Heart’s Delight Quilting

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Hi everyone,

Hope you are having a lovely fall!  I’ve been teaching a lot of quilting on the BERNINA Q Series quite a bit over the past couple of months and I usually bring a trunk show along with me.  One of the questions I get asked most is how I chose the different quilting motifs on Heart’s Delight, my block of the month for Carina. So I thought I’d take a minute to tell you more about the process.


I do usually start out with a general quilting plan, but I frequently change things alone the way.  So, I knew that I, in this case, I wanted to use paisleys and petals and soft shapes, but contrast them with straight quilting lines as well.  Just like the piecing really.

The first thing I decided was the thread color.  I like quilting with Aurifil 50 wt. cotton but time was of the essence (after all, it was less than a week until Market) so I opted for Aurifil monofilament in the  top and Aurifil 50 wt. in the bobbin so that I wouldn’t have to change out colors.  I have a large spool of the monofilament that I use both on my BERNINA Q24 and on my 780.  When I use it on the 780 I like to use a thread stand to let it unwind, but it works well on both machines.  I really love the Aurifil monofilament – it is soft and pliable and not shiny at all – it just sinks into the design.

I started out by stitching in the ditch around all the blocks and elements on my first pass.  I stitched in the ditch and added some of the larger fills as I worked down the quilt, but I only added the smaller fills once that process was completed.  (For more information on fills see my Free-Motion Quilting Idea Book.)  If I had been quilting on a domestic machine, I would have chosen to stitch in the ditch between all the blocks and around the appliqué motifs, etc. and then added in the fills with my free-motion foot after.

So… block by block my quilting plan evolved a like this:

I decided to quilt the central bargello heart by stitching in the ditch on every seam.  This really emphasized all of the piecing plus it contrasted nicely with the curving shapes I knew that I going to be adding elsewhere in the piece.  Another consideration was that a more wavy design would have been hard to execute cleanly in this area, because even the slightest shifting in the seams would have been noticeable.  I used my BERNINA Q Series Ruler Attachment to quilt clean, straight lines.



Moving from the center out I chose to quilt a sort of leafy vine in the green area.  I quilted a spine around the entire square and then went back and added leaves to the left side of the spine and then to the right.  I did not mark this since our eyes are very forgiving of leaf shapes in general – plus I knew it would be hard to see my mistakes on the print!  I left the dark teal frames unquilted so that they popped up a bit, and quilted wavy lines in the white areas, using my ruler foot and a ruler again to ensure uniformity. Quilting a white area will draw your eyes if you have lots of fun fabrics in other areas!  (Ask me how I know this!  Rip rip rip!)

Do you see the diamond border in the lower right hand corner of the above photograph?  I choose to bounce from corner to corner of each diamond with a petal shape and fill the interior area with pebbles.  Petal shapes are so useful. You can use them in their entirety to create a medallion or a four petal blossom, or you can use just half and bounce from corner to corner of a design.

036HeartsDelight_03I quilted around each shape in the yellow appliqué border above the bargello heart and then filled in the background small scale paisley design.  I love paisleys for the back of appliqués – they are really quick to execute and fit well in a variety of spaces.


I divided up the hearts in the left border by connecting the two top points of each heart with the bottom point of each.  I then filled in the resulting shapes with pebbles.  (If you use a fill in one area of the quilt it is nice to repeat the same motif in other areas as well.)  I don’t think that quilting designs have to follow the piecing exactly – sometimes it is more fun to use the piecing as inspiration and add another layer of design during the quilting!



You can see just a hint of the bottom central border in upper right of the above photo.  I quilted around each flower and filled in the background with simple ribbons.  For the cornerstones, like the pink one in the photo, I simply quilted around each motifs and then did a background fill.  I think I started with hearts, but I couldn’t see anything on the dark pink, so I ended up migrating to a medley of swirls, hearts, and pebbles – or whatever I felt like in the moment that would let the appliqué pop!  I figured if I couldn’t see while quilting neither could anyone else.

I quilted a medium scale paisleys in the yellow border.  What can I say?  I REALLY LIKE PAISLEYS!

On some of the above you can see a glimpse on the side border with the teal Carina medallion quilt.  For medallions I like to let the print do the work for me.  I quilted around each, and then traveled into the center and went around the circle, and then followed the petal shapes to quilt “feathers” all the way around before exiting the way I came in.  (I have some video of this down in my instagram feed that I took at the time. If interested you can check it out – my user name is AMANDAMURPHYDESIGN.)

