You'd think I'd learn

Delaying the inevitable

So I have been practicing free motion quilting...



I am pretty happy with how I am doing.  There are two things I need to work on.  The first is speed.  I have a tendency to go fast and I do better when I slow it down a bit.  And second, I really need to chalk lines so I can keep things straight.  Easy enough to fix, I think.

The quilt is sandwiched and ready to move to the machine.  I am hesitant, though.  I cannot decide what color thread to use for the quilting.


Here's a peek at the quilt sandwich.  The top is the aqua print with a large red applique.  The back is orange gingham with a patchwork strip (aqua, red, orange, yellow, gray).  The binding is going to be a red and white large scale print.  So what do I do?  My original thought was to use white on top and red on the back, but now I am wondering if that is wise.  Other options include orange on top, aqua on back or maybe red on top, aqua on back or red on both top and back.....Suggestions, anyone?



i was just admiring your creative quilting on mary's little butterfly quilt. so nice.

Sarah Jackson

I think you need aqua on the back. The top could be white or orange or red. That's my 2 cents, for what they're worth. Loving that green tile print, btw.


I like the idea of orange on top and aqua on back, kind of mirroring the color schemes on both sides. Love your print selections. You have an eye for this.


I have no suggestions since I have no eye for color...but your free-motion quilting looks great!


I would say aqua on top and on the back. OR aqua on top and white on the back.


Both quilts are gorgeous. Lucky receipients!!

You have such a good eye for color and their countless combinations, I know you will come up with the best thread combo for the 2nd quilt.


wow, i am seriously impressed! well done!


I love that aqua print.
I work at a fabric store and it was gone gone gone before I had a chance to get any.


I would quilt with orange on back and red on top.

apple cyder

i'd say either red or aqua on top with aqua on the back. now--jump right in! you'll be great....


I love the elephant quilt and I can't wait to see this one! Your free motion looks great.


I would do aqua or red on the front and back but whichever color you use, make it the same. That way anything that sneaks to the front won't be obvious, which often happens when free motion quilting! And it would be especially obvious when using such contrasting colors. Plus sewing machines seem to like it and co-operate better when the exact same thread from the same spool is used in the bobbin. Ask me how I know all of this! Much trial and error!

But it is your quilt, and you should do exactly what you want! I really REALLY love the colors and fabrics!! Design wise, I think either color would work, depending on whether you want the quilting to be in the background or take on a more starring role! Do whatever makes you feel 'tingly'! That's what I keep telling myself and it usually works :) Make sure you show us a photo of the finished quilt!


I think aqua on the back and orange on the front could work. Or maybe gray on both sides, since there is so much color in the fabrics?

Can't wait to see it finished!


What about verigated thread with aquas and oranges in it? I mostly use white or cream to quilt my quilts, but I love the look of verigated thread when I have such a broad range of fabrics.


I love the variegated thread idea! I wouldn't use different threads for the back and front, just because there always seems to be a little top thread showing on the bottom somewhere.


I love the variegated thread idea! I wouldn't use different threads for the back and front, just because there always seems to be a little top thread showing on the bottom somewhere.


Hmm, what about oragne and red? I love that color combination. Of course, orange and aqua would look great too - or really anything. I think the orange would pick up the little orange in the flowers.


ok, this is a silly question from a quilt novice... but how do you do sow those swirly things? its SO nice.


what ever thread you choose, I would use the same on the top and on the bottom.


you quilting fool, you!

amy h

I love all these colors! I don't know about the front, but I think aqua would look really good on the back.


No suggestions from me - you've probably figured it out by now - but I have to say how great your practice pieces are. This is going to be another really nice quilt!


orange on top.
aqua on back.
love love love.
get sewing girl!
i am dying to see it!

Julie @ Letter9

I'm kind of feeling the red on back and front, although orange on front and aqua on back sounds appealing, too.

So hard to choose!


did you decide? i say red both ways. or orange top, aqua bottom.


Talking to my co-worker today, she mentioned taping down the back of her quilt when assembling the sandwich, and it looks like you use the same technique. Maybe I'm the only one still struggling to keep that bottom piece from moving! Great idea.


oh, i love your free motion quilting. such patience you must have. and the end product is going to look amazing. simply amazing. i know it.


I want to free motion quilt like it's lemonade on a hot afternoon. Actually, I would settle for being able to just sew straight lines right now, but there you are. I think you need include aqua in some way. I would go with the orange and aqua pairing (but I love orange).


Variegated thread might be really fun since you have several different colors going on. Whatever your color, I would definitely use the same color on top and bottom. Even if you have perfect tension on your machine, it's bound to vary a bit as you speed up, slow down, and take the curves and those little differences will definitely show if you're using two different colors of thread.


Erin~did you see CBS Sunday Morning on 3/9 they had a story about quilting and this guy Ricky Tims
apparently he is a famous quilter & the did free hand can go here to see the video in full---ENJOY!


Red on top;aqua on back.

I was just admiring that green fabric in the middle pic - very retro.


Thanks for the advice on the free motion quilting... I always seem to go too fast and my stitch lengths get a bit distorted... The chalk idea is a great one, will have to give that a go.
White on top with aqua underneath would look great but then again so would any of the combo's that you mentioned...


You've inspired me - I busted out my free-motion quilting foot for the first time today! Not ready to tackle a full-size quilt, but pot holders, I can definitely handle. Thanks for the boost.

Lynne Nelson-Berg

Love your quilt and the free hand quilting. i am not sure what colour thread i would use but it would definately be something striking.


I think your free motion looks great! I love that floral fabric in the first picture... and your elephant quilt is wonderful!


the only suggestion i have is MAKE ME ONE!!!

i've wanted to learn to quilt for a zillion years but i'm too lazy and haven't a clue how to sew anything but a button. yours are beautiful my dear! keep it up!

debra cooper

Yellow on both bottom & top--definitely!!


I would definitely do the same color both front and back. Also you need to think about if the quilting is going to add or detract from your appliqué work. If it detracts do red so the appliqué pops out at you, if it adds do aqua or some other contrasting color so the fun quilting can be seen. Also I wouldn't choose orange, really seeing the quilting on the back is half the fun.


How about aqua on both sides? Your free motion quilting looks fabulous!


Do you want to see the quilting or the quilt? that is the question-as a long time quilter I always prefer to use a thread that is near in value as not to distract from the quilt itself-you decide,I'm sure you will choose wisely


can you really go slowish while doing free motion? the person who showed me how to do it (i have yet to try) said it really works best going faster--you have more movement. but, if you can go slower, i'm all for it. the speed is what scared me about in the first place!

The comments to this entry are closed.