Shadow and “over” quilting…

This entry is a continuation of my previous post.  If you didn’t read the previous entry you may find it helpful to understand what I’m doing:

I haven’t completely finished my latest practice piece yet, but I can show you how it’s coming so far.

After I completed quilting the panto design over the entire surface of the top fabric, I began shadow quilting from the front using a darker shade (hence, a “shadow”) of Glide Thread.

Shadow thread applied from the front.
The darker "shadow" thread was applied from the front of the machine.

The goal of my “shadow” quilting was to practice quilting from the front of the machine without having to think about what kind of design to practice.

Since I had already quilted the panto design from the back of the machine (good practice in itself!), my design was in already in place and no marking was required. Yes, I know I could think up a design, but my time is limited so I need to make the most of it and maximize practice time and materials whenever possible.

Using this method, I was able to get a feel for following the line of the design as well as the relationship of the hopping foot to the line of stitching.  I was also able to experiment with improvised quilting where desired…i.e., if I felt an area of the panto was too open, I could practice stretching out the size of my freehand quilting using the “shadow” thread in order to fill the area better.

Once I finished each pass with the “shadow” thread, I changed threads (top and bobbin) and applied the contrasting “over” quilting thread. For my highly contrasting thread, I chose a bright yellow.  See the edge of the “over quilting” in the previous pass (right side) in this picture:

Notice the edge showing "over quilting" on the previous pass on the right hand side.
Notice the edge showing "over quilting" on the previous pass on the right hand side.

Here’s a close-up:

Close-up of "over" quilting using yellow thread.

Summary: This method of quilting the panto design from the back, then shadow quilting with a darker (blending)  thread, then over quilting with a highly contrasting thread has been a fantastic learning experience for me.  In many ways it is like quilting 3 quilts on one.  This technique really is working to improve my feel for the machine and hand/eye/body/brain coordination.  I love the effect and the “pop” that the over quilting achieves when I look at the quilting overall.  To me, it has a sense of motion and the yellow makes it burst in joy. This piece is NOT a show quilt. It is a PRACTICE piece–but I’ll proudly put it on my bed and over the years I’ll fondly reflect on the lessons I’ve learned making it.

Another practice panto finished – Wild Horses

The last few weeks have been so packed for me it has been really difficult to spend bonding time with Max (the longarm).

Finally, I was able to work on (and FINISH) another practice panto piece earlier this week.  I chose Wild Horses by Deb Geissler.

Click here to see this panto on SALE at SewThankful.

Click here to see more pantos by Deb Geissler.

I used the large (12″ design) panto and Superior King Tut #925 Caravan thread with Fil-Tec Magna-Glide bobbins to practice edge-to-edge quilting on muslin again.

I LOVE this design and once I got the hang of where I was going, it was no problem to complete…though I did “motion practice” the design several times before I started quilting.  I love how the variegated thread turned out and I have very almost zero issues (LOVE those Magna-Glide bobbins).  I’ll definitely use this panto again!  Jeff and the boys love it too.

Here’s how it turned out (click each image to open larger image in a pop up window):



I still have a LOT to learn, but I’m feeling good about it because I can definitely see progress in my work.  FUN!

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