Quilting the Big Quilt

The loss of my Bernina while it’s in the shop for an extended visit has prompted me to get busy on my quilting pile. Fortunately, my Tiara sit down machine is ready for action. I started quilting this in late June, but now it is time to get serious and make decisions about what goes in the middle.

To recap, this was designed in EQ8. Piecing was done in early 2020.

I did the design, including auditioning various fabrics in Nov 2019.
Completed Quilting Sep 19, 2020.

First, I did stitch in the ditch with MonoPoly around all the log cabin squares back in mid-June.

I started the quilting working on the center outside row because that was the first design that was firmly in my mind.

Using a Cindy Needham basic stencil to mark placement of my feather line.

Quilting the large feather half circles along the outsides of the quilt.

Completed design using a light rust colored 40 wt Magnifico thread.
12 of these medallions make up the four corners of the quilt. Feathers with a spider web center.

Next up after taking a break on the quilting and pondering my FMQ options were the four corners, each made up of four wheat colored log cabin blocks.

Quilt corner.

I was enjoying the medallions and decided to do medallions in each of the wheat squares in the quilt middle, only using a featherette center.

I really liked my wheat colored feathers medallion, so I went ahead and did the same medallions in the four dark center squares. Only this time, I am using brown in the middle for the featherettes and dark blue for the feathers.

This left my four large wheat areas. I really felt I had enough feather medallions (is that even a thing??) and wanted something a little different. I liked the idea of large featherettes coming from the center of this space, but I needed to make that space smaller with a motif down the center. Figure 8/wishbones came to mind. Now I had never actually put this motif in a quilt before. I never liked the way they look and how hard it is to keep them consistent when I am stitching them.

Even those of us who FMQ regularly and with several years of experience have our hangups about what we like to quilt and what intimidates us. But why avoid something that I know I can do if I just get on with it? I marked a dot 1″ apart along one side of the center two strips and then marked the other side with a 1/2″ offset from the first side. This gave me a place to “aim” the top of my turnaround loop.

Wishbone and featherettes. The dark colored blocks alongside are quilted with plaits, swirls and corkscrews.

It all comes together!

To give the eye a rest from the medallions, the dark blocks between the corners and center medallions are straight stitched using a ruler in a simple starburst pattern.

The finished quilt is 90″ x 93″ and made to fit our queen’s size bed. The size was a bit intimidating. I have done a number of large quilts in the past, but none with this level of quilting intensity. And because I will have to look at it every day, I wanted to get the quilting right.

And wow! Then it was time for the border which is done in swirls and feathers. All done now and ready to bind when I get Tula Pink back from the shop. We are really looking forward to having this new quilt on our bed.

Happy quilting all!



  1. I love your focus and quiltng on what most people would do a basic all over design. It makes me rethink my quilting decisions. Another thing I noticed is that you started from the outside making your way to the center which I was always taught (in the 80’s-90’s) was “bad”. Have the rules changed? So many of the old rules have. I have learned a lot just reading your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Robin. In general, quilting from the middle is best to avoid wrinkles and shifting. However, you might have noticed that I did SID (Stitch in the Ditch) on the whole quilt before starting using MonoPoly. Since I did SID around each 9.5″ block, the sandwich is secure and I can stitch where ever I want.

      Thank you so much for that wonderful compliment. It’s important that quilters help other quilters; we all learn from each other.


  2. Oh Lennea bless you poor writing in such detail and lots of photos, you’ve made i so easy to see how you tackled this large quilt, and motivating me to try? YouR choice of designs has turned this quilt in to some ones precious heirloom, Such beautiful quilting Cheers Glenda

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Glenda! This is for my husband and I, so I had to make an extra effort on it! It was a bit intimidating to start, but you only have to eat the elephant one bite a time!


  3. Good morning Lennea! What a beautiful finish. The quilt itself is gorgeous but the added value your quilting provides just pushes the WOWEE factor up. Thank you for sharing all the closeup photos and details. They are greatly appreciate for a novice quilter like myself. And thanks also for linking up this week. ~smile~ Roseanne

    Liked by 1 person

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