Textures in Quilting


The vast majority of quilters will readily say that they are self-taught and that it took them many years of trial and error, wasted fabric, frustration, and tears before they reached the point where they felt at least somewhat competent when beginning a new quilting project.

This is due to the fact that the materials that have been made available to beginner quilters have been restricted to the kindness of experienced quilters who have shared their methods informally, articles in newspapers and magazines, workshops led by professionals, and books.

In spite of the fact that these resources have the potential to be of great use, there has never been a well-structured approach to becoming an expert in quiltmaking — until now.

If you follow the guide that we have provided below, we will be able to hold your hand and walk you through each step of your quiltmaking education.

We wish to instil in you the bravery and self-assurance necessary to start any quilting project, secure in the knowledge that the finished heirloom quilt you create will be treasured by future generations. In addition of this, there is a possibility that you will become a quilter who has won awards and is featured in quilting magazines.

Your choice of thread is also important in creating texture. If the thread is visible, it will distract from the texture. So, choose a thread that very closely matches your project. You don’t have to use invisible thread, just something that is a close match.  Also, make sure not to use a very heavy thread. As with thread color, once the stitches become visible, they are a distraction from the texture work.

Since you must take into consideration the color and weight of the thread, most quilters find it easier to  use a light, solid colored fabric for the quilt backing. It is possible, then, to create a beautiful whole cloth quilt of simple, solid colors when using textured quilting designs.

With that said, it is possible to create textured quilting even on your applique projects. Some quilters get into the habit of quilting around the applique motif and that’s it. You certainly can quilt around the motif, but you can also use textured quilt patterns to create the illusion of movement in the borders and in other areas of the blocks.

If you are not sure which textured pattern to use as your quilt design, you can always start with stippling. Another idea is to select a motif from the quilt to use as a quilt pattern. A simple flower in the fabric can be enlarged and transferred onto your project as a quilt design pattern.

You have a lot of choices when it comes to transferring a quilt pattern onto your projects.  Water soluble pens and pencils are choices. So is fabric chalk. Some quilters even transfer their patterns onto tear away stabilizer. They pin the stabilizer in place, then stitch right on top of the design and tear the excess away. This method may be good for small projects, but it could get rather costly if you tried it on a quilt large enough to be used for bedding.

Still need a little courage to get started? Look through quilting magazines and online galleries for more inspiration. Then, select a pattern and try it yourself on a sample patch.  Once you get the hang of transferring the pattern, you can practice sewing it by hand or machine. If using the machine, be sure to lower your feed dogs so you can be in total control of the fabric’s movement.

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