I was just want to thank everyone for all the generous compliments I received regarding the quilting on Baby Swoon and Mocha Trail.  Thank you.

 I received some emails asking questions about how I quilt, what I do, what tools do I use or suggest and how I decide what design to quilt.  I love to answer questions like these, although they always make me chuckle a bit because I’m still learning the answers to all those questions myself.  Truthfully, every time I load a quilt on my machine, I feel like it’s my first day at a new job.  Do you know that feeling?  So I thought I would share some of my “process” on Mocha Trail.  First of all, I take a lot of photos.  Beginning to end.  By the time I get to the bottom border, I guarantee I forgot how I quilted the top border.  You would be amazed at how quickly you forget.

I always take photos of the corners.  I want to quilt each corner as similarly as possible.  What my feathers look like, how I enter the corner and how many feathers I quilt in the curve.  Stuff like that.

Oh, this is important… taking a photo of the spine of feathers.

I always count how many dips and hills I have and where they fall in relation to the quilt.  Most of the time it’s not an exact science, but close.  I used school chalk to mark, but I chose to make these feathers spineless.  I did not quilt a spine over the chalk line.  Some feathers don’t necessarily need the spine.

For the feathers in the red rectangles, I made a little cardboard template.

Then I just flipped the the template over to the next red rectangle.  This made the spine/feathers continuously flow across the quilt.

I used my purple air erasable marker to mark the spine.

Then I would start my line of stitching in the lower left corner and finish in the upper right hand corner of the top red rectangle.  That way I could then fill in the feathers back down the spine and end up where I started.  This way there was only one start and stop. πŸ™‚

When working on the 9-patch block area, I had to make myself a little reminder Post-it Note of what direction the little swirls were supposed to go.  See my sweet drawing with the arrows?? LOL!!

I would quilt three going in one direction and then one of the swirls facing the other way!!  That’s what happens when I start quilting past my bedtime!!

So that’s some of my process.  I’m not saying this is the right way to do some things, but it’s what I do.  Not sophisticated, but it works! πŸ™‚


  • Allie says:

    Whatever works is the right way, Linda, obviously what you do works because your quilting is stunning!

  • Sue Daurio says:

    What a great post! Love the picture of the spine, and the corners. I am definitely going to start doing that.

  • Brenda says:

    Your quilting is so beautiful. You have really brought Thelma's wonderful quilts to life- a superb piecer and a superb quilter. Love all the pictures you take so we can see all your beautiful quilting.

  • Lynn says:

    All excellent ideas! I've learned so much from you Linda!

  • Amy, a redeemed sheep says:

    Please, continue to post how you do things. This is so helpful for me!

  • Abby and Stephanie says:

    So much wonderful information for longarm quilters and even machine quilters alike. I love seeing the process, although I leave the quilting to the professionals! :o)

  • West Michigan Quilter says:

    Thanks so much for this helpful information. I don't have a long arm, so I'm limited on space, but these hints will work in some areas. I especially like taking all those pictures. You are so right about forgetting what you did at the top when you finally reach the bottom. Thanks so much for your help.

  • shannon says:

    great job!

    i never thought about using a sticky note to remind myself motif directions…my trick was that i always go clockwise with my designs. the paper note is another 'why-didn't-i-think-of-that' thing πŸ™‚

    thanks for sharing! it's nice to see how others do things and learn something from that! keep up the beautiful work!

  • Karen says:

    this post was so interesting! It is a lot of work to make sure it all lines up perfectly,etc.
    Obviously (from my point of view, naturally) it is working well, so don't change how you plan and execute the quilting. Your work is wonderful.

  • Mama Pea says:

    Good ideas. I love how you make your own templates. I would love to come over sometime and watch you work. πŸ™‚

  • Archie the wonder dog says:

    I love reading your 'behind the scenes' posts – they're fascinating!

  • Kathy Schwartz says:

    Love your cardboard template, brilliant! I make notes so I can remember what I did at the top of the quilt too πŸ™‚

  • Carrie P. says:

    wow! there really is a lot involved!