Machine Quilting: Oriental Panel

I apologize in advance. This isn't my style of fabric so I never know what to call it. Is it Oriental? Japanese? Asian? I blame it on politically correct policies, but alas, whatever you call it, this quilt is gorgeous!
 Anne made this beautiful quilt from a kit she picked up while out of town. She loved the design, but when she showed it to me so we could plan the quilting, she didn't care what I did - but those blank areas to the right needed "something".

Instantly I had an idea in mind... But I kept it a secret so I could surprise her.
 Can you see it? I had this idea to quilt in origami cranes in those "plain areas". There were cranes in the panel and in some of the other fabrics, and I thought the origami cranes would emphasize the theme of this quilt but add in a little something special.
 I do more research before I work on oriental quilts than any other. One reason being that it's not my normal style and I have to get familiar with it before I begin.

Another reason being this is a style. It's a very specific style and there's certain designs I can and should use, and there's designs I definitely shouldn't use. This definitely isn't the quilt for feathered wreaths and traditional quilting. I mixed up the boxes on the right side with straight lines and clamshells. Some of the boxes were quilted in the ditch to tack down the pieces without adding another element. The borders of these boxes were only an inch or so wide which was too small to add in something new.
 In the outer border, I just followed the design in the fabric and it made this wonderful pebbled appearance. I also quilted in some fans and used the flat swirls and some pebbles in the light areas to keep with the organic feel of this quilt.
 The panel itself was kept as simple as possible. I outlined the flowers, leaves and cranes (they're at the top in the light areas) and filled the base of the panel with these leaf stems, again playing off of the designs in the panel.
I showed a picture of my day's progress to my Hubby and brother one night and the both of them responded the same - I can't see the quilting. And that was the perfect response. I just wanted to outline and enhance the panel. It already had so much going on it didn't need anything else. My job then was to keep it simple and tack down the quilt to make it functional to hang. It actually can be more work to keep it simple like this, but it's worth the extra energy used. Wouldn't you agree?

Thanks, Anne! This was so much fun and I love how these quilts keep me challenged creatively. Actually the week I worked on this panel and another one I will show you later this week. I also worked on a Christmas quilt, a graduation quilt and a very simple baby quilt. I love that I never know what shows up at my door and I have to keep thinking in different ways. I feel it keeps my mind fresh and it helps to think about several different styles at the same time. Sometimes I come up with unique ideas by blending styles of quilting.


  1. This is so beautiful. You did an amazing job of giving it character!

  2. Looks beautiful!! I love using elements of the fabric to influence the quilting!

  3. Wow! This is truly a beautiful design with the Oriental aspect and origami cranes. Encourage the owner to enter it in a show...


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