First go through your stash and pick out pretty fabrics. I go for reds and pinks and hearts and flowers. Then stitch them together. It ends up looking a bit like a crazy quilt, but there's method to my madness. I know that I'm going to be cutting the top into postcard sized pieces at the end. So I'm putting together fabrics that look nice and leaving some open places for machine quilting.
Once my 'top' is pieced I load it onto my quilting frame. Then comes the fun part. I'm going to free-motion-quilt all over the top. Quilting frames make this easier but you can also just do free-motion-quilting sitting down at your machine. I don't need to worry about being perfect. I'm going to cut it up into postcards at the end so mistakes won't matter. I'll just use my favourite parts for the postcards. This lets me have fun and take risks that I probably wouldn't if I needed the whole top to look good.
I like to play with lots of different threads. Sometimes I'll scallop around a pattern in the fabric.
This 'hearts and loops' pattern is fun too. It looks so pretty with the variegated threads.
We call this pattern 'mussel shell hearts'.
and this one 'baby bum hearts'.
This pattern reminds me of the flower called 'Bleeding Hearts'
and this one is a fun feather pattern.
Once the top is all free-motion-quilted I take it off the frame and choose the best parts for the postcards.
Now I'm ready for Part Two.
See more of Martha Milne's quilting on her blog