Machine Quilting Ideas: Rock Candy

For so many quilters, free-motion quilting skills are a challenge.  Even for those who have the technical ability, the creative inspiration is still a challenge.  Deciding what to quilt, and where, can reduce us to a heap of indecision.  That can stall a project as we postpone making a decision until we find the perfect choice for the project.  I’ve found myself in that situation many times.  It’s no wonder that so many quilters complain about their piles of unfinished quilt tops!

So I’m going to add a feature to my blog about Machine Quilting Ideas.  I’ll look back at some of the quilts I’ve finished, in the hopes that readers can learn something new, or find inspiration for their next project.

I’ll begin with a very easy design: circles.

Rock Candy 2I consider this quilt, Rock Candy, to be contemporary since it uses all almost-solid fabrics.  The brown backgrounds make it a little masculine, so I didn’t want a frilly design.  The straight lines in the piecing led me to choose contrasting curved lines for the quilting.  Using an all-over design worked well with the contemporary feel of the quilt.

If I had broken up the quilting motifs to be block-based, the quilt would have been more traditional – something that might have been a good choice if I had used more traditional fabrics and/or prints.  Or, this could also be a great design for showing off some elaborate, elegant designs.  The fabrics that you choose, and your ultimate goal of the “mood” of the quilt will help lead you to the right choice for each project.  Of course, how much time you are willing to spend on machine quilting affects your decision too!

Rock CandyYou have probably seen many show quilts that use “pebbles” as a dense background filler.  For Rock Candy, I decided that I would make it more of a “rock wall”, and made the circles larger.  Since it was used as an all-over design, small dense motifs would have made a stiff, time-consuming quilt.

This design meets several of my requirements for easy machine quilting.  First, it is a small and easy motif, making it manageable for a sit-down machine.  Second, it is flexible, so I can easily fill in areas with varying size motifs, travel to other areas, and avoid being cornered with nowhere to go!

Stay tuned for more Machine Quilting Ideas.  Thanks for joining me!

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2 Responses to Machine Quilting Ideas: Rock Candy

  1. Great article. I love the circular look on the very straight piecework. And I hadn’t really thought about how traditional quilting is block based, but you are so right. Looking forward to more posts in this new Machine Quilting vein.

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