How do you quilt Log Cabin Quilts?

Electric Quilt 7 is the third version of EQ I have played with. I have created lots of lovely colourful virtual quilts over five years which I have been sharing here for almost two years.

As a hand quilter I tend to make up my quilting designs as I go. I follow the lines of both piecing and applique on the quilt top, fill in with grids or spider webs or whatever takes my fancy on the day. When I get to a large space where the filler would just be boring I often use an applique design as a quilting design.

In all that time I have dabbled with the quilting layer of EQ just occasionally.

Time to start changing that!

The EQ7 quilt layer is easier to use than the previous two versions, so I think it is about time I spent some time finding out just how good it is.

On Saturday I spent six hours at the computer, virtually quilting.

Hardly moved, and got a very numb bum, my legs almost forgot how to walk, my eyes were starting to glaze over and I was hungry and thirsty by the time I stopped.

Didn’t have a lot to show for it, but had one virtual quilt virtually quilted!

I hope I remember everything I learned!

It took half an hour to tidy up the quilting design, do a couple of variations, clear all the garbage out of the project file and export some pictures to share.

Here is the quilt I started with.

So, how do I virtually quilt a Log Cabin quilt?

I rarely put quilting lines on designs for my own quilts, as I make it up as I go along, and just print out any design which isn’t dictated by piecing or applique lines or are difficult to mark on the quilt.

Basically I would use straight lines following the pieces on the dark areas of a log cabin, where whatever quilting isn’t going to show clearly, and do something more curvaceous on the light areas …. feathers, vines, leaves and flowers …. usually something from my applique block library. I can print them out to the exact size I need them, trace them onto tracing paper or grease-proof paper, and stitch through the paper.

Hint – if the paper doesn’t want to tear away nicely lay a damp cloth on it for about a minute and it will come away much more easily.

Because I hand quilt I don’t look for designs with continuous lines which make life much easier for a machine quilter. I use about 18 inch long threads, so look for 15 inch lines as well as slipping the thread through the wadding between shorter lines to save starting and ending threads.

Hint – there are a lot of repeats of the floral patterns here. Instead of tracing each one individually just trace one,  layer up to eight pieces of paper and hold together with a few staples, then stitch the design on the machine without thread. This helps the paper to come away more easily too.

Any spaces which need to be quilted a little more I would fill in with pebbles and meandering … or with cross hatching.

If the quilting shows on the back of the quilt you would be able to see the dark part of the Log Cabin blocks with the swirling lines in the light spaces.

Like this!

For a closer look click on the picture …. you can do that with any picture on this blog.

Here is a slight variation of the quilt top ….

… and I guess I will have to show off the back too!

Not a lot of difference, but I wanted to show you just because I could!

I think I could get addicted to virtual quilting, just like the real sort!

I will bring you more quilting designs from time to time …. perhaps we can have a virtual quilt in once a month.

About Virtual Quilter

I am a quilter who designs many more quilts than I will ever make, and I am sharing one quilt design every day in Virtual Quilter. I also share my completed projects in Stuff-Ups, and Christmas decorations in Christmas Everyday of the Year.
This entry was posted in Log Cabin Quilter's Mid Week Retreat, Log Cabin Quilts, Mid Week Retreat, Quilting the Quilt, Where to Quilt and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to How do you quilt Log Cabin Quilts?

  1. Vicki W says:

    OK, I have got to start playing with that feature!


  2. Donna says:

    Outstanding work! Absolutely beautiful….


  3. Darlene says:

    Judy, This post stopped me in my tracks. I love the quilting you’ve done on your sample. I wish I could come up with such good ideas. They make a simple quilt elegant. I have EQ7, but as of yet, have never done any of the layers except color and designing my blocks and borders– one day!! Thanks for the inspirations. Dar


    • Darlene,

      Thank you!

      The custom and quilting/embroidery layers are a lot of fun ….. but have to admit to needing plenty of playtime to learn how to use them. However, the results are worth it!

      Judy B


  4. gina says:

    Love the quilting designs. I play with the stencils on EQ to get a rough idea of what I want to quilt, but I’ve never bothered printing them out as I prefer to go freehand. I also print out a picture of the completed quilt and pencil doodle over the top of it to get a rough idea.

    Love and hugs Gina xxx


    • Gina,

      Sounds like we work much the same … I only print out something if I want it to be precise, especially if it is repeated. I have worked on a print out of the quilt, but more often I just draw on the quilt itself with my finger.

      The only time I designed everything before hand in EQ I published the pattern before I did the quilting …. and changed it as I went along! I am never good at following instructions!

      Judy B

      PS One of the things I repeat quite often in a class is ‘Do as I say, not as I do …. at least until you know what rules you are breaking!”


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