor did my local quilt shop. Yea both the library and my local shop would have ordered one, but I wanted to start NOW!

So I guess I will try and learn either from success or failure! This is a learning process anyway. No guts, no glory!

1st decision -Do all the motifs first – feathers, flowers, stems. Then come back and do the fill work. That should stabilize the quilt and keep it from getting wonky. At least I think it will, we’ll see.

This decision forced….

2nd decision – Baste the edges all the way around. The quilt is small, it’s only 24″ x 24′. But I only have about 14″ of quilt space. Since I am going to do all the motif work first and go back to do the fill work I am going to need to be moving the quilt back and forth quite a bit. That meant not having the top attached to the top bar. So basting it was.

3rd decision – Sew the square between the border and the medallion.

All right, here we go. Medallion block and medallion flowers were sewn. Somehow I forgot to sew the right hand side of the square. Ooops. Have to go back and get that.

After I sewed the north, south, east and west flowers in the very center of the medallion there was A LOT of open space. I really didn’t want to have to background fill quite that much space – so I put in another 4 flowers on the 45 deg. So far so good.

Whole Cloth Challenge -

Next up was to switch the machine over to variegated thread. And do the feathers. How ever I was a little nervous about using variegated thread on the feathers. I (so far) can only do hump and bump feathers. Which means back tracking. And with variegated thread that might look muddy.

I decided to test it on my domestic machine to see how it would look. Now keep in mind I have NEVER done feathers on my domestic. I have quilted plenty with it, but never feathers. But, if I can do it on the long arm I should be able to do it on my domestic right? Eh. Here goes.

Long arm vs domestic feathersThe feathers on the right on the lighter fabric are on my domestic machine, the ones on the left are on my long arm. The right hand ones are some rough looking feathers! WOW, what a difference trying to quilt on my domestic. But the purpose was served. The backtracking didn’t look TOO bad. So let’s make it official!

Whole Cloth Challenge - NotYourNormalSteam.wordpress.comPretty happy with how that worked. It added a nice pop of color. So far the quilt seems to be doing ok. One trouble wrinkle / pucker on the bottom left. But I’ll live with that (mostly because I have no idea how to fix it).

You can see the color on the variegated thread better here. It’s rainbow colored, and I thought it was perfect for a flower garden quilt. What do you think?

Whole Cloth Challenge - NotYourNormalSteam.wordpress.comNow it was time to work on the border. Here’s the flower portion of the cable.

Whole Cloth Challenge -
Again, here’s the original sketch. It has some differences, but I still like how it’s coming out.
Whole cloth designI still needed to add the variegated feather cable, however, I decided to not add them at this point. I was worried that as I was sewing the feathers I wouldn’t see the flowers and stems and stitch over them. That it would be easier to see them if I painted them first. Besides, I was REALLY REALLY wanting to try out the paints and see how they turned out.
Whole Cloth Quilt Design Process:


About NotYourNormalSteam

I love to make things, food, paper, fabric, the medium doesn’t really matter. I am also an obsessive planner. The day after Christmas I am already working out plans for the next year.
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2 Responses to Triple Quilting Challenge – Part 4 Stitching the Motifs

  1. Joy F says:

    I’m following your experiences with this quilt with anticipation. Like you, I have been unable to find in depth instruction on stabilizing a quilt. I just got a Millie and will be learning all of the ins and outs with you.

    • What kind did you get? I have had mine for 18 months. I have quilted about 10 quilts on it. But this is my first whole cloth. On my other quilts I wasn’t as worried about stabilizing. I just worked from the top to the bottom. I basted the sides as I went.

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