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January 22, 2012

Quilting on my Husband's quilt: the Indigo Blue Quilt

The holiday season over, I finally had more time to start finishing the big Indigo Blue quilt that I am making for my hubby. During these months I had been pondering which pattern I would use to quilt this quilt... Mind you, with the other large sized quilt that I have made (the 'Shades of Beige' quilt - my very first one) I just did a SITD (Stitch-in-the-Ditch - for my blog-readers who aren't familiar with the quilting abbreviations) to finish it, but I really wanted to FMQ (Free Motion Quilt) quilt this one. And I didn't want to mess it up.

Needle Book
e-reader fabric case
Lately I have been experimenting more with FMQ . I finished the 'Hands of Friendship' quilt (Yes, I will post those pictures too in another blog-entry) and I quilted some small stuff ( a needle book and a fabric case for my ereader) so I am getting the 'hang' of it. Not fully profiscient yet, but I really enjoy it! The initial fear for this art of sewing is gone. That in itself is a huge step!
And I must say that I find FMQ far easier than SITD. While doing SITD you have to be so focussed all the time making sure you stay straight on the seems, especially when you cross over seems. And you have a lot of thread-ends to work away in the layers afterwards. Not mentioning that you also do a lot of turning and twisting the quilt around getting it through the harp of the sewing machine...

But I had used a hearts and swirls pattern for these 3 projects. Not a very masculine pattern for this quilt that I'm making for my husband... :-). So I prayed for wisdom. And the moment I had the quilt under my machine, putting the needle down through the layers of fabric, it's then that I knew how I could quilt this quilt! Praise the Lord! I would use a heart-shaped pattern as I have been using, but make it into a leaf instead of a heart! So I took away the quilt and practiced a bit on a sampler sandwich.
I was so encouraged by the Lord's evident guidance. He is there every step of the way!

So I knew then that I would apply that pattern to the white blocks and the white and blue fabric blocks in this quilt and SITD (yes, that too) around the indigo blue squares. This past week I realized as my quilt progressed that I could quilt the long section with the smaller and thinner blocks also with a leaf pattern. It's almost impossible to stitch-in-the-ditch that section as it would require a tedious turning around of the quilt. I will do that quilting with a top blue and bottom white thread.

My hubby took this little movie last night while I was FMQ-ing.

 (you can click on the small square on the right bottom of the frame
if you would like to see the movie in full screen mode)
To baste the sandwich ( joining the top with the backing and the cotton batting in between) - by the way I apply Susan Shambler's method with 2 wooden trim boards-  I didn't handbaste it all over. I mainly used safety pins which I now regret because the 3 layers have shifted somewhat. Minor shifts but the quilt is not as flat in a few spots as my Shades of Beige quilt or the Hands of Friendship quilt (that I did handbaste). Oh well, it's handmade stuff... that's what I say to console myself. So you keep on learning. Right?!

And here a few detail shots of the FMQ:

I use white top and bottom thread
for the light blocks
This is the section I was quilting
in the little movie my hubby made.

this is the reverse side. I used the same
white and blue flowered fabric for the back.
This is a front  side block - you can see
how  I doodle-qulted around the patterns.

After the sandwich is fully quilted, I will need to cut the biais-binding (from the white and blue pattern fabric I still have left over for this purpose) and square off the quilt etc.... one step at a time! I can now stitch on average 45 minutes per day, but not every day. So patience is in order here. LOL.
But I enjoy the progress made and hope you do too!

Bye for now,


  1. Wow, you are really going to town with your FMQing... Love it. Love it. Love it!