Sarah’s Bella Bella Custom Quilt

Sarah brought me this Bella Bella quilt and when she got it out of her bag I about fell over. 
Isn’t it beautiful? It is also VERY intimidating. We decided to use a double layer of batting to give the quilting a faux trapunto look. The bottom layer of batt is Hobbs 80/20 and the top layer is Hobbs Wool.  
I used Superior Threads Rainbows variegated and Glide variegated for the top thread. The bottom thread is Sew Fine in all but the celtic circle pattern. For that I used white Magna Bobbins. I know a lot of people love those bobbins but I’m not convinced yet. I think I need to work with them more to get a definite opinion. As of right now I prefer the Bottom Line pre-wound bobbins by Superior better. It shows there is less yardage on the Superior bobbin but I felt like I am changing out bobbins more often with the Magna Bobbins. Of course, this quilt did require a TON of thread. Miles, and miles, and miles of it. 
I did straight line stitching in the center petals to give dimensionality to the shadow play the fabric choices give to the design. Those straight lines pull the eye from the center out to the borders nicely. 
I needed a design that would fill in the area around the corner designs and feathers were a logical choice. 
The corner itself has a feather design and undulating curves to again add dimension to the piecing. 
The celtic design encircling the center was done using my Intelliquilter using the Path Pattern feature. I traced the center circle with my needle which brought the shape into IQ. Then I broke out just the edge that nestles up against the center and used that as my path. IQ sized and skewed the celtic pattern to make a nice perfect circle motif. This would have been so very, very difficult without the IQ. That is the only portion of this quilt I did with the IQ but it was a perfect use for that tool!
The outside border threw me at first. Sarah still has to cut and shape the outside edge so I wasn’t exactly sure where the true outer boundary of the quilt laid. I knew I would need a quilting pattern that could be cut off at any point and not look weird. Plus, each of those spokes is a different width and tilts at a different angle. 
The ribbon candy was the best possible choice. I put an outline stitch outside the ditch on each spoke and then added the ribbon candy. Plus, the wool lifts up into the area between the spokes and looks really dramatic!

I highlighted the center spokes with freehand curls and added the same pebbling in the background of the center star that is used in the main body of the quilt. Here you can see a closeup showing the size of those tiny pebbles. I added in some swirls to the pebbles that I really love combined with straight pebbles. I think it adds needed interest to that filler pattern. Take a look at the bobbin in the photo  to get a sense of how tiny the filler really is!

3 Responses

  1. What an absolutely beautiful quilt–and beautifully quilted. Thanks for sharing your thought processes for the quilting design, especially about caring for the outer edge.

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Angela Huffman- Triplet Momma. Quilter. Teacher. Thread Bimbo

I’m Angela- Co-host of the Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting PBS show. APQS Long arm Dealer and Educator. Triplet Momma.Designer. Thread Bimbo.

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