I’m swooning over this Swoon Quilt which was pieced by Thelma (@thelmacupcake on Instagram and www.cupcakesndaisies.com). This was the first quilt I had done for Thelma and I’m in love with her quilts already. I loved the Moda fabrics she chose for the pattern by @thimbleblossoms (www.thimbleblossoms.com). The best part of doing longarm quilting on other quilters’ tops is the opportunity to see fabric collections and combinations put together in patterns that I might never have seen otherwise. This is a good example of that.
Thelma had some specific ideas on the types of quilting she liked and disliked. I do try to get feedback from the piecer whenever possible. I always ask “what would you like to see” on your quilt? Or “is there any design you absolutely hate or absolutely love? In this case, she did not want feathers and she did not want a secondary design. She liked linear and geometric designs and pebbly fills. She brought some photos of swoon quilts and pointed out the things she liked and disliked on each of them. That kind of guidance is key to making a good relationship between piecer and quilter, I think. My first instinct was to go to a secondary design – those intersections are ideal for that type of quilting design. But “no secondary design” kept echoing in my head!
I also thought I’d help make those swoon blocks pop (another stated preference) by echoing 1/4″ to 1/2″ around the perimeter of each swoon block. After numerous auditions of designs, I abandoned that idea as unworkable as I needed that space for the sashing design. I did think about doing a design that interacted with the sashing design, but also abandoned that idea. I finally settled on something relatively “simple” as a checkerboard pattern on point. Once I had settled on that idea, I then tried to determine how I could bring that design into the Swoon blocks to create a cohesive design. Repeating that checkerboard design on the Swoon (petals) brought the sashing design into the body of the blocks. To break up that geometric design, I used a simple curved design in the “leave” of the swoon blocks, and repeated that in the center star. I thought that was a simple and effective way to highlight those blocks.
We discussed background fills and she had expressed a liking for a pebbly texture. That much background space needed some variation in size and design so as not to become too boring. I used a variety of pebble textures in a variety of sizes and coupled that with large swirls. This type of background fill goes fairly fast, actually.
Particulars: Quilters Dream wool over Quilters Dream 80/20. I wanted that texture to pop out on the blocks and in the sashing and this combination helps achieve that texture. I love Quilters Dream batting!! I used Superior Kimono silk thread on top and bottom – mainly because I thought I had enough of that particular color in the weight I needed. I unfortunately ran out and had to wait a few days on new thread to come in. (Yes, I, with my two big cabinets full of thread, ran out of thread!!)
Also, please take a look at the backing fabric. She placed a leftover block in the middle of the backing fabric. Anyone who has ever tried to center a quilt back on the frame knows how hard that is to do, and I’m tickled I got that close! I’m only off 1/2″ on the centering of that block!
Video alert! I did videotape myself quilting this. I just purchased a camcorder and was experimenting with camera placement and how to operate it. I need to edit some of the videos, but do plan to upload those videos soon to show how I marked this quilt and quilted it.