Friday, December 14, 2012

Stitching Through the Layers: The Art & Elegance of Straight Line Quilting

Quilting Counts! Really, when you think about it, it’s the stitching through the layers that transforms a top into a quilt, so make sure it contributes in full measure to the beauty of your quilt!

Elegant & Powerful Straight Lines: Fully integrated and thoughtfully planned quilting enhances and supports the quilt. By integrated, I mean that the quilted stitch design should tell the same story as the quilt’s composition.

Strong lines make a very noticeable contribution to the visual impact of a quilt. Lines have the power to direct attention toward or away from its various parts. They can affect the mood of the work by adding movement and excitement or contribute a quieter, mellower feel. For example, horizontal lines commonly create the impression of calm, tranquility and space. Strong vertical lines can give the feeling of importance, drama and height. Diagonals tend to indicate action or forward movement. Tightly angled lines that constantly meet and cross each other give a dynamic, lively effect to the work.

The same kind of line, running in different directions, can add interest to the overall quilting pattern. Repeated lines of parallel stitching on traditional quilts often changed direction upon reaching the outside border, thus highlighting the center or the border – or both!

Decoding the Magic of Lines: There are three basic qualities of any stitched line; visibility, style and scale. Understanding them lets us easily expand the range of potential designs we can create. Varying each of them opens an endless range of quilting ideas.

Melody’s TIP: A great way to test a design before stitching is to draw it onto a piece of clear Duralar™ or Plexiglas™, a piece about 18” by 24”. Mark the edges with tape so you know  where to stop from drawing on your quilt top. Place it over your quilt, test patterns directly onto the plastic with a Vis-à-Vis Wet Erase™ pen. This allows you to evaluate how the lines and shapes of your planned quilting design will
relate to the pattern of your quilt top

In ConclusionYour quilt top is beautiful – and the quilting is the delicious frosting on the cake! Let the feel of your quilt and your unique artistic interpretation play out in your work. The result? Pure genius!

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