Lesson plan 1: What to quilt

I had to show off pics of this month's Linus quilt. I got the last of the quilting done this morning.

When I sat down to try to figure out what to quilt, I looked at this top and I thought: I could quilt an all over pattern in the center and then something else around the borders. But, with so much movement in the quilt top, why? Sometimes simple is the best option.

I sat down and wrote most of my lesson plans for a machine quilting class last week. I almost turned them in on Saturday (even though turning that around in a week would have implied that I was overly anxious (which I am, but not need to look overly anxious in what amounts to a job interview)) but I decided not to. And, the reward for not turning it in is that I thought of two new topics to cover. But, I digress.

The first lesson plan is about looking at the top you've made and deciding what to quilt in it. It's sort of a trunkshow of my quilts to talk about what worked...and what didn't.

Complex tops will swallow up complex quilting patterns. If the top is complex, it's usually best to keep the quilting simple.

If the top is simple or has large spaces, fill that up with fancy quilting.

If you want to snuggle under the quilt, don't quilt it too tight or it will get stiff and hard and not cuddly.

Oh, and the most important lesson of all. If you're quilting something hard, like long straight unmarked lines, quilt a bunch of them. It makes the mistakes disappear. In other words, if the quilting is bad, put a bunch of it in and nobody will see your mistakes.

I first quilted just diagonally through the neutral blocks. And, I could see every curve and wonk. So, then, I quilted diagonally through all the green blocks. Still lots of curves and wonks. Then, I added a line through all the dark blocks that also crossed the green block corners and with that, there were so many mistakes that all the oopsies just disappear.

Yeah for me and my mistakes.

Now, if I could just rationalize why I used that terrible backing fabric on this cute quilt top, we'd be alright.

Have a good Tuesday. Lane


Elizabeth said...

I can only see a peek of the backing fabric, but my first thought was, "oh that's cute!"

The quilting is really nice.

xo -E

Megan said...

Mark - I applaud you for being willing to share with your students examples of what hasn't worked on some of your quilts. Personally, I would find this very helpful. It's only rare that book authors include photographs of quilts that don't 'work' - yet those pictures make their point so effectively! Looking only at the success stories doesn't allow students / readers to contrast the 'good' and the 'bad'.

Sydney, Australia

Jo said...

I love the green...it really sets the quilt beautifully.