Last week I had the pleasure of custom quilting a gorgeous barn panel quilt. I know, you’re probably saying didn’t you already do that? (Read about the first one here.) Yes I did, but this is a different panel, different colors and layout, and quilted in a totally different way.

Barn Quilt Custom Quilting

Each quilt I work on teaches me something new. For this quilt, the designs I used were all angular lines and 100% ruler work. I’m comfortable quilting with rulers so that isn’t new to me. What was different about this quilt is all the marking I did.

I was recently gifted an AQS  DVD “Progressive Detail Quilting with Judi Madsen”. (Thank you my sweet friend!) I’ve admired Judi’s work for a long time and can only hope to be a fraction as good as she is someday. In the DVD, Judi walks us through marking the same quilt in three different ways, each one with more quilting detail. Even though I have marked quilt tops before, seeing how Judi does it made something inside me click. She uses lots of registration lines and plans her quilting path before starting to stitch.

I loaded the quilt, basted it, and then stared at it waiting for inspiration to hit. Do you ever do that? I do it a lot! So while I was waiting I started poking around Pinterest to see if I could find a design for the border.

What I found was a design by Melissa Marginet from her book Walking Foot Quilting Designs. The link leads to the website for the book, and shows how to quilt the ‘Knot’ design. I thought it would be perfect for the barn quilt, so I marked the border with registration marks in preparation for stitching.

Marking Your Quilt

Registration marks for stitching the knot border design


Finished Border Design

Finished Border Design

I love it! It is a fun design to stitch and I love the way it looks on this quilt.

After choosing the design for the border, I moved on to the four patch blocks. At first I thought I might do a curvy design, but it just didn’t feel right. I remembered the Craftsy class I purchased a couple weeks ago by Angela Walters, ‘Dot to Dot: Quilting with Piecing as your Guide’. Angela’s dot to dot technique would be perfect for these four patches, and it would be my first time using it in a ‘real’ quilt.

Dot to Dot Quilting Technique

Dot to Dot Quilting Technique

For this design I marked five dots in each square. Angela says you can mark the dots or not, but I chose to make the marks just to keep me on track with the design. You can see my diamonds are not perfect, but according is Angela – finished is better than perfect, and that’s something I totally agree with!

The last major decision I had to make was how to quilt the barn blocks. They are so colorful and I was having difficulty choosing a thread color. I needed something that would blend and wouldn’t be too dark on the lighter sections of the blocks.

I thought Mono-Poly (often called invisible thread) would work, but it blended SO well I couldn’t see the lines that were already stitched. So I decided to try MicroQuilter, a 100# thread from Superior that is often used for, you guessed it!, micro quilting. 🙂  This thread is so fine, it blends beautifully, and all you really see is the texture. I will definitely use this thread again.

I stitched a simple cross hatch design. The only marking I had to do was two lines on the diagonal. Tomorrow I will post the stitching path I used in order to stitch the entire block without cutting the thread.

Cross Hatch Quilting

My customer told me to quilt this top any way I wanted with a couple of guidelines: 1) Don’t quilt too densely – she wants it to be a snuggly quilt, and 2) no shiny thread. I stayed within those parameters, and I’m very happy with the finished quilt. This project was a fun one to work on, and I appreciate the opportunity. I pushed myself, tried some new designs and new thread, and love the way it all worked out.

Barn Quilt Texture

The back shows off the texture beautifully:

Quilting Texture

Have you stitched any ‘new to you’ quilting designs lately? I’d love to hear about your favorites as I’m always looking for something new to try. Ruler work takes extra time, but it is something I love to do.

Quilting this barn quilt is my crush for this weeks Main Crush Monday. Now it’s time for you to share yours. What has you excited to be in your sewing space? You can link any blog post, Instagram, or Flickr pic – here’s how:

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