I had the pleasure of attending the AQS Quiltweek Show in Daytona Beach, FL a few weeks back. The weather was a little chilly this year but the sun was bright and a welcome change from our rainy weather at home. Daytona Beach is a fantastic place for a quilt show in February. The beach, sunshine, quilts and vendors, what could be better? As I enjoy the quilts, I love to check out the quilting. I noticed some amazing fill designs this year. I took a lot of pictures so I could share with you.

 

AQS Quilt show Daytona 2020

Fill designs serve a couple of distinct purposes on quilts. They add interesting texture and serve to emphasize the more major elements. That might be applique or embroidery, or pop a quilting motif forward while smashing down the background.  There were plenty good examples of fill designs at the Daytona show.

Stipple

In days gone by, everyone used a stipple to emphasize a motif or applique. And stipple still works today. Here is a masterful example by Caryl Bryer Fallert on her quilt Electric Ellipses.

Electric Ellipses carol Bryer Fallert AQS Daytona 2020

detail Electric Ellipses
by Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry of Port Townsend, WA

Electric Ellipses by Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry of Port Townsend, WA AQS Daytona 2020

Electric Ellipses
by Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry of Port Townsend, WA

The name of the game is contrast when it comes to fill designs. Notice Caryl used a contrasting color thread and the size of her stipple is smaller than the wiggly line design. The wiggly line pops thanks to the stipple and the thread color creates extra texture and interest. Almost suggesting piecing where there is none.

Here’s an an example of a different kind of stipple that is accomplished with hand quilting. Wow! Can you even imagine how much time went into this quilt?

The Crossing by Linda Roy of Knoxville, TN AQS Daytona 2020

detail The Crossing
by Linda Roy
of Knoxville, TN

The Crossing by Linda Roy of Knoxville, TN AQS Daytona 2020

The Crossing
by Linda Roy
of Knoxville, TN

Congratulations!

Another example of contrasting thread paired with a stipple fill design in Marilyn Badger’s quilt Christmas in St. Andrews.

detail of Christmas in St Andrews by Marilyn Badger of St George, UT AQS Daytona 2020

detail of Christmas in St Andrews
by Marilyn Badger
of St George, UT

detail of Christmas in St Andrews by Marilyn Badger of St George, UT AQS Daytona 2020

detail of Christmas in St Andrews
by Marilyn Badger
of St George, UT

detail of Christmas in St Andrews by Marilyn Badger of St George, UT AQS Daytona 2020

Congratulations!

Stipple is that wiggly pattern that never crosses over itself. Sometimes the stipple is so tiny that you can’t help but cross over. I refer to that fill design as a sand stipple or a scribble. Here’s an example by Margaret Solomon Gunn, who quilts on a HQ Fusion.

My Secret Garden by Margaret Solomon Gunn of Gorham, ME AQS Daytona 2020

detail My Secret Garden
by Margaret Solomon Gunn
of Gorham, ME

My Secret Garden by Margaret Solomon Gunn of Gorham, ME AQS Daytona

My Secret Garden
by Margaret Solomon Gunn
of Gorham, ME

My Secret Garden by Margaret Solomon Gunn of Gorham, ME AQS Daytona

Congratulations!

Pebbles

With the advent of movable longarm quilting machines, more and more show quilts were being machine quilted. The judges got bored with stipple and asked contestants to step up their game with unique fill designs and the pebble (bubble, circles) became wildly popular. So much so, that I think we see more pebbles at a quilt show than stipple.

Remember contrast is important in a fill design so pebbles work well with straight lines. The pebbles on Jodi Robinson’s quilt Plain and Simple really set off the geometric design.

Plain and Simple by Jodi Robinson of Enon Valley, PA AQS Daytona 2020

detail Plain and Simple
by Jodi Robinson
of Enon Valley, PA

Plain and Simple by Jodi Robinson of Enon Valley, PA AQS Daytona 2020

Plain and Simple
by Jodi Robinson
of Enon Valley, PA

Plain and Simple by Jodi Robinson of Enon Valley, PA AQS Daytona 2020

Congratulations!

These pebbles are a nice contrast in shape and size from the straight lines.

Tribal Dance by Jackie Van Houten of Monroe, MI AQS Daytona 2020

detail Tribal Dance
by Jackie Van Houten
of Monroe, MI

Tribal Dance by Jackie Van Houten of Monroe, MI AQS Daytona 2020

Tribal Dance
by Jackie Van Houten
of Monroe, MI

Did I mention size? Size matters when you are going for contrast. Generally, the fill design should be 1/3 or less the size of what it is meant to enhance. Look at these teeny, tiny pebbles! (finger in photo for size reference).

Princess Rose Garden by Naomi Iida of Tokyo, Japan AQS Daytona 2020

detail Princess Rose Garden
by Naomi Iida
of Tokyo, Japan

Princess Rose Garden by Naomi Iida of Tokyo, Japan AQS Daytona 2020

Princess Rose Garden
by Naomi Iida
of Tokyo, Japan

I have photos of other fill designs that I’ll save for next week. In the meantime, practice those stipples and pebbles!

by Mary Beth Krapil