I came across these photos today – a quilt called China Blue. It is custom quilted on my APQS Ultimate II. I did this one in 2007 but its a classic and worth bringing out to share. This was a beautifully pieced top and was calling for a very special and custom quilt job. The quilt top maker gave me creative license and said ‘Do your thing!’. I love when that happens because custom work is my favorite work. I get to do all those fancy designs that I learn in classes or books.
I used my Gadget Girl Rulers to create arcs and curves inside the larger squares. It looks a little bit like a Spirograph design. Do you remember those? I always loved putting the different color pens in the holes and creating circular patterns. This is almost the same thing – except I’m using colored thread, a needle, and a high speed quilting machine.
I used my Little Girl ruler to outline the half square triangles. Yes, those are one inch sets of half squares and each one is stitched in the ditch. Very tedious work but they needed to be held down and they didn’t want heavy quilting inside the triangles. Yes – sometimes quilts talk to me, go figure.
You can see that I’ve done some McTavishing to fill the background on the Applique setting triangles. This added texture and motion to the white background – the negative space. This technique is time consuming and uses a lot of thread. In this area I switched to Bottom Line by Superior. Its a 5o Wt thread that doesn’t look heavy when its done and offers texture, but not the stiffness of a heavier thread.
The dark blue border was finished in a free motion circular design and complemented with a simple feather that goes all the way around the outside border. I used Signature 40 wt in this area and chose a blue that would blend. I prefer to have the quilting blend with the top and using a thread that matches did not take away from the beautiful with that the quilt maker did on piecing the top.
I love custom quilting! This was a beautiful project and allowed me to do some very detailed and creative work.