I am frequently asked how I decide what hand quilting design to use on a quilt. I wish there was one specific answer but unfortunately the best answer is “it depends”.
The quilt top belongs to Bill Volckening who has an extensive collection of New York Beauty quilts and is in the process of writing a book about them.
I have seen pictures of many of his quilts and I wanted this one to be quilted differently than those I have seen. The white areas are very big so there is a lot of room for “fancy quilting” One of the things that I have to ask myself about each quilt it “do I want the piecing to be the star or the quilting” or in other words what do I want people to notice first?
After all the remaking to get the top flat I can appreciate all of the tiny little triangles that make up the arcs and the sashing. I really don’t want to distract from that. Overly elaborate quilting might do that… so what to do in those big areas?
I need to consider the style and era of the quilt as well. when I am doing a vintage quilt I like to do the quilting in a style that is fitting for the era of the top, I want the end result to look as if it was all made by the same person.
Yesterday I posted some sketching I did for ideas ( the book is new for me…I used to just use scrap paper then toss out the sketches)
But back to the criteria I set:
1. It has to feel like it is from the same era as the quilt
2. It should not distract from the pieing (it needs to be harmonious with the design)
3. It has to be different from others I have seen in Bill’s collection
My first thought is often feathers for big open spaces they are beautiful, and I find that I can draw them to custom fit the space. I decided that beautiful as they are the don’t fit my criteria ….#3 …I’m pretty sure he has at least one with feathers so those were out
My next thought was something rather simple like this that I have circled.
I like that a lot, but it is essentially the same design I did on the last one I did for him…
So that one is out….
I wanted to do something that related to all the points on those triangles and the stars in the sashing. I wanted something that looked like a sun.
That was the last picture I drew because that was the one that felt right.
I used a dinner plate to draw a circle in the center of the block and a ruler to draw some radiating lines and got to work. (the pencil on the book above is what I used to mark the top) The design evolved as I worked on it and this is what I ended up with.
The pieced corner sections will get simple lines of quilting as in the lower right corner here.
the sashing will be similar to this.
I am using Mountain Mist cream rose cotton batting….fitting because the name New York Beauty comes for a Mountain Mist pattern in the 30’s.
I am using YLI 40 weight hand quilting thread and a #11 John James between needle. The backing is white muslin….sometimes the back shows the quilting better than the front in pictures
So next I have to do 3 more of these and then the partial blocks around the edges and a lot of sashing! It is going to be fun!!