Monday, October 10, 2016

Nickel Quilting - a Finish!

Do you find yourself in a quandary when it comes to finding a quilting design that fits the quilt top and the intended recipient(s), that is also do-able when there's a tight deadline? Wow, that fits me to a "T" ... especially when it comes to machine quilting! Somehow that never seems to happen with hand quilting, the quilt goes into the hoop, needle is threaded and quilting just seems to happen! Slowly, but it happens.

After being inspired by the lovely soft texture in Audrey over at Quilty Folk's wonderful entry in the Bloggers Quilt Festival here, I really, truly wanted to try some organic straight line quilting for this baby quilt.  Really, I did! Problem was, this quilt was resisting me, every step of the way to the sewing machine.

Circles, it wanted circles - lots of them.  And so, after ditch quilting the major seams, the walking foot reluctantly came off the Janome, and free-motion foot was installed.  Then what?  Off to find some FMQ design that I might have a prayer of a chance to accomplish in a fairly short time, without completely messing up this top and all of its solid whiteness, that was definitely going to show Every.Single.Error.Glaringly.   Sigh...

I began searching some tutorials in one of my favorite FMQ blogs, Lori Kennedy's The Inbox Jaunt, and found her Dots and Dashes Tutorial.  OK, do-able, maybe, as long as I draw those lines and circles ahead of time.
 nickel template!

An afternoon of drawing and quilting - so far, so good

By the second evening the boxes were being filled with another FMQ stand-by, the Jesters Hat design by Wendy Sheppard at Ivory Spring.

I filled the outer borders with large 'bubbles.'   Some of these will be filled in with the letters of the new baby's name and birthdate after he's born.  The remainder will most likely be filled in with a spiral design or some other small motif. Lots of lines drawn, but we can still call the quilting organic and wavy, hehe!

And, finally, yesterday, the scrappy binding was stitched down and a finish!

I love taking newly finished quilts outside for a photo shoot in the early morning light. This morning was nearly perfect, except for the cold north wind blowing!

The lighting was perfect for highlighting the texture of the quilting. Here you can see the 'bubbles' that will need to be filled in later with the little one's name and birthdate. And the leaves that kept falling as I was snapping these photos.

One down, and one more to go - plus a few receiving blankets - in time for the shower in early November.

Happy Monday!


  1. I think you did a great job! I like the dots and dashes design. And the court jester's hat is fun, once you get in the rhythm and know where you are going next.
    I am finally letting myself realize there is no one right way to quilt something. There are a myriad of options, and they will all look good!

  2. Lovely finish. I'm glad I finished reading to the end to see your plan for the inner part of the border circles...I was thinking they looked a bit under-quilted! The quilt design gives me ideas for my grandson's quilt that has languished for a year, ready to be quilted.

  3. Absolutely right! Thanks for sharing your though process to achieve this great finish. Love that you will personalize it with details.

  4. That looks great and I love the idea of some personal quilting in the circles.

  5. Beautiful! Love the stitching with the quilt. I think you have the perfect compliment for the piecing!

  6. Yes! The dots and dashes is perfect and I love Lori Kennedy's quilting ideas. Often I go to pinterest and search for quilting designs for a specific block and get ideas from there. The D&D is something that I will try to remember to use sometime.

  7. Perfect! You listened to the quilt and wow, you quilted the perfect designs. It's beautiful.

  8. You did a great job with your FMQ - the quilt wanted circles and I think it was right!

  9. I'm going to try the straight line quilting with circles. They look fantastic! Blessings, Gretchen

  10. Well, it turned out perfect. Very cute. I know what you mean, though. Choosing designs is the hardest part. I never know what I'm going to do for sure until I sit down at the machine and start going.

  11. What a fun way to finish off this quilt! The circles were the perfect choice.


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