Arrrg. Quilting Brainfreeze.

Sorry I’ve disappeared on you, guys – I’ve been puzzling over the quilting on my orange peels and I’m SO STUCK. I can’t quite seem to move forward, although my beautiful quilt is draped over my sewing chair, all basted and waiting for me. Last time, I wrote about trialling quilting designs on photos – I’ve been doodling away for the last two weeks, and nothing I’ve sketched has really grabbed me yet! I feel like I’ll know it when I see it, you know?

The natural quilting pattern is to trace the peels, but I don’t want to do that on this one. Or to free motion something either in the peels or in the space between them, but there’s two problems there: first, I really don’t trust my FMQ skills just yet. I’ve barely even practiced, and my grouchy modern machine, Saul, isn’t really great with FMQ tension on a small project, let alone a ridiculously heavy large quilt. Second, although that sort of quilting would be really beautiful, I don’t think it would be me. I like simple lines, almost a minimalist look – especially in a case like this, with a fairly busy, ornate quilt.

I tend to really be drawn to a quilting pattern that is a straight line design, and isn’t at all related to the patchwork. I dunno why, that’s just how I roll! Here’s a few of my favorite doodles, the last two especially — but I’m still thinkin’. I’ve hand-stitched 196 peels for this quilt, dammit. I really need to get the finish just right.






14 Comments on Arrrg. Quilting Brainfreeze.

  1. Audrey B.
    March 10, 2015 at 14:56 (3 years ago)

    I like the last one best. Or maybe concetric circles instead of a spiral?
    Good luck making the right decision.
    (and by the way, your quilt already looks amazing!)

  2. Phoebe
    March 10, 2015 at 19:14 (3 years ago)

    I’m afraid I’m of no help because every time I see your quilt I envision quilting it (yes, actually sitting and doing the action) in white perle cotton in the peels themselves – following the curves (so essentially quilting each peel individually).

    It looks awesome!

    • Phoebe
      March 10, 2015 at 19:15 (3 years ago)

      I guess I should’ve said hand quilting – hand quilting it in white perle cotton.

  3. Liz
    March 10, 2015 at 19:24 (3 years ago)

    I agree with Audrey – and the quilt looks amazing!

  4. Debbie Seton
    March 10, 2015 at 21:10 (3 years ago)

    Lovely quilt :) I like the spiral design yet, but also like Audrey’s suggestion of concentric circles. How about concentric ‘peel’ shapes as another option?

  5. Patti
    March 10, 2015 at 21:23 (3 years ago)

    I like the last 2 the best. If I had to pick a favorite it would be the spiral, it compliments the peels.

  6. Jenny
    March 10, 2015 at 21:40 (3 years ago)

    I really like the spiral or – as suggested the circle option!!!! I’m also sure that whatever you choose to go with will look awesome as it would be impossible to ruin such a pretty quilt!!! ;) Maybe I’ll try out a hand – quilted spiral when I eventually finish stitching my peels!

  7. Claudia
    March 10, 2015 at 23:04 (3 years ago)

    Unfortunately, I think the linear designs would be lost on such a busy quilt and actually, stitching straight lines on a big quilt would be more difficult (for me) than FMQ small areas at a time. I would go with a meander on the light areas and the peels should “pop”.

  8. Barb
    March 10, 2015 at 23:07 (3 years ago)

    The Internet is a funny thing. I don’t know you and I live a long way from you in Texas in the U.S. but you inspired me to start my own orange peel quilt. Just today I was working on it and wondering how you are doing and thinking that you hadn’t posted in awhile. I am glad to get an update. All of the designs you have shown look nice but I will probably quilt mine with echo quilting around the peels in pearl cotton thread.

    Thanks you for your inspiration and posts and I look forward to seeing what you chose as I am sure it will be lovely.

  9. anne
    March 12, 2015 at 02:22 (3 years ago)

    I like them all. And, like you, I prefer simple lines. Whatever you do, the colours and fabrics are so beautiful, it will be gorgeous.

  10. Rebecca Bell
    March 13, 2015 at 10:07 (3 years ago)

    It’s a tricky one… I know how you feel when you’ve spent so long constructing the perfect quilt top and then the tension sets in at the thought of quilting it, and in my case, usually screwing it up! I’m a straight line quilting fan too but I love circles and, although I’ve only done it once on a large quilt, I love the effect. I vote circles! Or maybe a spiral so you don’t have a million threads to bury.

  11. Andree
    March 17, 2015 at 22:51 (3 years ago)

    Hi Julie, I can understand why you want to get this right – but I think you’re being too hard on yourself. Personally, I like the last one and I hope that you don’t mind if I use it. I like that it’s off centre. I also think that it might be nice if there were two circles going – but that might get complicated. Good luck! Hope the brain thaws!


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