I’ve said many times that quilters are some of the most generous people in the world. Giving a quilt is such an act of love. When someone wraps up in a quilt, they’re enveloped in the warmth of our love. Running a longarm machine rental studio allows me to see so many quilts made for gifts and charity. Judy and Valerie, good friends and regular longarm renters here at Quilted Joy, have been hard at work on some very special charity quilts. Let’s take a look at how they quilted all of the lovely patriotic quilts they made for local vets in hosparus care.
Judy quilted six quilts with our APQS Freddie while Valerie quilted 5 quilts on our APQS Millie. The best part? They were able to quilt all of these in an afternoon and still had time left over to quilt a few quilts for themselves (I’ll save their other quilts for another post)! They saved lots of time by putting all of these lap sized quilts on one big backing fabric.
If you’re trying to save time by loading several quilts at once it’s always simplest if you have one big backing fabric for all the quilts. We have a big selection of 108” wide quilt backing fabrics in our online shop if you struggle to find them in your area. The fewer seams there are on your backing fabric, the less likely you are to have pleats and puckers when you’re done. If you need to seam your backing fabric, try to keep your seams parallel to the bars while you’re loading it to the frame.
Judy and Valerie could have chosen a different color thread for each of their quilts. We provide Omni Thread for all of our longarm machine renters and we have every color in the rainbow! But if we constantly changed their threads, we’d also be pausing to find the right bobbin and checking tension again. These ladies were on a mission to get their quilts done!
Judy chose to quilt her patriotic quilts with a white Omni thread. Even though there are lots of contrasting colors in her quilts, you’ll notice that white thread doesn’t grab your eye too much (with one exception, but we’ll get to that). Valerie wanted to do something a little bolder and chose to quilt with a navy blue Omni thread. You’ll notice her quilting really stands out in most of her quilts; and looks fantastic too!
Quilting Patriotic Quilts
Judy and Valerie wanted to keep the quilting fairly simple and easy. They could have used one of our patriotic themed paper pantographs with lots of stars, but they opted for some free motion quilting. This was another big time saver for them! For a few of their quilts they did simple freehand meanders and added a few loops for fun. These simple quilting designs look great on any quilt!
For a few of their quilts they wanted to add a more patriotic feel to their quilting too. They added stars to their meandering lines. And notice that the lines of their stars cross like in a pentagram? Stars are super hard to draw, let alone quilt. So why not quilt them the way we draw them?
One of Judy’s quilts was square blocks arranged in a grid on point. This was an excellent opportunity to practice quilting continuous curves!
Judy went all out on this last one! She quilted “Home of the Brave” and “Land of the Free” in cursive lettering. Don’t you love how the white thread really shows off in the dark blue fabric? It’s such a clever touch, and it will mean a lot to the veteran who receives this quilt.
If you’re quilting your own patriotic quilts, consider giving a few of these quilting ideas a try! Or if you’re looking for more patriotic quilting designs, check out this article about using rulers to create beautiful patriotic themed quilting designs. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to find a free downloadable bundle with templates for all the designs!