Deciding What to Quilt

Hi everyone! It’s a new week, and we all know what that means….another post in the “Deciding What to Quilt Series”.

This week, we are going to be discussing ideas on how to quilt Brenda’s beautiful lantern quilt. Here is her question:

I’ve finished a quilt top (all but the borders) and it is very bright (I attached a pic) and I have no earthly idea what color thread to use, nor do I have any thoughts on how to quilt it.  My first thought was to do squiggly lines along the strips, each square would have squigglies two going one way and two going the other (this is very difficult to describe), but that seems boring.  I don’t care for pantographs and I’m  relatively new to longarm quilting so something somewhat simple is right up my alley.  

Before we begin, I would like to welcome our featured quilter, Ashley. You all know who Ashley is, she is the woman behind the blog, Film In the Fridge. It was one of the first blogs that I stumbled across when I first entered blogland. I am constantly inspired by her many tutorials and am excited that she has agreed to join us today!  Here is what she suggests for the quilting:

I’m pleased you’ve asked me to be your featured quilter this week, though it makes me laugh because lately I’ve been looking to you for ideas on how to quilt my quilts! I love this chinese lantern pattern, and I think there are probably a number of different quilting patterns which would look great on this quilt. My initial thought would be straight lines running vertically. I tend to always think of straight lines first, because, while somewhat tedious, I love the look they provide.

Lately though I’ve been trying to stretch myself and try out new quilting patterns, so depending on the size of these blocks (I can’t really tell from this photo), I might consider an orange peel quilting pattern, following the diagonal lines of each block.

My last thought would be to highlight a secondary pattern by selecting 4 blocks (I’d go for something off-center) and quilting a spiral square starting from the middle of those four blocks. You could continue the spiral square out covering the entire quilt, or it might be fun to do the spiral square in alternating rings, and filling in the open rings with another pattern.

Thanks so much, Ashley for your ideas! I especially love how the last one uses the quilting to make a whole different pattern!

Sometimes I struggle with deciding how to quilt quilts like this. I usually like to quilt each block with a custom design, but the itty-bitty pieces can make that a challenge. The suggestion I have looks something like this:

I like the idea of using a couple of different designs. So my suggestion includes a back and forth line that fills in the blocks that are vertical. Then in the horizontal blocks, I think that a wishbone design would look great. Both of these designs would fill each of the blocks, but would not take any extra time for marking the quilt.

What about thread?

Brenda also asked me what color of thread I would suggest. The good thing about quilting a quilt so bright and multi-colored is that almost any color of thread would look great. I would shy away from any darker colors, such as purple or red. But other than that, I think that almost any color would look good…..perhaps a light lemon color? Or a funky green? The thinner a thread is, the more colors you can use. A thicker cotton thread will show up more so it would be best to play it safer with a lighter, more neutral color. But, if Brenda were to use So fine thread (or a similar thin poly thread) she could get away with the funkier colors.

What do you think?

So what do you think? How would you quilt this quilt? I love hearing everyone’s ideas and I know that other readers would definitely benefit from the different options!

Thanks again to Brenda, for letting me feature her quilt, and to Ashley, 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 already!

Happy Quilting!

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  1. I like Ashley’s idea and have a quilt I may use that on! But when I looked at this quilt, I saw Angela’s design without reading the whole blog! I do not think you could go wrong with either design.

  2. spinningsheep says:

    Wow, thanks for all of the suggestions! Now all I have to do is quilt it as nicely as you’ve described…yikes! I’ll send you a follow-up picture (better one this time) of the finished product. Thanks again!

  3. So many great suggestions here, but the one that really leaps out at me is Ashley’s final idea. I never would have thought to do that, and I love how it totally changes the focus of the quilt!

  4. I like the orange peel idea. Keep it simple! The quilting is really not going to show up with the bright colors. Take some of your thread and drizzel it on your quilt and take a step back and see how it looks. Varigated threads are great to use with multi colored quilts.. If you want the quilting to show you really need to use a wool batting or heavy loft.

  5. sandy engelman says:

    love the colors…what kind of borders will you be using?
    I think borders can also decide quilt design…the middle is so
    busy with diagonals, wow, I would not wat to add too much to it unless the borders were wide to accent the design there?
    but I’m just a novice, so who knows?

  6. While all the ideas presented are just great, I really love Angela’s suggestion as it would highlight each lantern and make them really pop- I would love to quilt a quilt like this one- so pretty and colorful- I would probably use the white thread and use Angelas suggestion for quilting- that way the quilting would highlight each block and not blend into some and pop on others- super fun post, thanks to all involved!

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