So we are on the penultimate stage of make a quilt, the quilting. I can here some of you breathing a sigh of relief that its nearly over but hang on, its going to look amazing very soon. To see the other stages look here, here, here, here and here. This stage does take quite a while and can make your arms ache as you feed the heavy quilt through the machine however it can totally change the look and feel of your finished article so it is totally worth all the effort.
Quilting simply means stitching the three layers together in a pattern all over the quilt. You can see some free motion quilting on the Baby Quilts For a Boy and a Girl that I made a few months ago and this affect is lovely but it is quite tricky to do and I thought it would simply take too long on a quilt this size. Two other popular quilting methods are 'in the ditch' quilting where you stitch along the edges of the patches on the quilt top or 'shadow quilting' when you stitch the same distance from the edges of the patches and create a sort of border around the patch. You can also send your quilt off to be professionally quilted (and this can look amazing) but where is the fun in that? I have gone for a very simply straight line quilting.
Its a good idea to start the quilting in the middle so that you push out the wadding and extra fabric as you go to the edges. So start you very first line of stitching right in the middle where you folded it up last time and work out from here. Along the longer length of the quilt I have stitched along each edge of the patches and 3 through the patch. The middle line is supposed to be central and the other two lines are supposed to touch the edges of the corner triangle.
Once I had finished all the lines in this direction I laid it out on the floor again and rolled it up the other way. In the other direction I have quilted lines along the edges of the patches and only 1 line down the middle. I didn't want it to look too 'checkerboard' and I wanted to emphasise the length by having more lines in this direction.
You can obviously quilt in any way you wish. My biggest tip would be to not 'under quilt' it, make sure you stitch enough of a pattern on top because it really does transform your work and it looks unfinished other wise. Another option I think might look nice here is zigzag lines rather the straight ones but I would love to see what you do so leave me a link below. The next stage of the octagons quilt, the binding, will be ready in two weeks. Exciting! Zoe xx