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Nov 3, 2014

Vice Versa Block of the Month: Quilting Ideas + Finishing

Nov 3, 2014
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OH my gosh!  Here we are - my finished Vice Versa Block of the Month Quilt!  My biggest accomplishment for 2014.  I'll be writing another post to really highlight this finish for me.  I am here today to give you some inspiration on quilting your own version of Vice Versa.  I know many of you have your quilt tops ready to graduate into real, usable, cuddle-able quilts.  Let's talk about finishing your quilt, and some quilting suggestions in this post.

The 3 B's: Batting, Backing and Binding to Finish the Quilt.

9" Blocks / 57.5" x 57.5" Quilt
  • Backing Fabric 3 3/4 yards
  • Batting 66" x 66"
  • Binding Fabric  1/2 yard, cut (7) 2 1/2" wide strips for double fold continuous binding

12" Blocks / 74.5" x 74.5" Quilt
  • Backing Fabric 4 5/8" yards
  • Batting 83" x 83"
  • Binding Fabric  5/8 yard, cut (8) 2 1/2" wide strips for double fold continuous binding

I like to have at least an extra 4" on all four sides of a quilt for the batting and backing.  This ensures that there is enough overlap if you are sending your quilt out to a longarm quilter or are longarm quilting the quilt yourself.  If you are quilting your own quilt on your home machine, you may not need as much overlap.

Directions. To make the quilt back, you will need to remove the selvages from the fabric and cut your total yardage approximately in half lengthwise.  Sew the two large pieces together, creating a vertical seam.  For the twin quilt, I would definitely leave the backing at 83" x 88".  Just remove those selvages and sew the 2 pieces together along the 83" side.  For the lap quilt, you will need to cut down one of your large sections.  Your two sections will be (1) 44" x 66" and (1) 22" x 66". First, remove the selvages from both pieces.  Cut one section to 22" x 66".  Then sew the two sections together along the 66" side.  These instructions are for making a quilt back with only one fabric.  Feel free to use several and make it scrappy - use these measurements as a guide for the finished dimensions of your back.

Make your quilt sandwich, and you are ready to begin quilting.

Quilting Suggestions.
Quilting a quilt such as Vice Versa can be a little intimidating for some.  In addition to the quilt blocks on display in the diagonals of the quilt, there are some large negative space areas too.  To begin, I think you must decide how you want to handle this quilt.  Will you quilt one design edge-to-edge?  Will you quilt the blocks independently of the negative space?  Once you know how you'd like to quilt those areas, the major question has been answered.

Edge-to-Edge:  Don't feel like you have to get super fancy pants to make this quilt look great.  I firmly believe that any edge-to-edge design done well will make this quilt shine.  Stipple, paisley, pebbles, and crosshatch (and other straight line quilting ideas) are all do-able on your home machine.

 If any of you have Free-Motion Quilting with Angela Walters, this is a fantastic book to give you ideas for quilting your quilts with step by step instructions on how to achieve the look.  I think the below Seafoam pattern would be so beautiful on Vice Versa's negative space.  It's what I planned on doing, but ultimately I ran out of steam quilting my blocks first.  I love this look!

Free Motion Quilting Each Block:  I decided I wanted to quilt each block independently to improve my free-motion skills.  Sampler quilts provide the perfect canvas for this with so many different blocks and shapes within the blocks.  It made thinking of new ideas for the block components fun.  To get my creative juices flowing, I enrolled in Free Motion Quilting a Sampler by Leah Day.  This class really helped me make sure I had the fundamentals down for quilting my own quilt.

Before I began, I stitched-in-the-ditch around each block.  This creates a frame to work within for each block.  Here are the ideas I came up with for the Vice Versa blocks.  Feel free to use some of them in your own quilt!

Wavy lines


Double-Loop (shown in a different block)

Straight lines and Stipple

Straight lines (Echoed) and Stipple

Straight lines (Echoed) and Stipple

Fingerlings (or at least that's what they look like to me) and Stipple

More Fingerlings, Pebbles, Boxed Echo

Scallops and Stipple

Scallops and Pebble (crazy tiny pebbles)


Another Flower Power (from Free-Motion Quilting with Angela Walters)
This design is really fun.

Concentric Circles

Pebbles in the Stripes
Loop-de-Loops could also look really cool here....

As I mentioned above, I quilted each of these blocks differently to really push myself and improve my free motion quilting skills.  I did it.... I pushed... and after all the blocks were done, I was cashed!  I decided to quilt straight lines in the negative space.  My free motion mojo was used up and I hope it doesn't look like a cop out.  I think that the straight lines there bring your attention to the detail going on in the blocks and the diagonal lines of the quilt design.

What are your plans for Vice Versa?  Are you sending it out?  Anyone daring enough to try all this FMQ craziness I did?  It was time consuming but so rewarding.  I really felt like I grew in all areas of skill by working on this quilt over the past year.

I hope you did too.

I'm looking forward to seeing your finishes - whenever that may be!  Look for a Vice Versa Finish Linky and Giveaway on Dec. 19, 2014.  That way, those who are working on this quilt as a gift for the holiday season will hopefully be able to include their work.

Share your progress with us here and here.  Happy quilting!
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  1. Wow- this looks absolutely gorgeous! Nice job! I am thinking of hand quilting mine but since I've never done that, I'll have to spend some time figuring it out. I need to get this quilt ready to put in my guild's quilt show in March!

  2. I didn't make the entire quilt - just 1 quilt from 1 set of blocks. But I love your finish, including your unique quilting in each block. I have a quilt I did that to also, and it was stressful but a major accomplishment for me. Good job and what a terrific set of blocks!

  3. I love the straight line quilting!! My top is ready but I'm stuck as to how I want to quilt each block. This is a great inspiration! Great job. It looks awesome 😊

  4. Thanks for sharing and for the fantastic pictures and links. I also thought vertical lines in the negative space would be perfect on this quilt. Very impressive free motion work! Love it =) Jill

  5. That I just beautiful, your quilting is perfect!


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