Friday, August 6, 2010

Organic Line Quilting

I made this quilt over a year ago, but a couple of weeks ago it was in a quilt exhibit at RicRac Roundup in Kansas City. A bunch of people asked me about the quilting on this one and I said I would post about it so, here it is. I dubbed the quilting on this on "organic line quilting' simply because the lines are done 'organically', or in my mind willy-nilly. Organic line quilting creates an amazing texture on a quilt. There are a couple of tricks to this kind of quilting. First, wind a lot of bobbins because you'll use loads of thread and make sure you have a full bottle of wine and some snacks because you'll need sustenance and lots of time!I start at the top center of the quilt. The lines are quilted alternately top to bottom and bottom to top. I work from the center to the edge of the quilt and then the center back to the opposite edge. It's important to use a walking foot so the quilt doesn't shift. I quilted this on my mom's little Bernina, so you don't need a fancy machine.

Notice the two blue lines in the diagram. I place two pieces of painter's tape the length of the quilt. The line in the center is to help establish the first quilting line. You want your lines to stay essentially perpendicular to the top and bottom of the quilt. It's easy to get going at an angle. That's where the second piece of tape comes in. I place it about 8 to 12 inches from the first piece. I use it as a gauge to measure the distance from the quilting lines. I want to keep that distance consistent so that the lines don't end up running at an angle. As I move across the quilt I move the second piece of tape.

As for the lines themselves, I try to relax and let it go. It feels a bit like free motion meandering, but in a straight line. Let the lines wave and flow. The lines can get very close together....they range from about 1/4" to 3/4" apart. I've done this kind of quilting on other quilts where I let the lines cross, but I like it better this way.

Any questions, let me know. Give it a try...it's amazing!

46 comments:

One Flew Over said...

I will have to give this a go Jacquie. I have a lap quilt waiting for quilting, so could be the perfect size.

Thanks for the how to!

live a colorful life said...

I can do this. I.Know.I.Can.

Thanks for the details...

**nicke... said...

i think i will try this on a jelly roll quilt i did. i think it would be perfect... thanks for the idea!

Karen said...

I did give this a go earlier this year and loved the result. I got the idea from your blog. Many thanks!

Simone de Klerk said...

Thank you for sharing this! It looks great! I am definitely going to try it!

fabrik-BILDschön said...

i'm so glad i've found your blog :)
your quilts are amazing!!!

greetings from germany
mnh

MightyMom said...

it looks very old fashioned to me.

Shari said...

You are so good for the quilting community!! I love this style of quilting, but have to try really hard to not be too perfect - I so need to learn to let go! Thanks!

Jackie said...

Yes, I remember this quilt! Loved it then and still love it now. The quilting is just the icing on the cake!

True Blue Nana said...

Thanks for the tips. I have one that I am going to quilt very soon and I am going to try this.

Esch House Quilts said...

I'll have to see if I can relax a little and give this a try. I often do straight line quilting but I always mark it or use tape. Your quilt is wonderful as usual!

Sarah Craig said...

Neat technique - I'll have to give it a try! I love the way it makes your quilt look.....

Miss White Wall said...

Thanks for the tips of advice, I have yet to get up the courage or stamina for line quilting although I always like the look.
Beautiful quilt by the way!

Claire said...

LOVE IT!

about a month ago I quilted one of my quilts in a similar way, but I ised an open-toe stippling foot...I just turned the machine in full speed and let it go.

I should really post the quilt, but I've been lazy about getting the binding on...silly isn't it!

Cheryl Arkison said...

Good tip about alternating the direction of the quilting - top to bottom, bottom to top. That really helps keeps the top straight. It's also good when applied to sewing long strips together.

Suzanne said...

It seems like this technique would be very forgiving yet allow me to explore a looser style of quilting. Thanks for the taping and direction tips. Those were not obvious.

Blue Is Bleu said...

I love this quilt!Sustenance is definitely necessary! I always chicken out of doing this sort of quilting just because I know I'll be there for ages! Maybe on my next little baby quilt I'll give this a go :)

Gerry said...

I love this way of quilting, thanks for blogging about it.

Jeanne said...

