Deciding What to Quilt- Turning the tables

As much as I like to get on my blog and share what I am doing….I often get stumped when it is time to decide how to quilt a quilt. But usually, I can work through it and eventually come up with something. But this time, I am drawing a blank, a goose egg….a big fat zero! Β So for this week’s installment of Deciding What to Quilt, I am turning the tables and asking you for your opinion!

How should I quilt this:

Cog + Wheel Pattern by: Denyse Schmidt

I tried to take a picture of the actual quilt, but the light is fading….so the pattern cover will have to do! I don’t want the quilting to be too swirly, I don’t want it to be only straight lines and I don’t want to quilt it like the pattern cover……so what do you think?

Just for giving me a suggestion, even if it is to say that you have no idea how you would quilt it, you will be entered in a drawing for 1 yard of Stockholm fabric designed by Robin Zingone, courtesy of Robert Kaufman fabrics!

I know, I know…I am shameless for hitting you all up for some ideas….but I am stumped!! And desperate times call for desperate measures!!

On a completely different side note, I love writing this blog and sharing quilting designs and tips. If you are inspired by something you have seen on here, please share the love! I came across a blog post by Teresa about a Love quilt that she quilted. She liked how I quilted the original one, so she quilted it the same and kindly linked to me. It really made my day! First, it lets me see that I am not just rambling to myself out here in cyberspace, it also helps me out by helping my blog reach more people. I am not saying that you have to, which is why I don’t even bother putting a copyright notice on my sidebar, but it sure would be appreciated if you did!!

Happy Quilting!



  1. Well, I don’t know if this would be “too swirly”, nut I am seeing a rose of sharon design in the large white areas, with leaf motif in the white cogs; circles concentrically within the large wheel & “outline quilting” on the interior of the cogs.

    I look forward to seeing what you create!

  2. Hi Angela,
    Quilt planning is difficult sometimes…we all struggle with certain quilts.
    But What about curved crosshating in the white areas between the wheels. Continuous cuves in all the squares&rectangles within the wheels…and straight lines that radiate through the wedges within the wheels? Then fill in work for the rest of the background. I know whatever you choose will be beautiful!

  3. kritta22 says:

    Okay so work with me on this… What if you outlined the clogs and shadowed it out like four or five times, half an inch apart. Then in the middle where all the shadows meet, do a mini clog or circle.
    Does that make sense??
    If not, I can sketch you something and post it on flickr. Let me know…


  4. What do you think of sets of concentric circles that overlap each other at the edge. As if many stones had been thrown into a pond simultaneously. Good luck!

  5. Becky Greene says:

    I like the idea of echo quilting in the white areas surrounding the cogs building to a series of concentric circles (to suggest the circular movement of the cogs). I think i would attempt something structural and linear in the cogs themselves (to suggest the strength of the cogs).

    Hmm… maybe I should have just said “I have no idea” – ha ha!!!

  6. My suggestion is to use the piecing design as a guide for a large daisy quilting design… just to give it a different twist… πŸ™‚

  7. I am certainly no expert and not very good at describing what I am thinking, but what about keeping the squares around the cogs and shadow quilt in from there (cogs are inside the square), stitch in the ditch cirlcles around the cogs, like in the picture. Stitch in the ditch around the smaller circles, then do points, like on a star into each of the blue pieces on the outside of the cog,stitch in the ditch around small circle, with the shadow corners working out on the purple pieces, and leave the center cross unquilted.

  8. Oh My Angela – how could my idea possibly be of any help ? Thanks for making me think outside of the box though… it’s nice to be challenged this way.

    In the white space between the cogs and wheels, I would use the straight line quilting making a big X (or t) between the cogs and wheels and echo quilting them out to the wheels. Inside the wheel itself (the inner section), I was thinking circles or swirls inside of each square piece of fabric that makes the x (to be the opposite of the big fabric X inside the wheel)… then on the spokes, I would stitch in the ditch of that piecing and echo quilt it toward the center….. So you’ll have a mixture of circles and straight line quilting thoughout the piece.

    Can’t WAIT to see how you actually quilt it. Thanks again!

  9. Hmm, hard to explain. Quilt wedges from the centre of each wheel to the outer corners of each of the 8 cogs per wheel ( I think these will match the shape of the narrower cogs). Then quilt a narrower wedge (maybe 1in wide at the end) inside each one, and fill this with a single line of graduated circles. Fill the white background with sprials.

