Supernova Quilt-Along: Quilting and Finishing


Today’s the day: Time to finish your quilt!

Unfortunately, we’ve now reached the part of the quilt-along in which I feel least qualified to be giving out advice. Because the actual quilting? Is so not my specialty. I just don’t like it all that much. The more quilting I do, the more tolerable it gets, but I’m still not at the point where I’m like, “Oh, yay, I get to spend an afternoon wrestling this quilt into the machine to be stitched!” Also, I have yet to master free-motion quilting. I’m all about the straight lines, but that’s more out of necessity than preference!

However. It’s my quilt-along, so I guess I have to say something here, right? Just be advised that at this point in the QAL, it’s entirely possible I have no idea what I’m talking about, and proceed with caution. : )

I’ve had a hard time deciding how to quilt this, and I still am not 100% decided. After all, a carefully-chosen quilting style could take this design in a whole different direction. That’s especially true of straight-line quilting. So I pulled out my computer and doctored up a photo of my quilt top in order to test-drive a few patterns. Let’s take a look at some options, shall we?

Basic echo quilting. Personally, I don’t care for stitch-in-the-ditch. I don’t particularly like how it looks, and I find it very difficult to do well. It requires way too much concentration for me, and the needle always wants to pop out of the ditch somewhere. But echo quilting (quilting 1/4″ or more away from the seams) is a perfect alternative to stitch-in-the-ditch. And while this style of quilting is quite basic, I really love it. It adds to the twinkly, starry feeling of the Supernova design.

Diagonal lines straight across. This is a very modern look, with much tighter quilting. But it still lets the design of the piecing shine through. If you want to avoid stich-in-the-ditch on this design, you’ll need to do some advance planning to figure out exactly where to put your lines, and how far apart to quilt them.

Diagonal lines converging. I love the quilting on this pillow by KarrieLyne of Freckled Whimsy. That pillow was my inspiration here. I think this style of quilting works very well with the Supernova piecing, and I’m strongly leaning toward this one for my own quilt.

Echo quilting plus. This design basically attempts to fill in all the negative space with quilting. This strikes me as the “glutton for punishment” option, because turning the quilt that many times would probably drive me to drink (more than I already do). But I do like how this looks, so I thought I’d throw it out there, in case somebody is ambitious enough to take it on.

Hooty Supernova - finished!

Of course, there’s always free-motion. You can’t go wrong with a good stipple! Elizabeth and Katie have already finished off their Supernovas that way. Elizabeth had a great post the other day outlining her tips for free-motion stippling, so check it out if you’re new to FMQ.

Black Hole (a Supernova variation)

And finally, check this one out! This is by Marlene of KISSed Quilts. Incredible! It does such fascinating things to the Supernova design! This quilting is obviously way beyond my abilities, but if you’ve got mad skills like Marlene, go for it!

So without further ado, this is where you can link up your finished quilts. I can’t wait to see every single one of them! You can link up a blog post or a Flickr photo of your completed quilt. Everyone who links up a completed quilt by noon Central time on May 12 will be entered into my drawing for a FQ bundle of Castle Peeps. (A completed quilt, in my book, means one that is ready to use—so it must be quilted and bound.) However, I will leave the linky open permanently, even after May 12, so you can link up a completed quilt any time, even if it’s months (years?) from now. I hope people will continue to participate in the quilt-along even after it is technically done!

I can’t wait to see how you all choose to quilt your Supernovas. And I want to thank all of you for quilting along with me! This has been not only enjoyable for me, but it’s such a rush seeing my design completed in so many different and interesting ways. In a quilt-along, everybody seems to bring something different to the table, and that’s just so much fun. I feel like I know a little more about each of you, thanks to your Supernovas. How wonderful.

Edited to add: Looking for an alternative way to baste your quilt? Becky’s got a great save-your-knees approach to basting—check it out!

24 replies
  1. Elizabeth D.
    Elizabeth D. says:

    Mocking up your quilts before you make them – awesome idea…but mocking up how to quilt a quilt is even MORE awesome! Wow! You showed some super great options, I love the different ideas you featured here. And thanks for showing off my Supernova, it's a super awesome snuggly quilt!! I think the converging diagonal lines look super awesome and so does the simple echo quilting. I can't wait to see what you pick!

  2. Sarah @ FairyFace Designs
    Sarah @ FairyFace Designs says:

    I'm so sorry I couldn't do this QAL, all the finished quilts look great! I'm determined I will do it at some point and have been following the posts 🙂 it's really interesting seeing all the quilting options, they make such a difference!

