Friday, February 25, 2022

A straight line kind of quilter

I have made no progress choosing fabrics for Shiny Blossoms.   I'm still well and truly indecisive. In the hopes that a break will let me come back with fresh eyes and ideas,  I shifted to pondering a different project.

blue and green geometric quilt top.
Modern Lace quilt top, featuring the Mountain Gems collection from Island Batik.

This version of Modern Lace,  featuring fabrics from Island Batik's Mountain Gems collection, needs quilting.  I really want to quilt it myself, because it has pretty blues and greens and it will make me happy to look at the fabric all over again while I quilt it.  Plus, I'd love to have a home-quilted version to contrast with the longarmed version that graces the pattern cover.  It would fit right into my "There's More than One Way to Quilt a Quilt" presentation (click here for more info about that).

Paper, rulkers, templates and pencil strewn over a blue and green quilt top.  Quilting motifs are drawn on the paper.
Coming up with a quilting plan for Modern Lace

I planned to quilt some ruler work curves, perhaps clamshells or a string of small circles.  I really thought it would add pretty frills to a "lacy" quilt, but when I started drafting out that plan on paper none of my ideas excited me.

It turns out I'm in the mood for straight lines.  This quilt is all about crisp lines and angles, and all my curvy ideas were just too busy.  The blue and green fabrics are so pretty all on their own, I don't think they need busy quilting to draw the eye.  I'm going to skip the curvy designs in favour of quilting straight lines to accentuate the block layout.

A grouping of 6 folded blue and green batik fabrics, laid out in a fan.
Mountain Gems fabrics from Island Batik

What about in the background?  Before I pulled the quilt top out today, I thought there was a lot of background space that would benefit from  more intricate quilting.  At the very least I could add a string of circles all along the outside edges, like a string of beads.

Memory is a funny thing.  There really isn't much background to fill at all. The longer the top sat on the shelf, the larger the background space became in my mind. There really is not much background at all, and the ideas that have been hanging around in my head for the past several weeks will not work in the actual space.

So...I'm turning to unassuming straight lines again.  I am coming to terms with the idea that I'm a straight line quilter most of the time.  I see curves on other quilts and love them,  and I want curves too, until I actually start drawing things out.  When I actually start quilting on my own quilts, the uncluttered look of straight lines wins more often than not.  It's actually rather intriguing to see what I can do with straight lines, changing spacing and angles and lengths, and crossing over...

Do you have a "go-to" quilting style?  Straight lines or curves?  All-over or custom? A random mix?  I'd love some links to some of your favourites so I can go take a peek while I wait to start quilting Modern Lace.  I need a trip to the store for matching thread before I can start, and I don't have the car today...

Happy quilting,


PS Random thought:  Why doesn't the spell checker ever suggest "quilting" as an alternative when I (often) accidentally type "quiting"?  You would think it would recognize that I use the word a lot!


  1. My Modern Lace quilt is waiting for yours to get some ideas for quilting ! No ideas here I'm afraid. I very much like your straight line quilting style. It suits most of your quilts very well. Good luck in your search !

  2. My go-to is swirls, so much so that a friend calls swirls "the Katie"! They take a fair amount of thread, but add a nice overall texture for a quilt that needs that sort of thing. This quilt, however, does not call for an overall, so I'm no help there...

  3. The beautiful fabrics and striking design need no more than those straight lines. But I'll admit that when I see setting triangles my mind goes to "Feathers"!! That would not be what this quilt needs!

  4. Love the colors in this quilt. I've been going crazy with fmq, but lately I've been trying more with straight lines. I've seen some really beautiful results with straight lines. (I need a new walking foot, though - my last one was junk.)

  5. I definitely think this quilt needs straight line quilting! I personally think curvy lines would be a distraction to the beautiful fabric layout. It would also be much easier and faster! You've created a very striking quilt. I'll be watching to see how you decide to quilt it! ---"Love"


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