Help Needed: How to Quilt the Starry Night Improvisational Cot Quilt

It’s all put together. Not my best work, but I still quite like it and quilting will fix the minor imperfections. Right?

Batik Friendship Stars in a Small Quilt

What now?

I am still eying the sparkly blue thread I bought with great anticipation because I think it’s going to look terrific against the other colours in the quilt. But I have no idea how to actually quilt it. I’m inclined not to do anything special on the borders due to those minor imperfections I mentioned earlier, in particular a small amount of waviness, so I expect to go edge to edge. I won’t be using free motion quilting either, because I don’t know how to do that and I don’t have the time or inclination to learn just at the moment.

Any suggestions? The top measures 29 by 29 inches by the way.

Update: Thanks to everyone who made suggestions. I enjoyed reading your comments. Here’s how the quilt ended up.


17 responses to “Help Needed: How to Quilt the Starry Night Improvisational Cot Quilt

  1. I really like this quilt top, the name is perfect – I’m assuming that it was inspired by Van Gogh? I also think that the thread sounds lovely. I must admit, I quilt by hand and my usual technique is to quilt around the shapes in my blocks a quarter of an inch from the seams … I know it’s not a very original idea, but I though I would share it with you in case you wanted to do something simple. I’ll be interested in hearing (and seeing) what you choose to do.

    • Thanks for the excellent suggestion. I had originally thought about echo quilting by machine around each star as you suggested and thought that would look good, but all that starting and stopping is a pain and it still leaves the border quilting as a separate design problem.

      I try not to hand quilt because it’s so slow and needs good light and I want to finish. I admire hand quilters greatly for having the patience and dedication that I lack.

  2. At 29 by 29 I’d hand quilt it, outlining the stars inside and out, and then maybe outlining the blocks, and then the border. But then I hand quilt everything, so take my suggestion with a large grain of salt! It really might not take you that long to do. And I have a puckery top I’m working on that’s coming out well with hand quilting.

  3. I tend to agree with Kim. I believe an all over quilting pattern would distract from the stars. The sparkly blue thread would be great for the quilting.

    • Oh dear, it’s beginning to look like I’m outvoted, and by experts, too. Will I take all of your excellent input or will I forge my own path? I’m going to keep pondering while I get the backing ready. Thanks so much for commenting. It really helps to hear what others have to say.

  4. Something a bit special would help draw in the waves in the borders.

  5. Thanks for your comment on my blog – I guess my brother and I are just too darn sensible!
    Love the blue intensity of your quilt – I would all over meander it to make it shine as one wonderful fabric, and the thread you describe could then sing a song of its own in harmony rather than as a backing group! Doing something different in the border would frame it beautifully – I adore negative space quilting so I would probably tight meander around echoed-but-smaller star shapes!
    That’s my fourpennyworth!!

    • Oh good – a vote for something other than hand quilting, just to add interest. Meandering is a free motion technique isn’t it? I don’t know how to do free motion quilting and I don’t expect to learn how anytime soon as I have too many other projects to occupy my time.

      I’ve also been thinking along the lines of ‘something different in the border.’

      I appreciate you sharing your ideas. Thank you.

  6. Another hand quilting vote here! A couple of evenings in front of the television and you’ll be done! Hand quilting really does move quickly! The sparkly thread might be more frustration than hand quilting worthy, though…

    • Thanks so much for adding your vote. I’m loving all the input – it has really got me thinking. I think I need to use the sparkly thread to unify the overall design. Besides it’s so pretty.

  7. Just to throw a proverbial cat among the pigeons… I am by no means an expert quilter but found a loose all over stipple was really a lot easier than I expected. I just practiced on a cushion sized square first so that I could get the rhythm right. I think it could look lovely with the sparkly thread. Good luck with whatever you decide!

    • Cats among the pigeons are more than welcome. I did some reading this morning in a book called Guide to Machine Quilting by Diane Gaudynski and I convinced myself that I can’t learn to stipple quickly. If you say it was easier than expected, I’ll have to give it a try some time soon.

  8. I haven’t ever tried machine quilting. Most of my hand quilting has been tracing the design, so I’m not the expert. I don’t see how you could go wrong either way, and I vote for the sparkly thread. That sounds awesome. I didn’t notice the defects in the quilt, but remember the humble square idea. All quilts need them! :)

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