One Quilt Three Ways

Batik QuiltThree of my customers recently purchased kits to make the same quilt.  They used the same fabrics with the exception that borders were a little different in size or quantity.  How could I make them all beautiful but different?

Machine Quilted Star with Feather FillerThe hardest part of quilting for me can be deciding what to put on a quilt.  Once I begin, things seem to fall into place and the process is enjoyable.  I’m also a creature of habit.  If I do one quilt that I love, it’s hard to “forget” what I did when I begin the next one.

IMG_2200 IMG_2204Here’s the back of the star.

Longarm filler quiltingThe first quilt of the trio was Lucy’s.  Her instructions were simple: “Please put the date and my last name in the quilting somewhere, and I love what you did with Dianne’s star.”  Easy enough.  I wanted to do some meandering fillers in the white background fabric and easily could work her request of adding her name and the year in there.  As for Dianne’s star, that would work well also.  You can read about and see Dianne’s Labyrinth quilt with the star center here.

There were many elements in these quilts.  I took each and did something a little different on each of the three quilts without losing the design of each section.

Example of plain square densely quilted

And the back side:

Pebbling around free motion flower


Quilt number two was Peg’s.  Unsure of where her quilt would live, she left the complete quilting process up to me.  I really wanted to play on this quilt.  More importantly, I didn’t want to copy what I had done on Lucy’s quilt.

Border detail of batik quiltI combined three small borders and quilted them as one.  I made a pattern to mimic the stars in other parts of the quilt and then used swirly loops to fill.Border Ideas for Longarm Quilting

The center diamond design was quilted simply so it would pop.  If quilted densely, it would not have visually stood out.

Center of Batik Quilt

The finale quilt was Patti’s.  Her original thought was that her quilt would find a home in Florida.  The colors are “Florida colors”.  We talked about palm trees and leaves.  That could work.  Patti’s suggestion was to downplay the white in her quilt.  She felt it was too overwhelming.  Hmmmmm.  Lots of times if there’s a dominant color, like the white in this quilt, I would quilt using white thread as to avoid the I-scribbled-with-bold-thread-on-your-quilt look.Freemotion filler for longarm quilting

In the end, Patti’s quilt was not moving to Florida.  I showed her a picture of Peg’s quilt and she said “Go for it.”  So I did.  I used a muted gold thread to play down the white and quilted swirls and leaves and feathers and whatever else came to mind.  Patti’s borders are diamonds to mimic all the angles in the center of the quilt.

Diamond Borders

Here are other pictures of various portions of the three quilts.

Machine Quilted Star with Feather Filler

Melon quilting for squares

Playing on these quilts was time well-spent and I am pleased with the results.

Longarm free motion quilting




  1. Emily these are beautiful!! Keep at it and keep smiling!

  2. Dianne Harson says:

    Hi Emily, This is a great post and having been the recipient of your talents on my labyrinth and then seeing what you did with Lucy’s (haven’t seen Peg’s or Patti’s yet) your stock has gone up a hundredfold in my eyes, if that is even possible.?. You are a master! So glad you are there, my friend! Dianne

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