Quilting: fancy stitches and curves


Using variegated thread and a tight zig-zag stitch to create an interesting applique edge

Hurrah! Another start/stop project has wound up finished! In fact rewind to July (not that long ago in the parallel universe where UFOs move in and out of sight like trains rolling through a stationand revisit my attendance at a Christine Porter workshop entitled ‘Flying Around in Circles’ (what an appropriate title for a factory where UFOs are produced!). Christine was a great tutor and by the end of the day had us all creating beautifully formed applique circles.



My completed version of ‘Flying Around in Circles’

Of course making the blocks is only one stage in the production of a finished quilt. Christine Porter utilises lots of coloured threads and the ‘fancy’ stitches her sewing machine can produce to bring variety to her quilting especially on any areas of plain fabric within the design. In the past I’ve used some of my machine’s fancy stitches when quilting crazy patchwork pieces or table runners where the stitching might be seen close up. This little quilt was definitely experimental for me – with it’s modern look and colouring and the use of new-to-me applique techniques. So why not keep the quilting with the style of it’s designer? PLUS I’ve recently taken advantage of a discounted Craftsy class, Susan Cleveland’s ‘Creative Quilting – alternatives to free motion’, actually watching it all (does this count as a ‘finish’ too?). Susan gives lots of great tips right from putting together the quilt sandwich, stabilising the layers with in-the-ditch quilting through to using thicker threads and bigger stitches in walking foot and hand quilting.


Experimenting with ‘fancy’ machine stitches and variegated threads.

It wouldn’t be fair to Christine or Susan to share all of their tips I put into practice whilst quilting, so here’s just one of that I found worked really well, bringing a considerable improvement in the accuracy of my in-the-ditch quilting:


For more accurate in-the-ditch stitches: Use an an opentoe applique foot; move the needle away from the centre, right to one side; use the edge of the foot as a guide. Simple but effective!

I bought all but one of the fabrics for the quilt top while we were on holiday in Derbyshire from a fabulous shop, Quiltessential, Cromford.




What can I say? A perfect shop for quiltaholics with a great range of fabrics including loads of novelty/children’s prints and all 303 Kona Solids!





Linking my FINISH 🙂 with Amanda Jean for Finish It Up Friday and Myra for Finished or Not Friday.


Oh! And here’s a view of the quilting from the back – I deliberately used plain blue thread in the bobbin, allowing it to show through on the front to add more to the texture and appearance of the stitching.





About allisonreidnem

New Every Morning – About Me Hi! I’m Allison, an obsessive patchwork-quilter who has no desire to be cured! I’ve been developing my skills and knowledge by paying attention at my local quilting group and by putting my questions into the computer search engine. I’m so grateful to the generous people who have taken the time to share their knowledge with me in person, via YouTube videos or their blogs. I’m intending my blog to be a link into the worldwide patchwork and quilting community and a means to contribute helpful hints and inspiration as I continue to discover more about this addictive craft. So, why ‘New Every Morning Patchwork and Quilting’? Well! I am a morning person! I often wake in the wee small hours and think through design and quilt construction issues. My woolly–headed evening brain finds such issues far too difficult to resolve! If I’m disciplined enough to be asleep by 10pm, I can be up cutting, piecing, pressing and quilting before sunrise! By the time daily family routine kicks-in I’ve had a satisfying, soul-feeding creative fix. (I should mention that ‘family at home’ is: my patient, faithful husband of 27years; and our equally patient 16 year old son, who acts as our in-house IT support complete with sighs and rolling eyes! Older daughter and son have both recently flown the nest). Not only do I find early mornings my creative time I also find it a time for receiving spiritual nourishment. I often find myself humming a gentle chorus and reflecting on God’s constancy as another new day dawns. ‘The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning, new every morning; Great is thy faithfulness, O Lord, Great is thy faithfulness.’ Edith McNeil’s chorus is based on verses from the Bible – Lamentations 3: 21-23.
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14 Responses to Quilting: fancy stitches and curves

  1. I really like the way you quilted the corners, they look fantastic!

  2. Wow, what a great project! I haven’t been a fan of variegated threads in the past, but you’ve used them so well here. Thanks for sharing.

    • I have enjoyed doing three workshops this year. They’ve all pushed me to try new things – this was my first real use of multiple solid colour fabrics and I’m pleased with the results ☺In the past I’ve tended to use variegated threads as a means to hide my quilting stitches but using them as a feature of the quilt has, I think, brought added interest to the quilt.

  3. I’m so glad to see you using the fancy stitches on your machine. I don’t use my sewing machine to it’s full potential. You have inspired to have a go. Thanks for sharing x

  4. Jayne says:

    Beautiful!! I never use the stitches on my machine, but this makes me want to try one day! Well done on this one!

  5. Colleen says:

    you’ve done a beautiful job with these stitches ! really adds interest to the work. I’ve got a few unwatched Craftsy classes as well so, good for you and I would definitely count that as a finish too !

  6. Thanks Colleen. I did enjoy messing about with the stitches and threads. I think I might look out for some thicker, 40wt, threads and discover how my machine copes.

  7. kittywilkin says:

    What fun! I love all of the fancy stitches! I was just thinking how I should try some of the fancy stitches on my own machine–I only straight stitch! LOL Lovely finish!

  8. Patricia says:

    I absolutely love your “Flying in Circles Quilt!” Amazingly beautiful!

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