This blog is about some different approaches to quilting a mosaic quilt. One of my favorite free motion designs is a random repeating and overlapping square pattern. I hesitate to use the word “pattern” as that denotes something quite specific in the quilt world, something often repetitive and strictly drawn. My quilting approaches are neither. The random square stitching is never sketched only planned as I turn the quilt for the next square. Sewing this design is like a gentle journey across your quilt, really seeing each fabric piece, thinking about how to lap around and then overlap rows of squares which often aren’t really rows but more sections quilted at one time.
I use different colors of thread too, an option when you quilt a design like this. I use darker colored threads for the darker colors and lighter threads in the lighter sections. I rarely change thread for every color though. For example, a carefully selection purple or blue thread can work in some of the red areas too. Likewise a pale yellow or peach will do fine in almost all the lighter fabric areas. I overlap thread colors too….quilting is meant to be fun! There is little you can mess up with this design as you can just add more squares and more overlaps if you think you haven’t quilted evenly enough.
The other quilting design use frequently with mosaic quilts is one I often use with quilts of similar color. On my BLUE GREEN TEAL MOSAIC art quilt I quilt an up and down curved design around the quilt to start, like a meandering circular path. Then I do echo stitching around the outside and inside, sometimes narrow to the line of stitching before and sometimes wider. You can see the variability of the stitching in the close up photo here. I do the echo stitching until it covers about 80% of the quilt but has left oblong circles or narrow curved areas unstitched. In those areas I sometimes do a stipling design or a three layered teardrop design as you see in the photo. The curved stitching softens the more harsh edges of the squarish pieces in the quilt. The curved designs also create movement and texture and draw your eyes more to the colors than the piecing.
A third quilt stitching approach is to do straight lines at varied widths apart from each other. I did this on a TEAL PURPLE MOSAIC art quilt and it worked quite nicely. Any approach which has stitching lines from one side to the other or top to bottom cannot vary the color of thread as much as is possible with the random square overlapping design in my first example. It just depends on the effect you want. I feel the quilt stitching is an integral part of the final design and artistic product so I’m careful about what I choose to do.