  3. LynCC
    LynCC says:

    Whoa – I really like the Echo quilting Plus. It must have taking a long time to work those photos up!! Like, Sarah, I couldn't do this one right now, but I've got this page bookmarked for when I can. 😀

  4. Marjorie's Busy Corner
    Marjorie's Busy Corner says:

    great idea Lee….they all look super for this quilt..I do like the echoing…and you sound like me with machine quilting….too funny….but your work is fantastic; give yourself the credit you deserve there girl….

  5. Rachel Hauser
    Rachel Hauser says:

    You did such a great job showing quilting options. I'm very inspired and I didn't even make this quilt! Did you find an easy way of generating those lines? I have basic photoshop skills, and I've generally had to make lines one at a time…

  6. Dolores
    Dolores says:

    Mocking up your quilting is an awesome idea! How on earth did you do it though? My faves are the Basic Echo & Converged Diagonals. Sorry, didn't have the capacity to do the QAL right now but have enjoyed 'watching' the process.

  7. Lee Heinrich
    Lee Heinrich says:

    You make me laugh, Lee. I love your quilt mock-ups, you smart thing you!

    I have LOVED every part of this quilt-along, and I can't wait to see all of the finished quilts linked up here!

  8. kendascrafts
    kendascrafts says:

    I think the diagonal lines converging looks the best for that quilt. Can't wait to see it finished! And I never knew that the 1/4" from the ditch was called echo quilting. That makes sense. Thanks for the lesson!

  9. **nicke...
    **nicke... says:

    So, I haven't started mine yet still! I think I can start and finish before May 12th! I think I can I think I can I think I can!

    My favorite is the echo quilting! It is beautiful!

  10. Bree
    Bree says:

    Great idea to "test" out your quilting first! Personally, I like the first one the best. I like how it outlines you background & really accents the grey without being over-powering. Any of them will look good though!

  11. Susanne
    Susanne says:

    Thanks for all of the quilting suggestions!! I'm basting tonight, so I've been thinking about quilting all day.

    I really LOVE the echo quilting plus….but, yea..I don't know if I'm that ambitious.

  12. Julia
    Julia says:

    I'm so impressed with the quilting possibilities but can't get over that you can even set up possibilities! How did you do this??? I'd love to see a tutorial on that. Oh, and I came late to the party so my picture will have to go late….but it will go up.

  13. Minna
    Minna says:

    I signed up for the Supernova Quilt Along as soon as the information was posted but after my first day of starting we had a family emergency and I never got any further. I have copies all of the instructions so I will finish it but now along with the group which is what I was looking forward to. This was such a wonderful idea and everyone's quilts came out so different yet so beautiful. Do you think you might do this again with another pattern? Sorry to have missed the experience.

  14. Dawnmarie
    Dawnmarie says:

    I really like how the diagonal lines converging looks. Of course the echo plus was gorgeous too – It really accented the design of the quilt.

    Thanks for showing the different ideas – even though I didn't do this QAL, I learned so much from this post. I've only done my own quilting a few times so far. I'm excited to try it again now. Appreciate it so much!

  15. Scrap,Quilt, Preach
    Scrap,Quilt, Preach says:

    Thanks for the QA. I really enjoyed myself. I won't be getting the piece quilted before your deadline but I will be sure to post the final project once its back from the long arm quilter. Thanks again!

  16. stitchsister
    stitchsister says:

    Can I just say how impressed I am with your photo editing skills? I didn't zoom in, so from the regular screen view it looks like you really quilted those designs. And the Supernova is a really cool design – well done.
    Anyway, thanks for stopping by my blog and it was great to meet you yesterday. I hope you can make it next time we get together.

  17. Marlene @ KISSed Quilts . com
    Marlene @ KISSed Quilts . com says:

    Great ideas for mocking up the quilting. I tend to print a photo of the quilt top and start drawing on it before I get going with my quilting. A bit easier than drawing on the computer I find.

    Of your mock-ups my fav is the diagonal lines converging.

    Thanks for featuring my quilt with the exploding fill feathers. I did do it on a long-arm and if any of you want yours quilted that way and would rather send it out for hire–I'm available ;-). Just think, yours will be even better since I've learned from my own!

    Lee–awesome QA!

  18. Blue.Ridge.Girl
    Blue.Ridge.Girl says:

    Really exicited to have completed my quilt…and on time for the May 12 deadline, too! I just love this little quilt and thank you so much for sharing with us your great pattern :o) Wonderful instructions throughout. Thanks Lee!!


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