  10. I think the cogs should be somehow outlined and accentuated, but other than that I have no idea….Good luck!

  11. Let me see if I can write what is in my head…I don’t know how to draw it out and send to you, In the middle square I would quilt 4 semi circles and in the very middle a circle. In the orange sqaures, a square spirl and in the purple triangles straight lines following the shape, far enought apart to put circles in between lines. Very outside blocks, looks teal to me, maybe a swirl to show movement. In the background some waves going up and over and down around bottom to show movement, so them look like they are spinning. I can’t wait for your book to come out. I’m new at longarm and enjoy all that you share, even an exercise like this.

  12. how about spiderwebs? πŸ™‚ I’m not very good at deciding what to quilt, can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  13. I like the idea of curves and right now I’m hot on Baptist fans. I think they would work quite well with this great pattern. What do you think?

  14. Oh my gosh. I always love the line in quilt directions that says, “Quilt as desired”- NOT. You have got to be kidding. At least give us a suggestion or two. I think some sort of straight line quilting would be my choice. I would also try to emphasize the cogs. Sorry I’m not much help.

  15. Thanks for the comment about my blog. You’re my quilter idol. I know you will figure something amazing for this quilt. I love all that you do and appreciate all the sharing you do with how to quilt something. It is truly wonderful and you’re truly one talented lady. I can’t wait to see how you quilt this.

  16. I wonder how it wold look to quilt small cog shaped images in the background and some sort of spirograph design over the pieced cogs.

  17. Jenna Johnson says:

    Maybe you could mimic the wheel design in the white spaces? And I think some kind of sunburst pattern would look cool in the round centers of the wheels-kinda like fancy rims? I;m looking forward to seeing what you decide!

  18. I really would like to see the echo quilting done with a ring/cog/swirly thing in the middle of each cog. Just a thought.

  19. Terry Davis says:

    I think a picture would help as the fabric might whisper a little something to us about how she might like to be quilted.

    The patch work circles remind me of a life preserver from my boating days.

    Does the quilt have a story – something that was going on in your life or the piecer’s life while the quilt was being made?

    Just random thoughts.

  20. Sooo… remember last week when you showed us that new quilting design you had been sketching? I would think that design done in each square of the cog would look really cool- like one big target in each square – and then I would echo quilt the shape of the cogs out in the white areas- but you are the expert… that is just what came to mind when I saw this. Hope that helps- the fabric is beautiful!

  21. I agree with Molly’s suggestion (it’s what I was going to say – great minds think alike?)

  22. Two things. If we are going with the cog theme, you could do an interlocking gears type of thing all through the white parts or something. I can see a modified compass in the cogs as well. It would look really nifty, but might be a lot of work. But still, that’s my imagination!

  23. Sue Bone says:

    I woul do radiating circles over the blocks and then a more detailed design with angles in the white space left where the circles meet.

  24. Now I know you’re human!!! I thought echo the cog three times and then something twisting…? I do not have the creative mind that you do when it comes to quilting designs. I am sure it will be fabulous no matter what you do. Thanks for sharing!

  25. Thanks for the challenge. This is where i always get stumped. I have had a quilt sandwiched forever waiting for some inspiration! anyway here goes: I see the gold Xs or crosses standing out. Dense…..ish quilting in the i call them “headbands” not tiny but they will flatten a bit then the other small squares a motif of some kind.
    My two cents

  26. IMO… Because it’s a repeating block pattern, the white spaces in between become very important. I’d put in some kind of detailed horizontal diamond (a small bit narrower than the space, just to highlight it) with single sided feathers around the edge of it. Then, in the cogs, I’d put a center circle with something loopy all the way into each rectangle.

  27. what about making a box around each cog and filling it with vertical “organic” lines and then a box around the next cog with horizontal “organic”lines….??

  28. I’m still learning so I hope to offer some inspiration instead of instruction. My first thought was of the inside of an old clock, with all the gears and hammers and things. Perhaps the background quilting could represent the inside background gears. It will be beautiful no matter what!

  29. I think the pattern calls for something that stimulates the idea of ‘flow’ from the cogs, especially since the cogs are rather stiff, the quilting could give it a softness.

