I love quilting… that’s the truth. But getting those lovely tops I worked so hard on completed is not my favorite part. I love finding the perfect stitch pattern for my quilts and using those patterns to bring out the most in my quilt top. Isn’t that an old saying… The Quilting Makes the Quilt?
The problem is… I can’t always afford the custom machine quilting that I love so much. It really depends on the project. For instance, when I make a sample for my books and patterns… I love showing off the custom quilting, especially on scrap quilts because it really dresses them up. But every dollar I spend on quilting increases the cost of producing my book so I am forced to save somewhere.
So I have really embraced the idea behind doodle quilting. There are lots of new books on the subject. It’s really designed to teach free motion quilting to those of us who aren’t professional longarm quilters. It loosens up your creativity and gets the ideas (and the threads) flowing.
Here is an example of doodle quilting.
Before even touching the quilt… I practiced on paper. I practiced starting a design and continuing it for awhile to make sure I still had it. You would be surprised how your brain can trick you and get confused after awhile. Then I moved onto the quilt. I used swirls, loops and squiggle lines through the center rows of the quilt. On the border… the customer wanted to use the quilt to practice her scallop edges before she did it to a quilt she really loved. So I chose to doodle into the scallops with this echo flower design.
Here are some more examples of practice doodles on paper.
Here I switched from marker to pen. Practice makes perfect.
Thinking about how I will quilt an upcoming baby quilt and incorporating names in the design.
In this photo I was practicing on some designs for two different quilts. I actually applied the stitching to my quilt top after I practiced with several sheets of paper.
Once I was finished practicing I could apply the design concept to the original quilt.
I really love how this leaf quilt is turning out. Here is an example of a scrap quilt and the audition of ideas. Here is a section of the quilt top. I used a 60˚ ruler to make the blocks on this quilt. Some of the colored pieces were turned into hexagons and some remained as triangles.
How do I make the two elements of this scrap quilt stand out with the quilting? How about a spider’s web in the hexagon pieces. Here is a doodle sketched on wax paper so you can see through it.
So that leaves the rest of the blocks in the quilt. How about some fill stitches for the body of the rest of the quilt. Here is the area marked and filled with loops.
Keep filling around the quilt with the loops and don’t forget to stop at the next hexagon. There are lots of different doodles you can make.
There are certainly endless possibilities with this method. You can use this with home machines and long arms and there are lots of ways to mark the different designs. I use an older mid arm machine. I do not have a computer but I do have a stitch regulator. This method is really like drawing (or doodling) with thread.
There are lots of books available on this method. There are all fun reads and some have great examples. If you are local to the Fredericksburg area and interesting in learning how to do this using my method and having some fun while trying… you can take my class at Liz B Quilting in April and May. Doodle quilting is a two session class and the details can be found here at my website in the EVENTS tab or you can contact Liz B Quilting.
What’s your favorite method of machine quilting?