Make A Quilting Sampler!

new quilting sampler
new quilting sampler

I finished it! “It” being the Anna Maria Horner feather blocks I started what seems like forever ago. I started them as practice piecing without any real direction with what to do with them. I do that FAR too often…I’ll just tinker with this here and eventually I’ll figure out what to do with it….It makes for a great process with lots of learning, but a very LOOOOONG process.

But they’re done now and they turned out so purty, I couldn’t justify the upcycled canvas backing I started with and leave them relegated to a corner somewhere. I started quilting them, again for practice, individually, so they had to be pieced back together in a QAYG (quilt as you go) method. This is my first time assembling QAYG blocks and I’m pretty happy with it. I re-covered the back with Robert Kaufman Essex linen yarn dyed in Flax, and used the same for binding and top-quilting the pieces together.

Close Up QAYG
Close Up QAYG

I used each block as an excuse to try out different quilting methods in sort of a quilting sampler. I love how each block gets its own personality simply from different quilting.

My first block was a free motion pebble pattern. I’m comfortable with this pattern; it comes pretty easily to me as I’ve probably practiced it the most.

Pebble Block
Pebble Block

Then I got a little crazy and tried to free motion some wood grain around top-stitched feathers. I need some more practice on that one! That did not come as easily and will need much more practice than the few minutes I gave it prior to the block!

Wood Grain
Wood Grain

Using a walking foot, I did the next three. First, an intense 1/4″ V, in line with the feathers’ angles. Quilting so close completely changes the drape of the quilt – it’s much more stiff. On a bed or back of a sofa, it would never look disheveled!

Quarter Inch
Quarter Inch

Continuing with the walking foot, I wanted to stick with the straight-line, but lose the rigidity and went for fractured quilting. Although the distance between the lines isn’t any more than 1.5″ at its greatest, the final block is very pliable and flexible compared to the 1/4″ quilting. This drape would be a cuddler’s dream…especially if that cuddler was feline.

Fractured Quilting
Fractured Quilting

Then, in the center, to tie it all together, I went with top-to-bottom wavy lines, this time in contrasting thread, or the thread in the lightest color element in the block as some may refer to it. Interestingly, as it looks, the drape is something between the 1/4″ straight-line and the fractured quilting. While they’re fairly close, they’re not cross-grain like the 1/4″ and the wave gives it a lot of flex, but not as much as the fractured quilting – at least not across the width.

Center Block
Center Block

I like the idea of having a quilting sampler to review when deciding how to quilt in the future. A tangible reference to see and feel how the quilting I choose will effect the final quilt is exciting. It’s also a great way to see how a straight line can look just as good as a curved or FMQ option, as good, but different. It’s also a good excuse, if you’re like me, to break out of a rut! I honestly don’t have a favorite now that it’s all said and done – they’re all good, just different.

The back, if you’re interested, is simple and does not reflect the mix of quilting that happened on the front since the QAYG method was used. You only see the quilting on each binding piece. Not that anyone will see it, but if they were to look, it’s nice and clean.

Robert Kaufman Linen in Flax
Robert Kaufman Linen in Flax

Thank you for viewing! Don’t look too closely at my hand-stitching on the binding…I can certainly use a LOT of improvement there! Seriously, I appreciate the audience and this medium to share my work.

Oh, quick credit where credit is due! The Anna Maria Horner feather pattern is all hers, but lucky for you (and me), is free here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *