In an attempt to compress the background around appliqué or quilted motifs, quilters are continually looking for other creative choices besides good old tried-and-true stippling or loops and circles.
I have numerous books in my library dedicated to background fills. My favorites include:
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Then there are the online tutorials. Both of these talented women work on a domestic machine and are inspirational:
Over the years I have found the trick to executing many of these fills is practicing on a whiteboard or even just a pad of paper and a good pen. Keep drawing the fill until you feel comfortable with it. Sometimes it may take many sheets of paper to reach that "comfort level". Occasional, I never got there -- my brain just couldn't recreate the shape. My advice based on painful experience ... DO NOT START QUILTING UNTIL YOU HAVE REACHED THAT COMFORT LEVEL.
Background Fills with a Computerized Machine
I love my APQS Millennium with Intelliquilter. The computer helps a lot with execution of precise designs. It works particularly well for pantographs, borders, block designs and motifs. However it can be a challenge when it comes to fillers around applique or embroidery. However it can be done!
This week I decided to design my own creative fill using Art and Stitch. This particular fill was for a Halloween themed quilt made by Pat C. I used Art and Stitch software to draw the fill.
I want to do a special shout out and thank you to Carol Best for her advice on how to apply a Creative Fill with two separate applique shapes in a block. Her steps are included in my video.
Almost Finished Halloween Quilt
Check out the finished project (minus a few embellishments to be added by Pat. I used the "Man in the Moon" filler around the Hat and Spider. For other fillers, I did some freehand work. This was my first freehand work since the broken wrist -- and I must admit that I was feeling very grateful that I have the computer to assist with most of my quilting.
No computerized system -- the Man in the Moon design can also be done freehand.Check out this 50 second video that shows how to stitch out a freehand filler of the design. There is no audio on this one. Try the design on paper and let me know how it goes.
True confession -- after finalizing the video above and finishing the stitch out of the design from the video, I wished I had taken a little more time to actually connect up the motifs. The following video also provides you a suggestion on drafting and placement of a continuous line creative Man in the Moon fill.
Featured Pattern - Ferris Wheel
I happened on a carnival last weekend. As usual, my eyes were drawn to the Ferris wheel and I was tempted (just a little) to try it out. Perhaps you will think of this pattern the next time the carnival is in your town.
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Electric Quilt Expert, Certified Art and Stitch Instructor and Pattern Designer.
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