How to Set the Stage for Colored Motifs

Quilt It | Irena Bluhm-Week 2 | Episode 111

Irena Bluhm shows us how she makes her gorgeous whole cloth quilts by quilting colorful motifs. First, she demonstrates how to do the background stippling that sets the stage for all of the colored motifs. She stitches the background in clusters; a design within a design. Starting with a small design element, she echoes around it while making rows of loops.  Then she adds a row of swirls with more interest and texture, and then starts another design element creating as she goes. More punch is added by doing some thread painting. You are the only one who knows what it’s supposed to look like; there are no rules, no patterns. However, the design elements themselves cannot be changed in the process of stitching. It’s important to be consistent and use the same patterns.

Short Takes on Longarm Quilting with Vicki Hoth
Vicki shows us what to do with scraps from a leftover batting. Place a rectangle on your shoulder and put thread clippings on it. They’ll stay put. Use a small piece on the longarm mast to hold wiry threads in place so they won’t pop off. Use a piece to scrub pounce chalk off your quilt top. Scraps are great for stuffing pin cushions or small pillows. Take long strips and put under the poles in the machine to shift the quilt, sort of like shimming. Use pieces in your quilt for added texture. Use wool batting to really puff up trapunto designs. Add scraps to a basket for a perfect kitty bed.


  1. I was wondering where I find the products discussed in the videos. I am interested in Irena’s background book she mentioned it had 50 different patterns. I took class from Irena many years ago and she is fantastic.

    Tami Pugh, 2 years ago Reply

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