I’ve had the pleasure of quilting many quilts for Kathy over the years, like this polka dot pineapple block quilt and this extraordinary Dresden plate quilt. I’m always in awe of the way she plays with color, prints, and shapes.
This next quilt by Kathy was no exception! When she brought it into the shop I was bowled over by the bright floral prints and the fun circular applique. I have to admit, quilting this quilt required a bit of stand and stare. But I’m in love with the way it turned out. Let’s take a look at this example of custom quilting an applique quilt.
Making the applique top for custom quilting
The idea of Kathy’s quilt is pretty basic, though the rays in the middle would have been more challenging to execute. She picked several fabrics of the same white and blue color scheme. She started with a center rectangle surrounded by alternating rays of polka dot fabric. I love polka dots!
She then added a border with fussy-cut corner stones. The applique part is the variety of floral prints in all sorts of color that she cut into circles and placed on top. The style of the flowers is as varied as the colors. It is so bright and cheerful. Now how do you custom quilt this applique quilt?
Custom Quilting the Applique Quilt
I used the fabrics as my guide for a lot of the quilting. I traced each of the flowers following the outline of their petals. This shaped those flowers nicely and then brought that detail to the back of the quilt as well.
The center fabric was a wavy lattice print, so wavy crosshatching just made sense behind the flowers.
Those wavy lines then just flowed right out to the polka dot rays and the outer border of the quilt. I could have quilted straight line rays in this section using a ruler. However, those polka dots don’t all sit on the same perfect grid and I was concerned straight lines would have been distracting. The wavy lines are more free flowing and fit nicely in this easy going quilt. This was not a hard start to custom quilting an applique quilt.
The border fabric is all wavy lines with a sort of wood grain effect. I could have put more wavy lines on that as well, but then there would have been a lot of wavy lines on this quilt. There are also a lot of circles, so I found a beautiful spiraled circle border design and used that to frame the quilt. I also traced the flowers in the fabric for the cornerstones to complete the look. Custom quilting an applique quilt doesn’t have to be complicated.
So with the exception of the border design, the entire quilt was inspired by the fabric and adding a few wavy lines in the background. Simple, but effective for custom quilting this applique quilt.