I really, really love this! I enjoy quilting that's not so perfect. And this is coming from one who used to ONLY hand quilt! It does have kind of an "organic" look to it and I love that! Great job!!! and thanks for sharing!

leigh said...

Thanks for that tutorial. I love how that quilting looks! I'm happy with any lines, but have been having a hard time making them work. I just need more practice, I think :)

Marjorie said...

Thanks for another great idea. My "straight" lines end up a little wavy anyway. Maybe it's the wine...

Lynn said...

Thanks for sharing this, I've wanted to try this, but got apprehensive. I just needed someone to tell me that wavy was okay - thanks!

Lauren said...

See?!?! I'm not the only one who loves straight line quilting. There some much you can do, even though it seems to be limited. It doesn't even have to be super-straight, as demonstrated most beautifully on this quilt. Thanks for posting, I love the technique.

And, I saw your quilt at the ric rac roundup - beautiful.

izzy inspired said...

thank you for the tips (you always give such great quilting tips...my husband still laughs when I come home with a bag full of painters tape in various sizes). I really want to give this method a try, but it's the "letting go" part that I find difficult. I am such a straight line girl, somehow I need to just break out of my perimeters.

Anna said...

oh this is so pretty! I love your tips and it's so helpful to beginner quilters like me. I really love the feel that this gives the quilt. Thanks for sharing your knowledge, I've already learned a lot from you, now I can't wait to try this out (although my lines are never straight even when I try to make them straight, hahaha)

QuiltyGirl said...

I love this! I have such a hard time keeping my lines straight. Thanks for giving me permission to be organic! ;)

Rachel at Stitched in Color said...

Thanks! I gave up on machine quilting the last huge quilt i made (I hand quilted instead, which was actually very fun). I think this would have been an option for me. Great tips!

Miri said...

I've always used a guide that attaches to my walking foot...I'd really need that glass of wine to get me relaxed enough to even try this! :) I do like how it looks on your quilt!

beachiesews said...

I think the most important idea here is either the blue tape...or the wine! Thanks!

em's scrapbag said...

I really like this and think it would work for a quilt I am making for a friend. Do you think I could do it with my darning foot. I don't have a walking foot.

carol said...

You ALWAYS come up with the neatest stuff!!! Keep it up! LOL

A.S.K.-P. said...

I LOVE this look! Thank You for sharing. I have a project (if I EVER get it done) that I think it would be PERFECT for.

Kate said...

Love the effect! Thanks for the great idea.

Ethne said...

This is just like the quilting I did on Lewis's top - mine was maybe a bit more 'loose' and I even had wandering sets going across the top - super for not having to plan too much or mark the quilting lines on - and if your starting FMQ it's liberating

Jenny said...

I love that quilting, will be giving it a go.

paisley and lace said...

Beautiful. And this post was sooo helpful. We are just ready for my 13 year old son to do his own quilting on his first quilt, and this was what I had in mind. Thanks for the tips!

You can see his quilting process so far here
http://paisleyandlace.blogspot.com/search/label/Caleb%27s%20quilt

KateKwiltz said...

And from personal experience, I've learned to KEEP THE WINE AWAY FROM THE QUILT!

KaarQuilter said...

I love this! Thank you so much for sharing, and i can hardly wait to give it a try.

Jenny @ Anything Pretty said...

I always love your tutorials Jacquie and this one is great. Especially because it involves wine:).

Tonya R said...

thank you, excellent info. I so love this style of machine quilting and it looks like something even I could tackle. beautiful.

savvy stitch said...

This quilt is gorgeous! Very cool technique;

Barb said...

I love the look of this, I've done wavy lines, but these straight ones are cool and very zen looking!

Jacqui's Quilts said...

Just discovered your blog via a meandering of blogs, so I don't even remember how I got here LOL. I LOVE that wavy line quilting! This would be great with a scrappy 'anything' goes type quilt! I'm making one for my niece and this will be the perfect quilting. Thanks so much for posting this!

Jacqui in Canada

Lora said...

I love the quilting on this quilt so much that I pinned it to my sewing inspiration board. Thank you!!!

Annabella Moon said...

I love the texture of your Organic line quilting and will definitely give it a try. Great idea and tutorial! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Someone just brought this to my attention and l love the look of it. Will definitely try this on a next quilt.