High Road Low Road - Start of Quilting

Quilting Exploration


I have had the pieced High Road Low Road quilt hanging on my design wall for several weeks. I finished the two customer quilts that had priority for quilting at the end of last week, so I was able to load High Road Low Road onto my long arm and think about the direction I wanted to take the quilting this past weekend. It has been a while since I worked on this quilt, and I started thinking about the inspiration behind my fabric pull for the quilt: a beautiful weekend spent in Monterey with my family in March. The flowers were blooming!

Monterey - Spring Flowers
Monterey – Spring Flowers

And when clouds were not rolling through, the sky and sea were a glorious shade of blue.

Monterey Family Weekend
Monterey Family Weekend

With Ira Glass’s advice about continuing to do work to close the gap fresh in mind as well, I knew I wanted to put some free motion quilting effort into the quilt.

High Road Low Road - Start of Quilting
High Road Low Road – Start of Quilting

I went with a bold thread choice as well: 50wt Aurifil 2535 (Magenta), and I love how it pulls the brightness of the piecing into the background. I started with the blowing wind at the top of the quilt and will be progressing and changing the quilting motif as I shift down the length. My plan is to end with quilted flowers.

High Road Low Road - Quilting Detail (Back)
High Road Low Road – Quilting Detail (Back)

I love crawling around on the floor to get a peak at how the backing looks (it has also helped me find and fix bad tension on more than one occasion). I think that leaving the angled piecing un-quilted but outlined is going to be a good balance.

Side Note: So, I have a finished quilt I can’t wait to share with you, but it has been windy in my area. And while it is normal for it to be pretty windy, it has been hard to go for walks into this level of wind and getting an outdoor quilt photo shoot complete is currently out of the question. Winds like this happen fairly regularly here, but for the fun of it I thought I would copy the wind advisory from yesterday that is active through today to share.

High Wind Advisory
High Wind Advisory

Yup, wind gusts of up to 70 mph! Spring time around here means more of this kind of weather, so we’ll see what gives out first: continued sustained high winds or my desire to blog about a finished quilt. Hopefully my patience can hang in there and I won’t have to post photos of the quilt laying on my living room floor. πŸ™‚ Oh, and I finally got my windshield replaced from a windstorm in 2013 like this that pitted it really badly. Hopefully I won’t need to be driving through a sea of pebbles this time!


  • Autumn has started in New Zealand, sun still shining but 21c and at night 12-16c so chilly for us! But the nights being longer and the days shorter gets me back to my sewing machine and you just inspired me to do better than last autumn! Got three quilts ready to quilt, well, 2 1/2 as the 1/2 is a baby quilt that I doubled the batting as it will go on the floor or on top of the baby in the car seat! Its so cheerful with faces of pussycats and 16 patches in between! Hopefully easy to quilt so I can make a good job out of it for my new wee grandson who is coming from Sweden to New Zealand, first time we will see him in the flesh since he was born! he is now 7 months and knows us as faces on Skype!

  • Wind scares me too. When I read Beth’s comment above, I was thinking the same thing. There has been a lot of wind damage in our area lately. The fabrics you chose really pop with the blue surrounding it. Looking forward to seeing the finish.

  • I love the quilting, you always have the best ideas and execution! I think it is smart to wait for the winds to die down (not to mention the dust) before taking pictures! I can see it flying down the road with you running after it…don’t do that! I really love a good storm, and after all my yard work lately I’m ready for a good cleansing!

  • LOVE the quilting, Yvonne! It looks fabulous πŸ™‚ Wind is blowing like crazy here too! OK, Jayne’s comment totally put the picture of you chasing a quilt down a road. . . Kinda entertaining but do wait until it dies down πŸ˜‰

  • Beautiful quilt and quilting. Love the magenta.

    I can relate to the wind thing. Grew up in Kern County. Now live in Northern Nevada and wind is the name of the game here, too. Makes for pretty clouds some times, but keeps us housebound when it is blowing.

  • Beautiful quilt Yvonne , my favourite shade of blue. And Monterey one of my favourite holiday destinations . Strangely our side of the Atlantic Ocean is so blustery today as well .

  • I can’t wait to see your finished quilt. It’s blowing badly up here in Fresno today too. Stay out of that wind, it’s how Valley Fever travels.

  • High winds in California always make me think of fires… I hope things aren’t heating up too early there. And I hope the wind goes away soon so you can get a good photo shoot in! Big hugs to you!

  • Good Morning Yvonne! How beautiful just what you have revealed of this quilt. I am truly looking forward to seeing the entire quilt! Having lived 20 years in the Midwest and 4 of them in North Dakota, the rest in Wyoming; I understand completely what you are experiencing with the wind. I am sorry about your windshield and do hope that no further damage occurs for a very long time! Have a fantastic creative day!

  • I love your swirly quilting in the image you have shown – really like that you are leaving the chevron bit outlined and unquilted in the centre. When its stormy I love staying inside with a hot cuppa and flipping through bright quilt books – we’ve had lots of storms this winter and the coastline has taken a hit so no fancy finished shots here yet but I have hope May will be lovely!

  • Oh Yvonne! I can relate!! We often get sustained “lake effect winds” …and we are in Central Mt!! Lol! Love that you have all that creative quilting to wait out the wind!! πŸ™‚

  • Your quilting is looking beautiful, Yvonne! I love that you’re planning to change the design as you move down to reflect the weekend that inspired the quilt. What a great design element. Around here it seems like every year gets windier, though we haven’t quite reached your levels yet. It is often too windy for me to go for walks with the little ones I babysit, though, especially in the winter when the wind just makes it so much colder.

  • Ugh I haaaate the wind. Our large cherry tree was blooming when we had mega wind last month and it blew the flowers away and we’re not getting many cherries because of it. It’s been windy here (like 30MPH, gust around 40 I think?) and my eyes are killing me from all the dust! Anyway, I love you used this quilt to push yourself into practicing FMQ more! And you referenced closing the gap, which I totally got πŸ˜‰ I hope you guys get some calm days soon!

  • Love the purple color of the thread you chose. It does bring together the brightly colored pieces. Yvonne, your quilting is fabulous and very freestyle! Really cool!

    I’ll never forget driving down through a mountain pass in California and see the camper in from of us get blown right over on its side. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

  • Strong wind gusts is right! All I can envision is your hubby helping you hold the quilt and him just ridding around on the quilt, magic carpet style. Probably not the best for pictures. Hopefully you can get a nice calm day soon. Also nice choice in thread, I am always scared of bold colors in quilting but that looks awesome!

  • I enjoy seeing your long arm work. Sounds like you have a wonderful concept and it looks really good so far. Maybe someday I’ll have some better machine for quilting but until then I struggle with some home machine quilting and send the rest out. Your wind warnings sound like some we get here too. High profile vehicle warnings usually accompany the wind warnings so trucks don’t get blown off the road.

  • Love your bold thread choice, that looks so effective with the colours in your piecing. Hoping your wind calms down a bit – both for your sakes living with it and ours so we get to see the quilt soon!

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)