Quilting the Quilt: Sticks and stones

October 7, 2014

quilting the quilt, straight line quilting, pebble quilting, free motion quilting, ruler work, APQS, longarm quilting

In our quest for the perfect quilting design it’s easy to be enamored with filigree and flourish when all we really need is sleek and simple. Straight lines and circles fill the bill.

These two design elements can create striking contrast while also adding depth and texture to your project. However, too much of a good thing can dilute its impact and turn your project into a ho-hum quilt. I’ve stitched out a variety of samples using circles and lines to show you how to use these basic shapes to make your quilts pop.

In Example 1, I tried to quilt circles of approximately the same size throughout each triangle. That becomes difficult near the points. It’s also hard to place the circles randomly when they’re the same size. Soon they may begin to neatly line up with one another or create unusual and sometimes uncomfortable spaces when they’re all the same size. This sameness makes the block pretty boring.

In Example 2, the circles are random sizes. This one small change in the design execution makes the block feel more alive. The “stones” look more natural while those in Example 1 seem more artificial. Little stones fill in between the big ones like gravel in the bottom of a river.

Read the rest of this Quilting the Quilt article.