My Design Process:  Mexican Stars Quilt

Identifying Shapes

To begin the quilting design process, I take a photo of the finished quilt top and open it in Art and Stitch using the Backdrop Tool so that I can draw over it.

Here I’m identifying the quilt top’s natural curves, seeking a way to accentuate the piecing; quilting designs should never compete with the piecing!

Choosing Motifs

When creating my own designs for a quilt, I look for inspiration in the piecing and fabric.  This quilt uses mostly solid fabrics, with the exception of the border.

Using the Art and Stitch Backdrop Tool again, I open a photo of the quilt’s border fabric and create a few small motifs.

Let’s see how they’ll fit into the curved spaces on the quilt…

Playing Around With Parts

Using the motifs I developed with the border fabric as inspiration, I move them together, rotate, resize, and multiply them until I have some potentially workable designs.

If I go with this, my piecing had better be precise or I may be challenged trying to fit the points into all of the right places!

Doodling With Art and Stitch

Before there is design sense there is chaos; there are odds and ends all over this page!

I absolutely love the process of “doodling” with Art and Stitch!  It’s so easy to revise when I don’t need to erase or redraw.

I can select a motif, apply one of the Magic Tools and get instant results that would take hours using only a pen and paper.  It won’t be long now!

Almost Ready To Start Quilting

These are the finished designs for the quilt’s interior; all that’s left is to combine the pieces into continuous line stitching designs.

Once I decide on the border design and thread color I’ll be ready to start quilting! 

Thread Choice

Hmmm…decisions, decisions.

I need a low profile thread for topstitching the bias folds so it won’t be seen and chose MicroQuilter from  Superior Threads. 

For the quilting, I’m planning to use a trilobal polyester thread for shine, and have a few golds and tans in the running.  I’ll stitch a test block and see how it looks.

And, it’s finally Quilting Day!

I quilted a couple of the smaller blocks and was not fond of the thread choice I’d made.  None of those I’d auditioned showed equally on every fabric, so I “unsewed” those and gave it some more thought.

Fortunately, I was able to pick up the perfect cone of Magnifico from Superior Threads at Road to California, and absolutely love the way the thread stands out on every fabric color!  

So as not to compete with the pattern in the border fabric, I chose concentric, evenly-spaced lines from the ditches out to the edge of the quilt top.

#handiquilter #prostitcherpremium #superiorthreads

Corner Block Area

I thought you might enjoy seeing how I used the  Pro-Stitcher Area Tool to position the designs for the four corner blocks, each of which is comprised of four separate motifs.  Skew could not be used here!

Pro-Stitcher Premium Tablet screen.

Instead, I set an unusual Multi-Point Area to illustrate both the block’s ditches and the blue triangle shapes on the Pro-Stitcher screen, then I selected each piece individually, and positioned them accurately using the Align, Rotate, and Resize Tools.