"She seeks wool & flax, And works willingly with her hands" ~ Proverbs 31:13

February 17, 2017

Radical Rose {Free Motion Quilting}

In June 2015 I had the privilege of Free Motion Quilting (FMQ) this amazing quilt which was appliqued and pieced by a the beautiful quilter Joan. She had taken Aunt 'Reen's class on Modern Machine Applique where she created this amazing beauty, called Radical Rose & Reel.  Joan had also taken my Beginners Free Motion Quilting class and decided that with practice she would one day be ready to do beautiful work, but since that would take time she brought her Radical Rose Quilt to me and asked me to do my thing. She gave me complete freedom to quilt it as I wished.  Talk about pressure! But I was in awe of being given this quilt top to enhance. This was a quilt I desperately wanted to make simply to be able to quilt it and here I was being entrusted with Joan's finished quilt top.

Of course I started with layering the quilt sandwich using my favorite pin anchor Pinmoors.
Then I was off!! I started by out lining all of the applique pieces and both sides of the thin pink border. Once everything was outlined I began doing what I call Free Form quilting.

 What is Free Form Quilting, you ask? 
Free Form Quilting is the swirls, paisleys, pebbles, and so on that I quilt without a predetermined plan where each motif flows into the next. It's my favorite type of quilting to do on a quilt top. I'm always excited to come across a top that calls out for this type of quilting.

 Once the Free Form Quilting was complete it was on to the outer Hour Glass border.
I didn't want to over quilt this outer border, thinking that the center Rose and Reel needed to stay the star of the show. So my original plan was to do a simple Stitch-In-The-Ditch (SID) along all the seams of that outer border. But once that was complete two things were obvious; 1) the SID work caused the white sashing to puff up and draw your attention to them and away from the center medallion and 2) it appeared very plain without any quilting, especially sitting next to all the quilting in the center of the quilt.  I spent several days contemplating what I could do in this border to calm down the puffiness and make it not so plain. Finally I was able to see the solution, Ribbon Candy in the white sashing and graduated loops in the triangles. I was very pleased with how it turned out. 

Testing quilting design with wax paper and a purple air erasable marking pen

Then in September the following year, on my birthday no less,  I received this note and photo from Joan:
 "I wanted to share with you that a wall hanging that I made from a class on modern machine applique by 'Aunt Reen and you quilted won First Place in the Traditional Mixed category. The show was the Coastal Quilters Guild "Harvest of Colors 2016 Show in Santa Barbara, CA. Comments made on the judging form stated "Individualized quilting motifs greatly enhance this quilt". Thank you so much for helping show case my wall hanging. Joan"

So happy for Joan to have received First place and a blue ribbon for her work and honored to have had the privilege of quilting it for her.  Reading the judges words felt pretty good too! 

Quilt Details & Stats:

Quilt Name: "Joan's Radical Rose & Reel"
 Finished size: 42" x 42"
Quilt Pattern:Radical Rose & Reel by Collector with a Needle available HERE
Batting: Quilter's Dream 100% Cotton
Quilting Thread: 50wt. Aurifil White #2024
Quilting: Free Motion Quilted using my Husqvarna Sapphire 875Q domestic sewing machine
 Thank you for stopping by and sharing my quilting journey!
God Bless and Happy Quilting!


  1. Your free motion quilting is exquisite! Thank you for sharing the process with us!
    I am so happy for Joan and her well deserved Blue Ribbon.

  2. Congratulations to you and Joan on a collaborative piece of art.
    Thank you for sharing!

  3. It's beautiful and far more wonderful than it would have been without your quilting!


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