Learn how to quilt this informal daisy motif onto large, pieced quilt squares.
Remember how I said I was going to start doing some charity quilting to increase my quilting practice without using up my entire quilting budget? Today I plucked up the courage to start on my first charity quilt. There is a part of me that was a bit concerned that the owners of the quilt top may not be enthralled by whatever I did. I am not a professional quilter, after all. They have already invested their time and money into this quilt – what if I did bad things to it?! But that attitude will not get quilts into the hand of recipients or practice into my quilting muscles, so I took a few deep breaths and this is what happened….
Choosing a quilting motif
I quickly discovered one interesting thing. Apparently I think a lot about quilting a quilt while I am piecing it. It was quite a new experience to decide how to quilt a piece without weeks of prior musing. I can’t say I was prepared for how different it felt to be handling a quilt I was not intimately familiar with. Has anyone else experienced this?!
The quilt I have been entrusted with has chocolate brown pieced squares with cream coloured sashing. I like to think of it as Coffee and TimTams (an Australian chocolate biscuit). My daughter argues that it is actually Maltesers and Milo (more Australiana). But anyway, at first glance I assumed it was a man’s quilt and instantly thought to quilt a strong geometric design on it. But on closer inspection I discovered that the fabric prints were predominately floral. So I decided that this little beauty needed something feminine in the way of quilting to bring out it’s gentle side.
While I got my head around this thought, I stabilised the quilt by stitching in the ditch in every sashing seam (ie every seam except those inside the brown boxes).
Working up the Daisy Motif
The process of stabilising the quilt thankfully helped me feel more connected to the quit and able to decide how to proceed. One of my priorities was to leave the quilt feeling soft and comforting. Eventually I decided that I wanted to fill the the boxes with a simple flower motif. Before I attempted this though, I did two things. Firstly, I mocked up a digital example on Inkscape software to see what it might look like.
Secondly, once I was happy with this design, I got out a good old fashioned pen and paper to see how I could quilt the daisy motif as a continuous design.
If you would like to learn this design by first tracing it, you can download a free pdf of the daisy motif here: Daisy motif free printable.
Quilting the Daisy Motif
To get the daisy motif to show up better against the mildly busy fabrics of this quilt I opted for a rayon (40wt) thread in antique white for the top thread. In the bobbin I had 80wt cotton/poly thread.
A Bonus Variation of the Daisy Motif
In every second block, I didn’t add the centre spiral – so I have some open and some filled flowers. Truth be told, this is largely because I forgot to quilt the spiral into one of the flowers early on. Then I decided I liked the variation…. so now it’s a feature! Hahahahaha!
In the sashing I did a simple leaf vine with the same thread combo. It is very nearly invisible but it gives a good overall texture. I left the star fabric squares un-quilted and filled the outer border with quick perpendicular lines. And finally, I put spirals in the four corners to echo the flower centres.
So, that’s it. Quilting completed, and quilt ready to hand to the next volunteer willing to do the binding!
Here is the finished product!
If you want to further explore the topic of how to choose a free-motion motif for your quilt, you can read a very thorough discussion on this at Amy’s Free-Motion Quilting Adventures.
If you want to know why I think you should consider quilting for charity, you can find out in my previous discussion here.
Perhaps you like the colours in this quilt and want to make something with the same colour palette? Here is a colour inspiration bonus for you, even though it is not Tuesday.
I hope you enjoy quilting this daisy motif. Until next time – keep Quilting Your Own Story!