My ‘Dare-to-Wear-Black’ Quilt

Free motion quilting apples

Some of you may remember this quilt was started more than a year ago, intended as a  gift for a very special couple, my husband’s big brother and his wife, whom we love and respect enormously and my children adore,  for their anniversary in June.

…finished at long last…

    Then I got involved in the BOM quilt and this got put away. The pattern for the quilt is ‘The Big Apple’ from the Fons and Porters’ Love of Quilting mag July-August 2012 issue. I used fabric from my stash for the piecing, the cambric backing was bought in the local market. The apple core  borders ( two deep) have been quilted with inspiration from Thread Head. I also studied the apple quilting tutorial by Lori Kennedy at the Inbox Jaunt. I had a problem keeping the tension balanced and my movement smooth!

Echo quilting on the centre cores

Each core took me upwards of half an hour to quilt, so I echo quilted the apple cores in the centre! The white portion (added to make up the quilt length when I ran out of fabric) was more unforgiving as mistakes glared at you from a bright background.

I used a cardboard template to draw the apples


Leaves and spirals were added free hand as fillers. There are some half eaten apples and others rotten to the core!

  I quilted it in light grey, but then ran out of thread. So came up the orange bands…

In retrospect, I think the orange quilting really made the quilt special!

  …which made this my dare-to-wear-black quilt! In a much-aired Indian television commercial for an anti-dandruff shampoo, one famous Boolywood actor dares another to wear black, and thus prove he has no dandruff! As a beginner free motion quilter, I felt something like the actor who was dared to take up the challenge… 

i had appliqued a few apple cores on the white portion to add an element of interest to the proceedings!

At the end of the exercise, I feel much more confident about FMQ, as I could do it in my HQV Topaz 20 machine’s auto mode, though at the lowest speed!

Learning to enjoy Free motion quilting!

For the binding I used shirting fabric, which kind of tied up everything together, I thought. For a change, the entire binding was attached and sewn down by machine.

Worthy gift for a special couple, would you say?


A close up of the binding done entirely by machine.

Learnings from this quilt: 1. I got to practise curved piecing. 2. I tried to echo quilt in free motion with very ugly results. I need more practice here. 3. While quilting the apples, at several places, I have tension issues in my quilting, specifically too high tension at the back. I think it is because I was pulling at the fabric. However, at the end of the exercise, I feel much more confident about FMQ, as I could do it in my HQV Topaz 20 machine’s auto mode, though at the lowest speed! A set speed also gave much neater results. 4. I regretted not pulling up the bobbin thread when starting off the quilting, for example after a thread breakage. When I didn’t do that, the stray thread ends got caught up in knots and caused uneven stitches. 5. FMQ is fun and I think I am going to love it! So, I leave you to look at these pics while I decide which of my UFOs I am going to tackle next!                  May all those apples keep the doctors away from their lives … and yours too!

Author: Mads

In alphabetical order: daughter, mother, painter, philosopher, poet, quilter, seeker, wife...

2 thoughts on “My ‘Dare-to-Wear-Black’ Quilt”

  1. Rotten to the core! Ha ha. Loved that Madhu! I esp like the use of the orange thread quilting and the couple of apple cores appliqued. Pulling the thread up is a must as Leah says. I also knot and bury but when there is frequent thread breakage I get tempted to just snip it off! So is this a queen size quilt?

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