Machine Quilting: Celtic Wave

Jean made this amazing version of Judy Niemeyer's Celtic Wave pattern, but it looks anything but celtic...
 This quilt is essentially made up of only one block, it is just colored differently and twisted around which makes this pattern a bit unique compared to Judy's other patterns. Most of them have several complex elements and designs... Not this one.

When I first looked at this quilt it was very bold. It's hard not to be with that many sharp points and limited but contrasting colors. I knew it needed to be softened. Keeping that in mind I went to work. (Oh, and if you're wondering, this quilt is larger than the pattern with the addition of an extra outer border, plus Jean made the extensions too, this pattern is available in two sizes)
 To soften the boldness of the quilt and keep it simple like the pattern truly is, I quilted my little heart out with these concentric circles filling the border and "odd" areas. Basically if it wasn't in a flying geese unit or a star, it was "odd".
 Here's a glimpse of how the quilting can change the look of a quilt. Here I have most of the top quilted, but I still have yet to start the bottom border...
 And here it is after being quilted. I didn't even realize I took these pictures until I downloaded them this morning! What a difference!
 Keeping the quilting designs to a minimum, I quilted a dahlia type flower in the stars. It worked well since there was a combination of full, half and quarter stars throughout the quilt. I broke up the flower into a design that could be used in the quarters and built it out from there. It also worked well in this design because not all of the stars are perfectly round, some areas are "squished" due to the surrounding pieces.
 In many of the pictures above, I still had yet to switch thread colors and stitch in the red fabric.
 Using the same dahlia type flower and similar swirls as the borders, I used this design for the "focal" area of the center of the quilt. There were four of these blue areas surrounding the center medallion.
 With all of the severe angles and curves, I used this slightly curved zig zag to fill many of the other areas since it can be altered to change directions and fill the areas that are not uniform along the path.
 And after many long hours, it was done. If you're wondering, no I didn't do it all in one day. Not even in a couple days. Quilting designs like this are very physically demanding and honestly with the bold and contrasting colors I had to take a lot of visual breaks as well. Trust me, this is not the quilt you want to stare at for hours on end with a migraine...
And one last photo of the back. The red fabrics on top got red threads both top and bottom where the other areas got a tan thread on top and a medium warm brown on the back. It truly blended in well and gave a bit of charm to the back of the quilt too.

Thanks, Jean! I know she's loving the quilt and going to be working on the inches and inches of binding ahead of her.


  1. Great job! I wondered what color thread you used in the "odd" areas because you transitioned without stopping from the blue to the white. Perfect choice of designs and thread!!

  2. How did she get the yardage adjusted? I love how she used just a couple colors. Beautiful.

  3. Your quilting is beautiful, Becky. Thanks for sharing such excellent photos.


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