Chantelle Brightbill used a lovely free-motion quilting pattern to enhance her 37” x 52” Broken Chain quilt.
Here’s what Chantelle had to say about her quilt:
“I hesitate to make designs with a lot of triangles or ones with many blocks repeated, but I love using traditional designs, so I decided to use the Yankee Puzzle block in a way that was less stressful, by just piecing it into a chain. I decided that having the chain ‘broken’ made for a more interesting composition. For the solid color I originally intended to use white, but it felt too bland when I laid it out, so I hand dyed it grey. I specifically didn’t want to use the exact same tone as the grey prints, so I added a bit of yellow to the dye and gave it a greenish undertone. I think that small contrast adds a lot to the limited color palette.
I began free motion quilting because I am not very good at stitch in the ditch (I always wobble out of it), and I don’t have the patience to lay out a formal design. I was basically just doing stipple for a long time, but I started noticing more creative types of free motion in magazines and blogs, so I started experimenting. Now quilting is my favorite part of the entire process, in fact for a long time I only made whole cloth quilts. I don’t enjoy lots of complicated and exacting piecing, I just want to create a foundation to quilt on. I do all my quilting on my own machine, which has a few extra inches under the arm. That makes a big difference in what it can handle. I can quilt King size quilts on it.
I usually do not decide what kind of quilting pattern I am going to do until the quilt top is finished. Basting gives me a chance to spend some time with the design, and by the time I have finished pinning the top has told me how it wants to be quilted.
I think the best way to approach free motion quilting is without expectations. You need to just relax and concentrate on even stitch length. If you have that pretty much any design will look good. I like to play with smaller pieces, and if I like the way the pattern turns out I will use it on something larger.”
Chantelle taught herself to sew when she was 16. Growing up in a cotton farming area of rural Australia has given her a strong commitment to using organic cotton fabrics. She is a member of the Orange County, California, Modern Quilt Guild.