‘Open headband’ quilting motif

17 11 2012

I don’t know where I learned to do this quilting motif that I call ‘open headband’ — perhaps Leah Day’s Free Motion Quilting Project, or maybe Diane Gaudynski’s excellent book on free motion quilting, or perhaps Helen Godden’s DVD, or maybe my own variation of techniques learned from all three. Anyhow, I use it often and find it a very relaxing motif that can be quilted large or small and that fits into all sorts of places.

Several people have asked me to share how I do it, so today I got a piece of paper and a Sharpie and took some (very amateur) photos of how the motif goes. I realised I’m much better on the Sweet Sixteen than I am with my drawing! But hopefully this will help you get started.

General tips:

  • Start this motif near the centre of the quilt and move out in an overall circular direction — this flattens out any wonkiness and pushes puckers out to the edge. Don’t be tempted to fill a quarter of the quilt, then move to another quarter — if the quilt is even slightly wonky, you may end up with puckers and pleats in the middle of the quilt.
  • While I mostly do three hops around the arc, sometimes I do four so that I don’t end up with a long streamer of these motifs all going in one direction across the quilt. The fourth hop allows me to go off in a different direction, thus covering the quilt in an apparent random fashion.
  • Use the ‘needle down’ position on your machine. If you have to stop in the middle of an arc or at a point, then you’ll be able to start again without being a stitch or two ‘out’.

So here are my photos with some instructions.

Start by stitching a semi-circle/arc near the centre of the quilt (the arrow shows the direction I use, but go in whatever direction feels comfortable to you):

At the end of the arc, stitch another arc back towards your starting point, but not quite coming even with it. Echo the general semi-circle shape, but don’t try to echo at a specific distance from the original arc (my drawing below shows a VERY uneven second arc!):

Now bounce back with a third arc extending from the end of the second arc. Again, you’re following the arc’s general shape, but you’re NOT trying to get an even distance from it:

You’ve now done what I call ‘three hops’ — the arc and two echo lines. Next, you create a new ‘headband’ by starting a new arc at an angle off from the end of the third arc; I try to put this arc next to the earlier one so that I don’t end up with awkward gaps later — in other words, I fill the empty spaces as I go:

After creating the second arc, stitch two more echoing arcs around it, just like you did for the first one:

At the end of the third echo, bounce out in a different direction to create another small arc and echo it just like the previous two:

To stop you going off in an overall diagonal, this time do a fourth echo (not the three you’ve done previously):

At the end of the fourth echo, bounce out in a different direction to create another small arc and echo it just like you’ve done with the others. You should only need three bounces this time, though there’s no hard and fast rule:

Create the next arc off the end of the third echo point, and keep going creating arcs and three or four echoes until you’ve filled the entire area or the whole quilt!

And here’s an example of it finished (you can see that I’m much more even on the machine than with a pen!):





Community Quilt 391

5 04 2018

What a bright and cheerful quilt! I think it used a disappearing nine-patch pattern, with the large blocks featuring deep pink orchids.

I decided to quilt it using an all-over, continuous line favourite of mine — open headbands — using a deep maroon thread.

(Click on a photo to view it larger)

Threads used:

  • Top: Floriani (40 wt, trilobal polyester, colour PF192)
  • Bottom: Fil-Tec Magna Glide Classic pre-wound bobbin (white)

Photos of all the Community Quilts I’ve quilted are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhondamadeit/sets/72157630291250200/





Community Quilt 387

30 03 2018

For this quilt, I stitched a continuous line, all-over pattern — squared-off ‘open headbands‘, one of my ‘go to’ motifs that’s stored in my muscle memory.

(Click on a photo to view it larger)

Threads used:

  • Top: Robison-Anton ‘Shimmering Gold’ (40 wt, rayon, colour 2471)
  • Bottom: Fil-Tec Magna Glide Classic pre-wound bobbin (light tan)

Photos of all the Community Quilts I’ve quilted are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhondamadeit/sets/72157630291250200/





Community Quilt 380

17 03 2018

Red, white, pink/apricot, and aqua — not colours I’d think to put together, but I think they worked well in this quilt. I started by stitching in the ditch around the blocks (in red), then did a large meandering stipple in the border (also in red thread). For the main top, I stitched an ‘open headband‘ motif in a soft aqua thread.

