Collage Quilting

I love to create textile collage, like this little ladybug, which can be used as a block in a quilt, a pillow or other projects!  If the block is something that will be used and washed (rather than simply hung on the wall), it’s important that the design is densely quilted so that all the little pieces are tacked down to the background.  I prefer about 1/4″ between stitch lines, and no more than 1/2″ between stitch lines.  I have developed my own method of quilting collage, which is simple and doesn’t require much expertise.  I call it “doodle-stitching”, and it’s so forgiving that even novice quilters can do it using a free-motion foot on a domestic machine or on a longarm machine like my  BERNINA Q 16!

Quilting through a collaged design requires the use of 40# polyester thread (commonly used for machine embroidery), to prevent thread breakage.  I prefer to use thread that matches the color of the project, so I change my thread throughout the process of quilting.  I also recommend using a non-stick needle, which is less likely to get gummed up as it goes through the adhesive required for the pieces of fabric to stick to each other.   I use a standard free-motion foot for the doodle-stitching and the meander stitching in the background.  For the border of the block, I use a #72 Ruler Foot, along with the straight BERNINA ruler.

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