Thursday, September 15, 2016

Quilting Smitten!!

One of my teaching goals for the past several years is to be better prepared to discuss "how to quilt" projects with my students.  In order to accomplish that, it's important for me to quilt most of my own work because experience is such a reliable method of instruction.
The machine quilting of Smitten is well underway -- I've adhered to my schedule by and large and am at the halfway point. I turned to Instagram for quilting inspiration and am so grateful to Kaye Hoffman of Australia who shared a number of photos of her finished version of the quilt five months ago on Instagram -- you can check some of them out for yourself by heading over HERE
Her quilt was quilted by Judy Simcock (you can see more of Judy's work HERE) who is not only a professional machine quilter, but she organizes stitching retreats that look like lots of fun!  The designs she used on Kaye's quilt inspired me as I began to work on my quilt.   While I didn't copy her designs and placement, you can see the impact she had on the designs I've created for my own quilt.
I thought I'd share the specifics of two of the simpler motifs as it might be helpful to you.
The first I've used in most of the hexagons that are the centers of a block.
It is made up of two arced "triangular" passes around the hexagon.
I begin in the first corner, using a "Fine Line" continuous curve tool.  (Click HERE for their website.)  The tool is aligned with the outside edge of my edge following presser foot and aligned 1/4" to the left of the third corner.
The tool is repositioned for two more arcs and I return to the first corner.  If you don't have a ruler, you can draw an arc or freehand it (which is what I did before I discovered the tool).
As I stitched the arcs along the inside of the pink triangles, I "interrupted" that trail and stitched a second arced triangle in the hexagon connecting the three remaining corners and completing the star shape.
Upon returning the last corner, I continue with the design of the shapes around the hexagon.
In the center of this large hexagon, you see a third set of arcs that travel from the tip of a green plaid diamond to the next green plaid diamond -- these are actually my "traveling" lines but they also add more interest to the quilting of the large yellow hexagon (and eliminate lots of thread tie-offs spots).
Here's the same treatment of a smaller hexagon in the center of this star block.
To quilt the background diamonds in this block, I used a "polka dot" motif to fill the center of the diamonds.  To begin, I marked the center of each diamond.  I lined up my straight "Fine Line" tool and stitched a straight line from the point of the diamond,
stopping when my presser foot reached the center mark. 
Now I (very slowly) stitched a circle and re-traced around the left side of the circle  
before completing the straight line to the opposite end of the diamond.  You can still see my "stop" point marking in this picture.  I added arcs around the four sides of each diamond to finish them up!
Once I figure out how to quilt a block, I repeat that quilting design in the rest of those same blocks.  Saves time and mental energy and unifies the quilt!
As you can see, Willie approves of my progress so far!  He was on that quilt in a flash when I took it outside to take advantage of the sunshine for the photo session.
I hope these ideas give you inspiration for quilting your hexagonal blocks -- I know I'm going to bookmark this post so I can refer to it for future 6-pointed star quilts because there are more of them in my future!!

And if you want to start your own version of this delightful pattern, HERE is a link to a seller!

I hope you get all the stitching time you want this weekend!!



  1. You're making great progress, keep it up! I like how you tailor your quilting to every block.

  2. Love your quilting and I am going to be using some of your ideas in the future.

  3. Excellent process post! I know I'll be coming back to it.

  4. What a pretty quilt! I love to see such beautiful quilting coming from a domestic machine. What quilting machine do you use?

  5. Thank you for the excellent quilting tutorial!!!

  6. Eek! The quilting is amazing.
    I love the sound of travelling to avoid tying and burying more ends. Music to my ears.

  7. Thankyou for the "shout out" to my blog Mary, glad that you visited. Love what you have done on your Smitten quilt. Are you quilting with a domestic machine?

  8. Your tips are fantastic! I love your helper. I have 2 of them. Thanks for linking up @Mama Spark's WIPs With Friends.