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!
I 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.
Next, 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.)
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.)
Clip 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.
Isn’t the back starting to look fun?
Remember, 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!!