(Click on a photo to view it larger)

Threads used:

  • Top: Fil-Tec Glide ‘Cardinal’ (40 wt, trilobal polyester, colour 70001); Robison-Anton ‘Sprite’ (40 wt, rayon, colour 2313)
  • Bottom: Fil-Tec Magna Glide Classic pre-wound bobbin (candy apple red, white)

Photos of all the Community Quilts I’ve quilted are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhondamadeit/sets/72157630291250200/





Community Quilt 376

14 02 2018

This big quilt had all sorts of Australian birds on it — budgerigars, fairy wrens, and I think even some parrots. I started by stitching in the ditch around all main elements of the quilt, then did an open headband motif in the main top, finishing with uneven ‘n’ shapes in the border.

(Click on a photo to view it larger)

Threads used:

  • Top: Fil-Tec Glide ‘Sea Foam’ (40 wt, trilobal polyester, colour 97494)
  • Bottom: Fil-Tec Magna Glide Classic pre-wound bobbin (white)

Photos of all the Community Quilts I’ve quilted are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhondamadeit/sets/72157630291250200/





Community Quilt 371

14 02 2018

What a bright, scrappy quilt! How to quilt it? The fabrics and the design was so busy that I decided on an all-over edge-to-edge motif — squared off open headbands. I used a neon orange thread to pick up the oranges in the scrappy fabrics and to contrast with the deep blue.

(Click on a photo to view it larger)

Threads used:

  • Top: Fil-Tec Glide ‘Neon Orange’ (40 wt, trilobal polyester, colour 90811)
  • Bottom: Fil-Tec Magna Glide Classic pre-wound bobbin (red)

Photos of all the Community Quilts I’ve quilted are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhondamadeit/sets/72157630291250200/





Community Quilt 368

30 01 2018

[I spent a long weekend at a private retreat a few weeks ago, which is when I quilted this quilt (and 7 others). Therefore the photos aren’t as good because they were taken indoors, and I don’t have information on the threads used.]

I love the crispness of red, black and white, and these matching fabrics captured that perfectly. After stitching in the ditch around each block, I stitched open headbands in red thread in every second row, then a meandering stipple in black in the alternate row. I stitched the border with a meandering stipple in red.

(Click on a photo to view it larger)

Photos of all the Community Quilts I’ve quilted are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhondamadeit/sets/72157630291250200/





Community Quilt 361

31 12 2017

How to quilt this quilt? As usual, I started by stitching the ditch around all the main blocks and elements. For the border, I did a large meandering stipple, with stars in the corner squares. In the main top, the busy fabrics leant themselves to a simple motif — I chose my ‘go to’ open headband motif, using red thread.

(Click on a photo to view it larger)

Threads used:

  • Top: Robison-Anton ‘Tuxedo Red’ (40 wt, rayon, colour 2420)
  • Bottom: Fil-Tec Magna Glide Classic pre-wound bobbin (candy apple)

Photos of all the Community Quilts I’ve quilted are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhondamadeit/sets/72157630291250200/





Community Quilt 358

31 12 2017

This was a pretty pink and green quilt. I started by stitching in the ditch around the main blocks and borders, then did straight lines in the border, following (approximately) the lines formed by the squares in the fabric’s pattern. I quilted the main part of the quilt top with a flower variation on the open headband motif — instead of an arc for the final layer, I stitched half shells, emulating flower petals.

(Click on a photo to view it larger)

 

Threads used:

  • Top: Superior Rainbows ‘Wedding Bells’ (40 wt, trilobal polyester, colour 818)
  • Bottom: Fil-Tec Magna Glide Classic pre-wound bobbin (white)

Photos of all the Community Quilts I’ve quilted are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhondamadeit/sets/72157630291250200/





Community Quilt 352

15 10 2017

This large scrappy strip quilt had such a busy combination of fabrics that an all-over motif that didn’t try to dominate the quilt was called for. I started by stitching in the ditch around all the main elements and borders, then did a floral version of my favourite ‘open headband’ motif, with a large meander in the main border. I used a variegated yellow and jade thread, which I thought blended in really well with all the colours in this quilt.

(Click on a photo to view it larger)

Threads used:

  • Top: Signature ‘St Thomas’ (40 wt, cotton, colour F151)
  • Bottom: Fil-Tec Magna Glide Classic pre-wound bobbin (light tan)

Photos of all the Community Quilts I’ve quilted are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhondamadeit/sets/72157630291250200/