The top and bottom inner heart borders were quilted much like the cornerstones.  I quilted around each heart shape and filled in the background.


I stabilized the top and bottom outer border, pictured above, by quilting all the way across the top of the hearts and all the way across the bottom of the hearts.  I then quilted echoed lines within the hearts, leaving a smaller heart shape.  I filled these shapes with a fishbone motif.  And I could go right across the quilt without stopping because the motifs were connected and I was using monofilament thread!  Finally, I willed in the white floral print area with swirls.  Yes, I thought about paisleys because I REALLY LIKE PAISLEYS but I threw caution to the wind and went for swirls instead.

And that is how I quilted Heart’s Delight!  If you are quilting it send me a picture – I’d love to see!

Have a lovely weekend and happy quilting!



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Big News!

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Free-Motion Quilting Idea Book (square)

Hi everyone!

I hope you are having a lovely spring.  Things have been so busy over here my head is spinning!  But in a good way – I’m pinching myself on a  daily basis.  I’m excited to share that I am a new Quilting and Long Arm Spokesperson for BERNINA.  That’s right – that means the new Q 24 has arrived!!!!  I absolutely could not be happier with how this machine sews and in the upcoming months I’ll be sharing some of my favorite features and tips for working on the machine with you right here and also over at BERNINA.  Being a spokesperson basically means that not only do I love quilting – I actually love just talking even talking about quilting (ask my family), so it is nice to have the opportunity to share tips and tips right here with you.  So, if you have any specific questions or things you’d like to see me talk about, please leave a comment or send me a note and I’ll try to blog about it in the upcoming months.  (And, as an aside, if you new to this blog and are not on my email list, please sign up to receive updates.)  And, in the meantime, if you’d like a sneak peek of the Q 24 in action head over to my Instagram account!  I’ll be posting more frequent pictures there

Here are some photos from the video shoot…

Getting set up on the BERNINA Q Series
Getting set up on the BERNINA Q Series
This is the makeup artist, Ann Marie, who made me look WAY better than I normally look every day. I’m awful at makeup so having her there made me feel truly pampered.
This is Brian MacDonald of Wonderkind Studios and his crew talking with me between shoots. They were wonderful to work with!  Cara, Connie, and Andrea from BERNINA of America and Roxane from C&T Publishing ensured everything run smoothly, from start to finish… (Cara, these ellipses are for you!)
And this is me getting down to business and quilting!
And this is me getting down to business and quilting! Quilting is easier than talking!

If you are a dealer looking for ideas on showing your customers some of the unique possibilities on the Q 24, please sign up for my classes at BERNINA University in Arizona in July.  I designed a special yet-to-be-announced teaching tool for you guys and your customers!

Tying into all this is my new book for C&T Publishing – the Free-Motion Quilting Idea Book.  It is an “encyclopedia of quilting ideas” indexed by both block type and design family and will come out this summer.  The really exciting thing about this book is that it is also an app!  That means you will actually be able to see animations of the designs and, in some cases, even see video of motifs being executed on the BERNINA Q 24!


Also, I’m excited to announce my first line of fabric with Benartex.  It is called Carina, which means “dear one” or “sweet”.  The colors are so vibrant and happy which makes it a joy with which to sew, plus it has a ton of blenders which makes it great to splice.  Thanks, Benartex!  I’m releasing 4 news patterns for Market with this line… here are some sneak peeks.  (And, yes, for those of you who emailed me, the header on my newly revamped website is a feature print from this collection.)

My new patterns
“Bouquet” quilting, my first quilt on the BERNINA Q 24!
“First Crush”

If you are going to be at Market, please visit me in booth 2310 – or I should say please visit my quilts because that is really what we all do at Market anyway – visit quilts!!!


I’m off to work on my Block-of-the-Month – “Heart’s Delight”.  I have 6 days to “finish” (ahem, actually “start”) it.  Nothing like working under pressure right?

Hope everyone has a productive and wonderful week!


One housekeeping note: In an effort to be able to share some more types of content with you (videos, etc.) I’ve migrated this blog over to WordPress.  Any bookmarks to specific pages you might have on this site might be lost – so sorry!  But all the content is still here in the archives.  If you are looking for anything specific you can’t find, feel free to contact me.

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