Machine Quilting Ideas: Twisted Trellis

My last post on Machine Quilting Ideas introduced the concept of “Divide and Conquer”, where multiple different quilting motifs are used on a quilt.  Each motif is designed to fill an area defined by the pieces of the top: blocks, borders, sashing, etc.  Today I want to show you a variation of that with Twisted Trellis:

Prairie Sky QuiltingThis is a contemporary design where the blocks are not strictly defined.  Instead, this design seems to be made up of “paths”.  As I watched this quilt take shape on my design wall, I knew that I wanted a quilting design that was divided into those paths.  And of course, a zigzag path seemed perfect for a long line of feathers:

TwTr 2I love doing feathers!  They are easy to do without marking, and I wanted some curvy lines to balance out all of these sharp edges in the piecing.  If you haven’t tried feathers yet, jump in and give them a try.  I consider them a must-have for your machine quilting bag of tricks.

For the dark blue and light yellow lines that twist around each other, I thought that straight quilting lines would help to accentuate that feature:

TwTr 1I decided that I would try doing ruler work – using a 1/4″ thick acrylic ruler like the longarmers use.  However, this was done on my HQ16 sit-down machine, so doing ruler work requires moving the ruler along with the quilt as you stitch.  I’ve heard that many quilters do this very well, but I did not have the patience to master that skill.  So I decided to try free-handing some straight lines, watching my presser foot in relation to the edge of the piecing, and I was able to do much better than expected.  It was achievable because they are relatively short lines, and I made multiple lines, giving your eye more to look at so you won’t notice how imperfect they are!  I had to start practicing that skill somewhere, and this project was on a deadline, so the practice piece was my final project!

I filled in the small green square with a simple flower.  If I could do this over again, I would have made more petals, or echoed the existing petals.  I always come up with better ideas after it’s done!  Rather than be dismayed over what I should have done, I try to look at it as a learning opportunity, and I will benefit from that experience for the next project.

So, this “Divide and Conquer” project was not separated by blocks and sashing, but instead was used to support the overall graphic design of the quilt.  I hope that this approach will help you in finishing off some of your quilt projects!

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One Response to Machine Quilting Ideas: Twisted Trellis

  1. Betty says:

    Beautiful and so well explained…thanks for the lesson!

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