Quilting a Labyrinth

Labyrinth QuiltI love labyrinths!  A meandering path in the woods leading to a center.  Strolling in contemplation.  But how do you quilt a labyrinth?  How indeed?

Dianne presented me with a king size labyrinth top at a breakfast recently.  Over oatmeal we discussed ideas for quilting her top.  She and her husband live in the woods and enjoy birds and small creatures that scurry.  Dianne and I have a kinship involving kale.  Yup, kale.  It’s nutritious and versatile.  Give it a go if you haven’t already!

Ok, back to quilt designs.  We also discussed thread colors.  So squirrels, birds, leaves, and a path.  Ideas were starting to flow.

Meandering Feather FillerDianne’s quilt has stark contrasts in colors to make the labyrinth “pop”.  Her background needed to stay a background.  To accomplish this, I used a thread to match the light peach color.  My plan was to have each element of this quilt have meaning.  I chose a meandering feather to fill in the background.  Meandering to represent how we all wander – or should wander – in the woods.

Large outside borderMeasuring borders for quiltingThis quilt had a large outside border and two inner borders totaling 19 inches.  When discussing her top, Dianne reminded me of a freehand pinecone border I had done on quilts for mutual friends.  It seemed fitting that her outside border would be pinecones to represent living in Maine.  I added in a few birds and a squirrel or two as well.  The two inner borders were freehand leaves to represent how varied the forests are in Maine.  And then we got to the labyrinth….Freemotion pinecone border

In sticking with my idea of wandering through a labyrinth, I used wavy quilting lines to represent the path.  The areas surrounding the path were quilted with squirrels, birds, fawns, and various other creatures and foliage found in the Maine woods.Hand-guided freemotion quilting

Now for that very center where contemplation is deepest in a labyrinth….

Center star of labyrinth quiltMy thoughts as I quilted the center were that there are directions we all go.  Sometimes we start on a path and change direction.  Other times we go boldly forward and do not veer from the direction.  I quilted the center star with straight lines in part of the center star and then curls in other parts surrounded by pebbling.Quilting a star

Here’s the quilt back:Hand guided longarm quiltingAnd the back of the star:Filler quilting with Gammill Classic

I told Dianne there were little surprises quilted in her quilt to represent our friendship.  It will be a scavenger hunt for her and her husband to find them.  If I’ve done my job correctly, she’ll recognize them for what they are.

Longarm Dense Quilting LabyrinthMeandering Feather Filler


  1. Dianne Harson says:

    Needless to say, I am even more eager to see this up close and personal. You are a wizard, my dear…or is that a wizardess? It was exciting to follow your thinking about the various sections. There was a labyrinth outside the place where I studied yoga back in New York. You brought back a lot of memories of that special place and the experience and impact of walking the labyrinth. Many, many thanks! Dianne

  2. Lucy Stroble says:

    Emily, you are a poet with words and with thread! Lucy

  3. Great post!


  1. […] a recent post I wrote about longarm quilting a Labyrinth for my friend Dianne.  She was kind enough to share her thoughts about her quilt making process.  […]

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