Sewing Blog

A Sunshine Quilt and Echo Quilting

Hi everyone! I had the pleasure of sewing and quilting a gorgeous quilt for a friend’s anniversary present to his wife. They got married in Hawaii and their wedding colors were green and yellow, so he wanted to incorporate these colors into the quilt. I used Art Gallery Fabrics for the entire quilt top mainly from Mister Domestic’s fabric line, Aura, and Maureen Cracknell’s fabric line, Sun kissed, plus some Art Gallery Fabric blenders and various other prints.

After looking through many patterns, the Beautious Quilt Pattern by Art Gallery Fabrics was the one he chose for me to make. I was able to try 2 new techniques with this quilt!

  1. I had never sewn curves on a quilt top. I had done it with garments so it had to be about the same right?!
  2. I had never done Foundation Paper Piecing before. With the help from my IG friend, @suchaprettyfabric, and watching You Tube Videos I was able to do it!

This pattern calls for 19 different fabrics and so the challenge of getting everything to look just right was also a big task! Despite these challenges I really enjoyed making it!

So……How do I quilt this thing!!??

Next I had to decide how to quilt this quilt. To be honest this is the most intense quilting I have ever done and I wanted to share with you all what I did. I don’t have a long arm, or an embroidery machine with a hoop and sending quilts out to be quilted is not an option for me right now.

Typically I do straight-line quilting. I have done some free motion but mostly on smaller projects. Since this was a large quilt about 86×86 inches I didn’t feel comfortable attempting any free motion work. So with such a busy quilt top I decided to do some echo quilting. Echo quilting is following the shapes of the blocks. I ended up quilting each block individually.

Tools for Echo quilting

  1. A ruler! I used a 2 1/2 inch ruler
  2. A Frixion erasable fabric pen
  3. Signature 50wt thread
  4. Quilting needle

This quilt has 42 blocks in it with 3 different types of blocks.

First the curves block. This block was so fun to sew! Don’t be afraid of curves. I think the 2 things I learned were be accurate with cutting out the templates and pin a lot! I randomly drew lines to imitate sun rays and then stitched over the.

Next, the Dresden plate block. I love a good Dresden plate! The pattern didn’t call for any stabilizer underneath but I ended appliquéing the plates on so it would be more stable for quilting later. For this block all I did was echo the shape of the Dresden petals. I measure a 1/2 inch from the petals and then went from there. After that I outlined the outer piece of fabric in the square just to provide more definition.

Finally, the last block was a foundation paper pieced block! I have never done this before but always wanted to learn. One of my friends on Instagram, Christina (@suchaprettyfabric) did such a kind thing and took a video teaching me how to do it! So sweet of her! I also used Art Gallery Fabric’s tutorial that was recommended with the pattern. I practiced and practiced and finally the set of 3rd blocks were complete! I ended up quilting lines in the small curved part and then using a 1/4 inch foot, echoed the sun rays. After that I outlined the final curve for definition.

The best part of the entire experience was that when I presented it to my friend he said it was the happiest quilt he had ever seen. This made me happy! I thought…well doesn’t every quilter want to hear that!! A pleasant surprise from this quilt pattern was how many of the quilt blocks looked like sun rays. I think it turned out to be the perfect Hawaiian themed anniversary quilt!

I hope sharing my quilting experience has been helpful. I wanted to show what you could do with your sewing machine at home! Happy Sewing, Friends!

Jennifer 🙂

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