Compass Quilt process

This week I’m working on a compass quilt for a customer and I thought I’d share the process of custom quilting that I do.

This quilt is entirely hand-pieced and absolutely gorgeous.

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If you look closely at the corner, you’ll notice a little bit of a wave in the border as it hangs on the hanger.  That little clue told me that the very first thing I had to do with this quilt was to stabilize it.  In stabilizing the quilt, I use SID (stitch in the ditch) and measuring markers to stabilize the quilt square.  The top corner went wonderfully:

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The bottom didn’t go quite as well, which is not uncommon to find in quilts with mitered borders and utilitizing a border print.  It’s very tricky to make everything come out matching and perfectly square.

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When I first started longarming in 2003, this would have terrified me, but I can now recognize it as manageable, yes manageable.  Notice the pink measuring tape at the bottom edge of the picture?  That’s what I use to make sure everything is advanced square as I stabilize the quilt.

So, how does one control that bit of excess in the background?  Well, after you’ve stabilized the quilt, you’ve got to use some sort of quilting to eat up the excess.  For this quilt I’ve chosen to emphasize the diamond shaping and use a pebble technique to eat up a little bit of that excess:

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This isn’t a fast process, but it is an effective process.  I’ll spend most of today finishing the pebbling and the diagonals around the flying geese.  If I get that completed today, it will have been a full day.

Why am I posting this?  Because sometimes as longarmers we are intimidated when a quilt is loaded and presents challenges for us.  AND as a customer, I think it’s important for you to understand the process of quilting on custom quilts.  So follow along with me this week as I quilt this quilt, I promise it will turn out to be gorgeous (I can see the finished product in my mind’s eye!).