Time to Quilt the Quilt-tops

So I’ve had three complete quilt tops hanging on the walls of my sewing room for almost a year! The days are growing cooler and shorter, the darkness is setting in earlier, and there are three little babes whose warm and cozy quilts are . . . hanging on my walls!

As I newbie to this quilting thing, I’ll admit that my hesitation to actually quilt these quilt-tops is mostly due to intimidation. Send them out or do them myself? Use my cheapo Singer or rent a long-arm? Stitch-in-the-ditch (s/d) or try my hand at stippling? Stitch over traced patterns? Even basting and backing can be a drama.

So here I am with three finished quilt-tops that need to be finished yesterday. I’ve decided to deal with the overwhelm by the “divide and conquer” method (or maybe it’s just the scatter-brain method, you decide): I’ll do each of the three quilts simultaneously in completely different ways! Brilliant, or crazy!?

Quilt #1 “Autumnal” for Griffin

Since this is the first (and worst) quilt, one would think it would be the easiest to quilt. Because it’s a combination of pieced blocks and panels, I’m not sure the best way to quilt it. Stitch-in-ditch might be okay for the disappearing nine patches, but then what to do with the panel pieces? Just finished basting it by hand with thread (so far my least favorite part of quilting). Now what to do? I’m thinking of tracing out a pattern, trying out my new special quilting foot and going for it (cross your fingers)



#2 “Cora’s Secret Garden”

I love this quilt, this was the most time-consuming but the most satisfying. The quilt-top is very intricate, so I want a quilt pattern that won’t compete. S/d would be fine, but it wouldn’t be very much fun! Instead I’m using this quilt to make a trial run with having a quilt professionally done. Very excited about not having to do any basting, not so excited with the $100 hit to my pocketbook (ha! who am I kidding, I mean “credit card”). I’m hoping an all-over pattern in subtle color-changing thread will balance the intense structure of the square patches – I’m thinking butterflies!


#3 “Wooo-Tweet” for Kai

This was the easiest quilt-top to make because it was basically just piecing panels. However, it has been my plan with this quilt that the TLC during the quilting process will make up for it. Despite suggestions to just free-form or stipple the entire quilt, I’m set on tracing the outlines within the panel – to make each element pop and to make the quilt uniquely Kai’s. I would love to hand stitch, but that would probably take me a year! I’m going out on a limb and planning to use my machine to trace all those lines. I’ll make up for the crazy amount of time that will take by using a spray basting technique instead of stitch basting. Like the Autumnal quilt, that leaves me wondering what to do with the border panels? Too big for s/d. I can have just the borders professionally quilted, but it would cost the same as the whole thing. I’m leaning towards stencils on this one, we’ll see!

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