Machine Quilting the Fabric PrintApr 2nd, 2012 | Category: Machine Quilting
Last week, I incorrectly assumed that I would be finished talking about machine quilting design after nine posts. Wait, there is more! Yes, we can machine quilt an allover design or we can choose specific elements for a custom fit design. These elements can include quilting in the ditch, motifs, border designs, and background fills such as straight line fills, echo quilting, stippling, and more. Yet another approach is to actually machine quilt the print in the fabric.
An obvious benefit of machine quilting the fabric print is there is no need for marking. It also eliminates the need to figure out ideal placement or calculate repetitions if used in a border. The quilting will blend harmoniously within the overall quilt design and play a supporting role.
This approach can be used as part of a custom fit design or as an allover design. Machine quilting the fabric print for an allover design means that the lines to be followed will be on the backing fabric. The quilting will be done in reverse, with the backing fabric on top and the quilt top on the bottom. The bobbin thread will form the machine quilted design on the top. I first encountered this idea in Quilting Makes the Quilt by Lee Cleland – if you have the book, you can check it out on page 65.
Suppose you chose a backing fabric with a bold, graphic design like this:
Machine quilting the backing fabric print would result in an allover design on the front like this:
While I haven’t tried machine quilting the backing fabric, I have definitely machine quilted various fabric prints used in the top. The diagonal lines in the border fabric of this Cottage Log Cabin quilt were just perfect to follow…
… as they were in the borders of Butterfly Mosaic.
I machine quilted the poinsettia fabric in this Poinsettia Wreath quilt…
… and the grape fabric in the borders of this Grapevine Wreath quilt.
Possibly my most successful use of machine quilting the fabric print was on a quilt I made using Paula Nadelstern‘s simple symmetry technique. After cutting and piecing mirror-image half-square triangles from symmetrical fabric, I machine quilted the kaleidoscopic fabric designs using a variegated copper thread in the bobbin and a solid black backing fabric. The results were stunning!