Rounding Up the Challenge

Posted by on 7 September 2021 | 0 Comments
This content belongs to Arbee Designs.


It's been a very busy time in my neck of the woods and yes, we are still in Lockdown even though much of the country has dropped a couple of levels, not here in Auckland though. Even with everything going on, I have managed to (almost) finish my challenge piece!

As you know, I pieced mine together quite differently to the example that I gave you instructions for a few weeks back.... which was this.

settings vertical strips.

example setting

So this is what I ended up with for my background sections - similar but different and of course, I needed to work out all the new cutting requirements.

layout 300

my layout

I added two borders, a 1/4" border and a wider one, however forgot to take a photo at this point...

Before layering my quilt, I did need to think about what my quilting would be and if any design needed to be drawn onto the background before I went any further remembering I needed to include three styles/types of quilting. Of course, I could avoid drawing the design onto the background by simply drawing it on tissue paper and quilting through it, however, I find it easier drawing directly on the quilt. I went ahead and did this which I'll mention more about in a minute.

I layered my quilt top with batting and backing, so now I was ready to begin quilting.  I started with the most obvious - quilting in the ditch. Quilting in the ditch will also secure the layers together for further quilting. I did this around the blocks and small border.

stitching in the ditch 300

Stitching in the Ditch on both sides of the frames

I used a green thread next to the block frames and a fine bobbin thread next to the orange border.

block and border stitching in the ditch

Stitching in the Ditch

Now I come back to the quilting design.... I had decided to enlarged the leaf design on the large block and adjusted it slightly to fit the blank space at the bottom right of the piece. Prior to layering, I drew it onto the background with a quilter's pencil, then I use free-motion quilting with green embroidery thread to quilt it.

botanical paradise 300

quilted leaves

I have one more quilting design to do and I'm pretty sure it will be a fill-in stitch. I may use it just in the background of the blocks or also around the outside of them avoiding the large quilted leaves. Before I do that, I do need to practice some as I'm not 100% sure what I should do. This is a good opportunity to try different threads too. Here are a few fill-in stitches I could use.

free motion hatching 300

Free-motion hatching - this can vary in width randomly or get larger or smaller toward one side

quilted stars 300

The background fabric is dandelions so I thought that would make an attractive design

stipple 300

Stipple is another option

quilted squares 300

Quilted squares reflecting the blocks could also be an option

I never quite got to adding these to the quilt however I did write up the cutting measurements, drew the quilting design, and applique templates putting them all into one file along with the original Bird of Paradise block instructions as a pattern download. I've called my design Botanical Paradise and you can find it now listed on my website for anyone else who would like to make it as is. (use this link to access our pre-release deal - valid for a short time only)

In the meantime, I'm heading back to my machine to continue with quilting. You might head over to Jennifer's blog to see how she is coming along, but do drop me a note and let me know which fill-in quilting you'd choose!

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