All over quilting motifs can be the perfect way to finish a quilt, but when I do not select an all over motif, I outline quilt or foundation quilt around each quilting shape to help stabilize and define the quilt. The difference in how a quilt looks before and after the outline quilting can be quite dramatic, and I captured a few images of the Bubbly quilt to help showcase why I choose to outline quilt shapes in this manner.
In the photo above, the left hand circle has been quilted around the perimeter, but the circle on the right has not yet been outline quilted. I find the difference in definition in the shape to be very dramatic!
In the photo above, after both circles are outline quilted there is a clearer definition around the edge of the right hand circle. Below are a few more before and after photographs for side by side comparison (in all cases, the lightest colored circles are not outline quilted in the before photographs).
In general, I would typically strive to do the outline quilting first and then fill in the detail quilting after the fact. That isn’t always practical, though, so as long as it happens at all, I am always happier with the final quilted result.
Do you outline quilt when you do detail quilting work?