I’ve been getting asked this question ever since the modern color version of the Sew Sweet Sampler made its debut . . .
So today, I’m here to explain my process of quilting it.
It’s a medallion quilt . . .
The modern setting, altho NOT asymmetrical, leaves lots of negative space for quilting. I wanted the quilting to give a sort of “traditional-meets-modern” feel to the quilt.
A few years back, I had purchased a wholecloth quilting design (printed on paper) from Sue Schmieden, called Rosemaling. (I wanted to do a wholecloth hand-quilted quilt, but that’s another story!)
I decided that this pattern had the traditional part of the look I was going for, so I used the center medallion portion in the center of the quilt:
Here’s another even closer shot of the center:
Then I took the border portion of her design and separated the two parts of it away from each other. I used the inner portion of her design inside the rows of blocks in my quilt:
. . . and the outer portion of her design in the outer border of my quilt:
I had to enlarge and reduce the border designs to get them to fit the measurements of my quilt because her design was originally for a 68″ square quilt, and my quilt is 80″ square. My outer border is only 5″ wide, so I had to reduce the motifs and repeat them more often for the outer border.
So while they’re not all scaled exactly the same, you can’t really tell it, and they DO still go together, so it all worked out.
Next, I wanted to fill in around these traditional designs with something more modern, so I chose pebbling and a broken up double-line grid for the main background. I wanted the grid to appear to be showing through the pebbled background in the open spots.
For the blocks themselves, I outlined all the patches, but did not put any quilting directly in any of the print pieces. I used Superior Threads OMNI in the color Banana for the front and back. There’s a Quilter’s Dream Wool batting inside, because I love the texture wool gives to fancy quilting.
To actually execute the design, I traced it from the paper pattern onto the quilt top with a blue washout marker (which I tested on my fabric ahead of time to make sure it would wash out). I have a light table for this purpose, and I had the paper pattern divided into quarters and eighths, so I would simply line it up, pin it to the quilt, trace the design on, then move it to the next section, line it up again, pin it and trace it. This was not a fast process, but it was very worth it, because I could make sure the pattern fit the areas I wanted it to, and it made the quilting itself go much faster!
For the gridded areas, I made rough outlines where I wanted the pebbling to stop, then marked one line as a starting point, and used my ruler to measure out and make the rest of the lines in the gridded areas. I also quilted an outline around the feathered design portions as a stopping point for the pebbles.
I did a scrappy binding to keep the quilt from becoming too elegant — I wanted to keep that playful feel in spite of all the fancy quilting.
Then when I was all done, I washed the quilt! In a front-loading machine with no agitator. With NO soap. In cold water. All the blue lines came out just fine.
Then I dried it in a cool dryer to get the bulk of the water out, but did not dry it completely dry.
This was a fun one to quilt, and I was happy that in the end, the finished quilt actually matched the vision for it that I had in my head when I started (because that doesn’t always happen)!
Don’t forget, this quilt is the new Block-of-the-Month quilt at Sew Sweet Quilt Shop, and it’s just starting, so if you want to participate, just give the shop a call and get signed up. You can get the details HERE. You can also buy the pattern booklet by itself without signing up, if you want to make the quilt using your own fabric choices. The pattern is available exclusively through Sew Sweet Quilt Shop for the duration of the BOM.
If you have any more questions about this quilt, feel free to ask in the comments. I think I’ve covered everything I’ve gotten asked about so far, but I’d be happy to elaborate more on any of it if you need me to.