Custom Longarm Quilting: Blue Patchwork Stars Quilt
Custom Longarm Quilting
Lets talk for a minute about Custom Longarm Quilting. I’ve recently dipped my toe into the custom quilting world after practicing extensively using the Longarm Skill Builder method. It is a journey but the pay off is amazing. The look of custom quilting is really one-of-a-kind. If you make a wholecloth skill builder, like the one linked, and share it socially, please use the hashtag #FMFW. Why you ask? This concept has grown into a full-on book, Free-Motion Framework, shipping May of 2018. Pre-order it on AMAZON.
The Longarm Skill Builder method is wonderful to really get into the groove of filling spaces, but I needed a bit of direction to help me decided which spaces to fill if I were working on an actual patchwork quilt. Enter Lisa Calle’s Divide and Design book. If you don’t have this book, add it to your wish list right now.
I applied her methods to my last customer quilt of 2017 to create a really unique finished quilt. Using the “markup” feature in my iphone images, I snapped a pic of the quilt and then proceeded to brainstorm how I would divide the space on my customer quilt. When I had something I liked, I saved it to my camera roll. (Turns out I went with a different design than what is pictured below.)
I love how it turned out so much that you’d better go grab a cup of coffee because there are many many many photos of this baby.
One pass along my HandiQuilter Avante 18″ only covered about 2/3rds of the block. This is what one pass looks like:
I then went back and stitched the bottom 1/3 of each block.
It took me far longer than it should have to decide on a style for the sashing. Ultimately, I went with an easy/fast design. I traced the arc of a ruler twice on the right side and twice on the left side. The arc intersecting is what creates this seemingly complex design.
Lastly, I had to decide a style to add into the 4″ wide, two-color border design along the top and bottom edge of the quilt. I ended up going with a larger version of a tear drop + hooked feathers, which is featured in the block design. I’m hoping that the repetition will help create a cohesive look.
How adorable is this cat???
The quilt turned out really neat. I mean “Holy smokes, I quilted that??!!” neat. Here’s a look at the whole piece.
The Quilt Back
Can we talk about my love for Minky fabric? If you don’t know of Minky fabric, lets say it is polar fleece’s older more sophisticated socialite sister who always wears mascara and lipstick even if she’s laying around the house. Really, other than them both being fuzzy knits, I don’t even know if polar fleece is a good comparison- just a starting point.
I’ll be honest, I don’t know if Minky is a brand name or textile type. You can find it textured or smooth, in a range of colors, and is sold by Shannon Fabrics under the name “Cuddle.” See the wide range of Cuddle Minky here.
Here’s why minky is awesome for a longarm quilter:
- It gives the quilting design tremendous depth from the back.
- It hides your thread color. The navy blue in the images below are stitched with a white bobbin thread.
- It is forgiving if your tension is a tiny bit off.
- It loves you, too.
I bet you are out of coffee now? I’m out of pictures. I hope you enjoyed this custom quilting tour!
I’d be happy to longarm quilt for you! Custom, as featured in this blog post (at $.04/sq inch) or edge-to-edge (at $.02/sq inch) seen here. Just drop me a note and we’ll get together on your next quilted project. firstname.lastname@example.org or read more at ReannaLily Quilts.