I Blog; Therefore I Quilt Hope

Feeling unmotivated? Join the crowd! Lock down and a pandemic gives us more time to sew, but it can sap your energy and motivation! Need motivation? Write a blog! I blog, so must keep the machine humming to have something to write about.

My current project is doing the quilting on Esther Aliu’s Hope design. The applique was done right after I had my cataract surgery in early March. Maybe not the wisest choice, but I like to keep busy. Made even more challenging by deciding to do primarily turned edge applique, it was a bit of a struggle. My March 16 & 24th blogs have more info on the early Hope.

The background is a metallic moda grunge in aqua and the applique is fabric from; Jason Yenter “In the Beginning”. Except for the fish. I talk about some of the details of the applique in an earlier blog. Now it is time to quilt!

Outlining in a variegated blue high gloss thread (Fantastico) was used to make the center star stand out more. Very small teardrops and tiny circles done in a 100wt silk thread further encourage the star to be the attention-getter that it should be. I selected the silk thread for quilting on the grunge metallic for two reasons 1) I had it in the house and had never given it a try and 2) I wanted a thread that wouldn’t distract from background fabric, but melt in.

Microquilting in center to bring focus to the star.

Tiny pebbles to accent the center star.

I always start with outlining any seams and applique elements using MonoPoly (invisible thread).

A size 14 needle (very small for sit down quilter) was used for the silk thread and I loosened my tension a bit. A bit of experimenting also indicated that I would need to quilt at a slower speed than normal (15% for you sit down quilter geeks). I often do a McTavish or outlining motif for my applique backgrounds, but I wanted a different look for this piece. An Admin on the Esther FB group commented that the piece reminded them of water, and there are fish, so I went with that theme. Using a 3/4″ grid, I did a wavy/apple core FMQ for the background outside of the center circle.

Star in progress.

The inside borders are FMQ using McTavish with the Fantastico (50 wt) for the two flower borders and tiny swirls for a watery effect on the fish borders.

Outside border uses the silk thread.

The corner applique quilting mirrors the quilting done in the center.

Finished size is 37.5″ square. This is just the center of the entire Hope pattern, with borders added, but I think it makes a great wall hanging on it’s own.

Want to learn FMQ? Come join us on Facebook at Fun with Free Motion Quilting!

Happy quilting all! Lennea


  1. GREAT great read Lennea. I Have sat down quietly with a coffee and some thing to eat and studied each picture as I read the blog. Many many thanks for taking the time to write it up. Your Hope art is so so beautiful.


  2. Hi , another great read and description of your beautiful Hope quilt. Cheers up my day to read your blog, keep them coming ♥️😁

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the nlogs and teally like the hope quilt. One day i will be as good as you or sandra i will never give up but might need to get a better machine than my dit down oe but i still love that so eill carry on with it for now until i quilt better thank you so much xxx love it xx

    Liked by 1 person

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