String of Pearls Update – More Spiral Quilting Pictures

I thought I would post another machine quilting update in between the “official” String of Pearls quilt along posts. You can see last week’s machine quilting tute here. I will demo how to quilt the negative space with swirls and pearls quilting next week, using FMQ!

Square Spirals QuiltingI will go more in-depth explaining how I quilted the square spirals in my pearl blocks. Quick tips – match your threads to your fabric so they blend. Use a new needle when starting your machine quilting. Don’t stress about it being perfect and for heaven’s sake, don’t try to make them all the exact same width, LOL!

First, stitch in the ditch around the inside of the block in a matching thread color (I used Aurifil 50 wt cotton thread for most of the colored quilting – love it!). I used a walking foot/even feed for all of the straight quilting and rotated my quilt each time I turned a corner. However, you could use a free motion foot instead to avoid the turning.

Forming the SpiralsNext, without breaking thread, transition into the spiral shape. Sew a mostly straight line until you are anywhere from 1/4″ to 1/2″ away from the edge. Stop with your needle down, lift your foot and rotate your quilt. Put your foot down again, and continue with the next line of quilting. (Remove your basting pins as you go.)

Square Spirals

Keep rotating, making smaller and smaller square spirals until you reach the center of the block. Lock your threads at the end by stitching a series of 6-8 teeny tiny stitches. Or, for you diehards, leave a tail, make a knot by hand and pop it into the batting (called tying off by hand.)

Finish the SpiralsClip your threads and move onto the next block, repeating the chunky spiral quilting. Vary the space in between each round of quilting. Ignore any stray threads and fuzzies for now; we will clean that all up with a lint brush when we are finished. :-)

More Square SpiralsJust for fun, make a few of them wonky! Remember this is your quilt – make it your own.

Wonky Spiral

Isn’t the back starting to look fun?

Pieced BackingRemember, work at your own pace and please share pictures of your WIPs on flickr. :-)

Here is Connie M’s gorgeous finished quilt. Can we say teacher’s pet? Three cheers for quilting it herself!!

Large Spiral Quilting

Large Spiral Quilting by Connie (carrotcat8 on flickr).

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17 Responses to String of Pearls Update – More Spiral Quilting Pictures

  1. camille turner says:

    Your quilt looks great! I just ordered mine – Tuesday! i can’t wait for my kit to get here!!!!

  2. Kerri Hunter says:

    I love the swirls and pearls you did on this quilt that’s what I’m going to do

  3. Michele says:

    Great post with lots of detailed photos. I’ll definitely be trying this design myself at some point. Thank you!

  4. Leigh Anne says:

    That spiral quilting is truly fantastic! Will you quilt in the black borders on yours? I was sure I would but now I am debating LOL

  5. Janet M. says:

    Your quilting techniques are great on both quilts! Nice job!

  6. treadlemusic says:

    Love the wonky squared spirals….perfect! Also, the idea of doing the blocks differently is energizing! Connie’s finish is wonderful…..the background circles are the perfect contrast to the blocks. There are so many options (always) and I’ll be looking forward to seeing the one(s) you chose! Hugs……..

  7. Dee says:

    I just found your blog, and I just love it! Can you please tell me how the circles were stitched? I have done straight line quilting–but the circles are new to me.thanks for your help.

    • Christa says:

      I think she just started in the center of one of the blocks and kept on going. You could fmq it or use a walking foot and turn the quilt slowly as you go.

  8. Vera says:

    That large spiral quilting looks fab! Your does too but I can not imagine all that turning around.

  9. Vicki says:

    So much fun! I don’t think one is better then the other.

  10. Marie says:

    Absolutely gorgeous …….just loving the quilting and the back is fabulous!!! Very effective. Marie

  11. Both look great – I especially though like the back view. Very nice touch to change the thread colors for the center blocks. Only by enlarging can you see the different colored thread, I imagine it adds to the interesting look of the project!

  12. Yay! I like the way that each square in Connie’s quilt took on a different look as the natural result of her carrying out her larger quilting pattern.

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