2019 / longarm quilting / quilting

first quilt of 2019

I put the finishing touches on my first quilt of 2019 yesterday:


The Treehouse: 40″ x 50″ machine quilted/hand dyed cotton

This is is my first piece quilted on my new Babylock Coronet long arm.  I quilted the treehousewatermakred.jpgentire piece with the exception of the black lines on the Coronet.  It was my intention to use it to quilt the black lines but with the lines being so thin I just wasn’t feeling confident in my ability for such detail work yet.  Stitching down the center of those black lines, some of which are barely a 1/8″ wide takes a lot of control and I need a lot more practice!  So instead I just used my domestic Bernina like I always have with my other pieces.

I approached the construction of this quilt a little differently than I have done the other quilts in my black and white series.  In those pieces I just free motion quilted the entire housesbackground randomly and then added the details.  For this quilt, I traced the primary elements from my full sized pattern – the tree and the houses – onto the white fabric with a thin pencil line.  Then I added quilting lines that complimented those particular shapes.  For the tree I did some “bark” quilting and for the houses and did straight lines using each shape to guide the stitching lines.



I used a new to me thread for this piece.  Usually I use Superior Threads King Tut or Masterpiece threads because I like to work with cotton thread but I recently got some Magnifico which is a 40wt 2ply high-tenacity trilobal polyester thread and I decided to give it a try.  I’m glad I did because it’s now my new favorite and will definitely be my go to thread from now on.  I am amazed at the absence of lint after quilting this entire quilt!  Yup, definitely my new go to thread from here on out.

It’s hard to see in the full shot above but I also added some little french knots to the ladder steps.  The added hand stitched detail creates the illusion of nails in the wood steps.  I just used a perle cotton embroidery thread for that.  There are tiny little black buttons on the doors for door knobs.

Now that this quilt is done and off my work table it’s time to start thinking about which one I want to work on next…

7 thoughts on “first quilt of 2019

  1. Pingback: staying focussed |

  2. This is fun to look at. Do you feel like using the longarm changed your thinking or mental process, or just the physical process? Do you expect your mental process to change because of it, as compared to quilting on your DSM? Are there projects you might do that you probably wouldn’t on the DSM?

    I haven’t used Magnifico but should give it a try next time I buy thread. I usually quilt and piece with So Fine, with is 50wt. I also have been trying Microquilter at 100wt, with varying success. It breaks more easily of course!


    • Hi Melanie, yes I definitely feel like the longarm changed how I approached the construction and to some extent the design of the quilt both mentally and physically. I am not comfortable free motion quilting large areas on the DSM – it’s just too hard on my shoulders but having the long arm has removed that limitation for me so it’s definitely having an impact on my work. In the case of this quilt, if I did it entirely on the DSM I wouldn’t have stippled the background, I would have just quilted wavy lines. I wouldn’t have free motioned the tree with the bark texture, would have just done some straight line quilting following the shape of the tree. So my approach to this quilt completely changed and I think has resulted in a much stronger piece thanks to having the long arm.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s great, very interesting to hear. As you do more with it, I’d be interested to hear more about how you think about space changes. The reason I’m asking, I guess, is I’ve spent the last year doing a lot with applique, which I hadn’t done before. And of course there is technique to learn, but for me, the bigger hurdle seems to be learning how to use space differently. DESIGN differently. It’s been an interesting process and I’m only partway through it.


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