2021 Mystery Quilt Along Month 10

Kimberlee Tanner

Quilting the Quilt

We are now ready to quilt our quilt! If you missed last month, check it out here:

2021 Mystery Quilt Along Month 9

We have planned two months to quilt your top. So take your time and don't stress it! We'll be back in December to talk about binding.


Before we talk about our quilting plan, I first want to touch on ways to make quilting on your domestic machine easier. Keep in mind that ultimately it just takes practice, but a few tips in your set up will make it possible to move your quilt freely and keep your quilting smoother on your regular sewing machine.

Quilting on Your Domestic Sewing Machine

Tip 1: Extend your Quilting space

First off, the way you set up your space can make a big difference. The key here is to create as much flat space as possible. If you have an extended plate for your sewing machine or can drop your machine into your table, definitely take advantage of those. In addition, extend your table top if you can. You can use a folding table behind or to the side of your sewing machine table to easily make it bigger. If you have a really small sewing table or space, moving to your dining table might be a better option. The goal is to keep the weight of your quilt supported as much as possible. As soon as it starts hanging over an edge, you are fighting gravity and edges of tables and going to create a huge amount of drag and make it very difficult to move the quilt around smoothly.

Tip 2: Use Quilting Gloves

I'm all about budget quilting and only buying tools you'll use over and over and let me tell you, if you quilt on your regular sewing machine very often, you'll use quilting gloves a lot. I recommend them for all of my beginner free motion quilting classes. They provide just enough extra grip that makes maneuvering your quilt so much easier. If you are on a super tight budget, even dollar store gardening gloves will make a difference. However, if you can get official gloves I highly recommend them as they usually have a much nicer fit.

Tip 3: Start in the Middle of your Quilt

When quilting on my domestic sewing machine, I always start in the middle. This allows me to be constantly working my way towards the edge of the quilt, preventing puckers and also means I'll only ever have half of the quilt underneath the throat of the machine. For this particular quilt, that means I'm going to roll up the sides and quilt the flying geese first. After I've finished the middle section, I'll unroll one half and work in quadrants finishing each section, again working from the center out. I much prefer to work extra fabric out of the machine as opposed to pushing more into the throat. You'll find as you quilt your quilt it's much stiffer and harder to shove and move around. Keeping quilted section moving away from the sewing machine keeps things simpler.

Tip 4: Use your Shoulder

If you are quilting across the width or length of the quilt, roll it up and throw it over your shoulder. Move it down off your shoulder as you work your way along the quilt. Everything we are doing is to try and reduce drag. Eliminate drag and you'll find everything smooths out and quilts much nicer.

Mystery Quilt Quilting Plan

Now it's time to decide how we want to quilt it!

I've shared lots of different motifs and ideas, so if you need more inspiration, don't hesitate to go back to other blog posts and see what you can find

Quilting Plan Ideas

For this quilt, I've created a fun, modern quilting plan that focuses on accenting the piecing and shapes we've already created.

The first thing I look at when creating a quilting plan is how I want to break up the space. I could have left all of the white as one section, but it made it more awkward for me to figure out how to quilt, so I decided to create different spaces. I added the white stripe to the center band and chose a background element for the remaining white areas. This makes it look as if the center band is sitting on top and creates different layers and depth in the quilting. 
After the space was broken up, I selected a combination of straight line and circular designs. I love how they look next to each other and add contrast. This makes each element stand out more as opposed to merging together. I chose a different element for each colored area. This is probably the easiest and most common way to select quilting designs and works great as you are getting used to coming up with custom quilting plans. It's a good way to focus on the shapes in the quilt top.
If you want to print out a copy of the full quilt to doodle on, click below!
Now that the plan is ready it's time to quilt! Use pieces of my design, or create your own! You could also easily do an all over pattern if you don't want to go custom. If you want super simple, straight lines always look good on a quilt and are easily done on a domestic machine. You can evenly space them or change up the spacing. 
If you simply don't like quilting, it's totally okay to send it off for someone else. The goal here is to get your quilt done!
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out. If you are posting pictures, tag us @onwilliamsstreet and use the hashtags #sparkmysteryquilt #onwilliamsstreet
Happy Quilting!
Kimie and Missy

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