  30. I’m sure whatever you do will look great because I’ve seen so many of your quilts and they are all top-notch! I would consider pebbles in the background and straight lines in the “cogs”….’course that would be if you were doing it, not me πŸ˜‰

  31. I would quilt a spoke or daisy or something to emphasize the cog… as for the white spaces, i would continue with the spoke or daisy… good luck and I’d love to see the sketch

  32. I am loving all the ideas that are posted here. I am just learning how to quilt the tops so I love looking at your blog for inspiration. I find my self quilting in my sleep now. lol. Love the idea of repeating the cogs. Cant wait to see it finished.

  33. How about over the blocks a ring design starting in the center with a circle and then another circle around that and so on each a little bit bigger until you get to the edges of the cogs. Then for the “blank” spots bring in something square-ish to reflect the cog shape.

  34. Anonymous says:

    How about your triangular pieces of te center circles moving to square on the cog squares, ten movement between?

  35. Thats me: anonymous above. Looking forward o meeting you at. Mqx.

  36. Rhonda H. says:

    Well, I don’t really have a suggestion on quilting it. You said you didn’t want to quilt it like the pattern/picture shown but for some reason, I’m really drawn to the circular quilting lines. It seems to “fit” with the wheels in the quilt. Maybe some other variation on circles. Anyway, thanks for chance to win!

  37. sorry, I have tried and thought but still can’t come up with anything 😦

  38. I’m stumped…but know you will come up with something very interesting, appropriate AND wonderful!

  39. Having carried out a google search on the quilt, I see that most of the quilts have been quilted using echo quilting or echo circle quilting – perfect yes but how about taking it to another level
    in the gap between the blocks – quilt a version of the cog/wheel block, and half or quarter versions of it around the edges of the quilt – then radiate lines (not ultra straight and equal widths apart, loose and ‘slightly’ wavy), like rays, between the pieced and quilted cog/wheel blocks – then do a simple spiral quilting pattern in the cog/wheels themselves – either a spiral centre to rim or one that doubles eg: rim to centre then back again to rim

  40. Sharmond says:

    I’m a novice myself at deciding on quilting designs. Maybe a spoke pattern radiating from the center for the large circle design and a fill in pattern for the background. I really want to master this free motion quilting. I will keep on trying.

  41. Paula Coleman says:

    I think I would quilt bubbles in between the wheel blocks on the outside of the circle, swirls on all of the white, a squiggle back and forth on the orange fabric, and a big swirl in the center. I will send you my sketches via your angelawalters email address. I am positive whatever you decide, like all of your quilts, it will look fabulous!

  42. In New Hampshire they have a cog railway that climbs Mt. Washington. So this pattern made me think of railroad tracks crossing the white spaces. Maybe with pebbling in the spaces along side.

  43. MarciaW says:

    Echo quilting for the cogs blocks to emphasize the “coggy jaggy” nature of the blocks – then whatever area is left (like the squares in between) crosshatched or pebbled. I like the idea of the pieced cogs being the emphasis instead of the open areas. The cross hatching/pebbles will tighten down the quilt so that the cogs will pop up for the emphasis. Maybe even a little extra batting behind the cogs will make them pop more.

  44. MarciaW says:

    Here is my suggestion: Echo quilting for the cogs blocks to emphasize the “coggy jaggy” nature of the blocks – then whatever area is left (like the squares in between) crosshatched or pebbled. I like the idea of the pieced cogs being the emphasis instead of the open areas. The cross hatching/pebbles will tighten down the quilt so that the cogs will pop up for the emphasis. Maybe even a little extra batting behind the cogs will make them pop more.

  45. My thought is to isolate the blocks, leave the prints completely unquilted, and do some echo straight line quilting I the triangular spaces between each ‘cog’. Then, in the larger white spaces between each isolated wheel, do an overall spiral/swirly pattern. I love your series of posts on this topic, I always learn so much from you!

  46. craftytammie says:

    i actually think the quilting on the pattern cover is nice, but i’m a fan of echoing the design. whatever you do will be amazing, i’m sure!


  1. […] Deciding What to Quilt- Turning the tables ( […]

  2. […] again for all the quilting suggestions on the last blog post, I am reading them all and sketching some of them. You all sure are a creative bunch! I will be […]

  3. […] for being so generous with her time. I will be back tomorrow with the winner from last week’s post, so make sure you pop in and leave a suggestion if you haven’t […]

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