Contemporary Custom Quilting

Custom quilting for the modern quilter by Christine Perrigo

Contemporary Custom Quilting

All I ever need to know…


This is the quilt that seemed to consume most of my time for the better part of a month. This was the quilt that the Cubic Experiment quilt was made to test techniques for.


This quilt started by using large squares of wash-away self-stick stabilizer. I drew a grid on the back side of the stabilizer using just crayola washable markers. Then I cut thousands of squares from strips selected from three different solid jelly rolls. After i first heavily starched each strip.


Each of the students in the kindergarden class was given a sheet of the stabilizer and was able to create any image they wanted. Then using a flip and fold method I stitched all of the seams in the blocks, pressing each seam open as I went.



I found that the clover clamps helped to give me a much straighter block. i also found that taking  a q-tip dipped in starch to the backside of each open seam and then manipulating it with the iron and my fingers gave me a much flatter seam.


Here the seams on the left have been treated with the starch process, and those on the left have not. Needless to say that these blocks took me much longer than I was expecting. Since I knew that each block was going to be a bit off of square in different ways I decided that I needed to add some sort of design element that would allow for me to square up each one without taking too much off of each smaller square. After several considerations I had decided on either a shadow approach or the grid design that I eventually went with. I also wanted to make sure that the design element did not interfere or detract from the design of the blocks themselves.


I used my husband to help take this photo. As it turns out this has to be one of the heaviest quilt tops I have ever constructed. Between all of the seams and the stabilizer it made for quite some weight. Also the stiffness of the blocks made it harder to stitch the entire top together as I was pairing a single layer of fabric with the stiffer block.



I had one of my girlfriends with an embroidery machine make up the label for me. Since she wanted to play with her new circle attachment I decided to insert it in to the backing in a circle.


After procrastinating about putting the real quilt on the long arm I decided to make up a sample. Since I also wanted to test out my binding. After making the equivalent of a placement I decided that I needed to get the real quilt quilted.


The quilting design is Modern Maze #1 digitized by digitech designs for Krista Withers. I used SoFine #50 in pearl. I love how the fish ended up with some of the bubbles around his eye.


After quilting it I had to do something that was very scary.. I had to wash the quilt to remove the stabilizer. I first soaked it and tried to rinse out as much of it as possible, and then put it through a long wash cycle. Luckily, nothing ran, and it washed up well. When it came out of the dryer it had that nice crinkly texture that many people look for in a quilt. However I had grown to love it flat, so I took the iron to it, and liked it better again.


This quilt as raffled off at the school’s annual auction, and at least made as much as it was worth. I was just glad that it went home with the parents of one of the students in the class.