100 Quilts for Kids Quilt Along: Quilting Tips

Quilt Along Quilt

This is the 5th Installment in the 100 Quilts for Kids Quilt Along! All of the posts can be found here:

So, if you are like me, how do you move past that “hanging on a hanger in the basement for X number of months” stage? (Besides sending them out to have someone else quilt them!) Any tips out there?  Here are some that work for me:

Deadlines: Having a deadline helps cut the procrastination: i.e. someone is having a baby, I am hosting a Quilt Along, or I’m driving to Great Falls National Park this week and wouldn’t it be cool to take a quilt picture or two there?

I finished the Quilt Along quilt! I think it turned out pretty fun. I’ll take some close-ups of the quilting, but i tried a little bit of everything :) Straight lines along the top, bottom, and right. Wavy lanes along the left side. Leaves in the middle X. And a whole bunch of stuff in the colored strings. I figured it was a good time to practice my quilting. I think this design would look lovely using close together straight lines, or X quilting starting in the center and radiating out. I just didn’t have the patience on Monday. Maybe on a smaller quilt?

But back to the question at hand: Tips for the actual quilting of the quilt…

Inspiration Galleries: It is simple to start a gallery of favorites on Flickr, or start a  favorite quilting ideas board on Pinterest.  Wow. There is some serious talent out there! When I’m stumped at what type of design I should use, or want to try something new, I browse my galleries.

Quilting tips
[click on any of the links below to see more information about the featured quilt. If your quilt is featured and you would rather it not be, just leave me a comment and I’ll remove it]

Online Tutorials: There are some really easy to follow online tutorials for a variety of quilting patterns and styles. I wrote an entire post on it last year. Check it out! 

Have fun with it: You might notice that my 100 Quilts Quilt Along quilt looks a bit… smaller than last time. I started quilting it Monday night and was hating every bit of it. I decided there was no reason the quilt needed to be as big as it was, so I cut it down a bit, and had a lot more fun.
100 Quilts Quilt Along

Consult the experts: There are beautiful blogs and books devoting to the actual quilting of the quilt. Angela’s Free Motion Quilting with Angela Walters changed my life. No joke. I have bought three copies of the book so far. I prop it open next to me when I sew.  I have actually ENJOYED quilting quilts lately, and I have been doing a ton of it. I hate stippling, and just assumed I wouldn’t care for free motion quilting of any sort. That couldn’t be farther from the truth, and it’s so much easier to wrangle quilts with my machine using the more intricate design. [Not a staged photo. I actually propped the book open to the flower section when I was sewing. My flowers need… work.]

Getting my free motion on!

Stay loose: Take a break every half hour. Put on a movie you have seen a million times or your favorite music. Wear gloves (I love my Grabaroo’s Gloves …worth every penny and so much better than gardening gloves).


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  1. Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    I seem to have the hump to get over but I just started spray basting instead of pinning and it seems to speed things up quite nicely.

  2. Posted August 16, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    I am pretty new to quilting and I was so intimidated by the quilting and I sucked at binding, it was wrinkled and ugly so I was avoiding this last stage, too! lol BUT I think I am cured because I found a binding method I LOVE and I just whip through it now! I am so happy! I found this tut http://prudentbaby.com/2011/11/by-craft/the-easiest-cheat-for-binding-a-quilt/

  3. Posted August 16, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    I have a Janome 1600DB P on an original Handi Quilter frame. It is probably the least expensive frame quilting system you can get and I crank out 1-2 quilts a day in the summer. I’ve quilted 157 quilts so far this calendar year using that baby. I have no idea how you quilt a big quilt on a sit down machine. I would leave them forever. I’ve tried it and I get big puckers on the back of my quilts. With the quilting frame, it holds everything for you and I can get a quilt done in 15-30 minutes. The only down side is it does take up a lot of space

  4. Posted August 16, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Hi Katie! That quilt is so beautiful! I love bright colours and stripes like that are fantastic and lots of white around – perfect! I don’t have any quilting tips but I enjoy so much quilting that it helps me to baste and try to finish the quilt. x Teje

  5. Posted August 16, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Like you I dislike the basting and feel inferior in the quilting department. I have Angela’s book, now I need to actually do some of the exercises in it. My quilt for 100 Quilts for Kids is almost finished

  6. Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    Great advice Katie! Your quilt looks terrific. I think I need that book.

  7. Posted August 20, 2012 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    This quilt is great. Amazing how the simplest designs can turn into really exciting pieces. I’ve been intimidated by f.m.q. I really have to just go for it. Good work

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