Dec 04 16


It’s been pretty quiet here on my blog because I have been indisposed for awhile.  We have a beloved family member who is dying and we have been caring for him at home with the help of our local hospice.  This means that I have not done any sewing or quilting for weeks, so that’s why you haven’t heard from me.  In the meantime, I’m going to post some photos of some free motion quilting designs that might help get you inspired to play around with your sewing machines.  This is the only way I know to “stay in touch” while we go through this family journey.
People often ask me how I choose quilting threads for a given project.  Sometimes, the most striking thread combination is a subtle one.  The photo below is a quilted pillow cover and the quilting is a white polyester thread on a 100% white cotton background:
The swirls that you see in green thread are actually not quilted. Those were free motion embroidered when this was just a top.  Once the pillow case was placed in the final quilt sandwich, I stitched around the green thread swirls with invisible thread, and this makes them a little bit protuberant, which makes them a bit more noticeable.  All the other thread work that you see along the edges of the applique shapes was also done as free motion embroidery, not as quilting.  That is why those applique shapes seems to “pop out” just a bit.  The slight 3-D effect is a bit more noticeable in this shot of the front of the pillow cover before I inserted it over the pillow:
This next shot is of a small wall hanging that also has a white background:
The quilting on this quilt is similar to the earlier one, although the quilting seems a bit more noticeable, doesn’t it?  That’s because the background white fabric is a white cotton sateen.  Cotton sateens all have a slight luster to them, so once they are quilted, they throw off more shadows.  That’s a fancy way of saying that fabrics with a luster or sheen will always make your quilting appear more dramatic.  Here’s a close up:
See what I mean?  This makes me think of royal icing and someone has taken a toothpick and drawn a fine line design.  When the goal of the quilting is solely to create a luscious texture and not to draw attention to the stitched line itself, think of matching the thread color to the background fabric or coming pretty close to a match.   Here’s some more white polyester thread on a white cotton sateen background:
and another:
One more:
 So nice to touch base with other quilters here; I feel a bit “cut-off” from my quilting life.  Hope to be in touch again soon.


  1. Sandy Says:

    I’m so sorry that you and your family member are going through this. I’ve always loved tone-on-tone (especially white on white), so your examples are really up my alley. Beautiful work, as always.

  2. Julie Hertel Says:

    I am so sorry you and your family are on this journey – but what a Blessing that you are able to be there for your ill family member. Please take care of yourself too.

  3. Robbi Imhoff Says:

    As an RN, Patsy, I know that he best we can hope for in this life transition is peace, compassion, and dignity. I know you will know just what to do each step of the way. Thanks for taking time to share your beautiful quilting with us.

  4. LuAnn Kessi Says:

    Hi Patsy, Yes….I am missing you and thinking about you and Ernie. You must be missing the comfort that only our beloved quilting can provide. I am sending you lots of love and warm hugs from Oregon.
    My Best To You,
    LuAnn Kessi