The In’s and Out’s of Mix and Match Quilting
The In’s and Out’s of Mix and Match Quilting
Hey everyone and welcome to this week’s blog feature on mix and match quilting. My name is Annie Doar and I am a part of the Creative Team at Anita Goodesign. In the office, I can be found stitching out designs, snapping step-by-step pictures, and writing some of the tutorials and content found in our monthly All Access issues. I can’t wait to show you all more ways to create and have fun with machine embroidery!
One thing we LOVE to talk about in many of our quilting collections is something called “Mixing & Matching,” but what exactly is it? Well, fear not, because I’m going to break it down piece by piece!
- Benefits of Mix & Match Quilting
- What You Need for Mix & Match Quilting
- Mix & Match Quilting Collections
- Block Orientation
- Stitching Out the Blocks
- Mix & Match Quilting Videos
- Additional Quilting Resources
Benefits of Mix & Match Quilting
There are several valuable benefits of using the Anita Goodesign Mix & Match quilting method, but three especially stand out.
First, you’ll be able to save a lot of fabric as compared to traditionally quilted piecing techniques.
Second, you’ll be able to eliminate painstaking measuring that takes up so much of your crafting time.
Finally, you won’t have to worry about perfectly centering your embroidery patterns because they’ll already be there in the center of the quilt blocks you’re building. This type of quilting is an evolution, taking your craft to a whole new level.
What You Need for Mix & Match Quilting
To get started with your first Mix & Match quilt, you’ll need some patterns and materials:
- Embroidery thread to match your patterns
- Fabrics to match or contrast with your embroidery thread
- Muslim for the base of your quilt square
- No-show mesh cutaway stabilizer
- Thread matched to your border fabrics and embroidery threads
- Batting (optional)
- Scissors for trimming in the hoop
- A rotary cutter
- Masking tape
- A clear quilter’s ruler
Mix & Match Quilting Collections
The first question to address is “What quilting collections can be Mix and Matched?” You may have noticed that several of the quilting collections we release are labeled as “Mix and Match Quilting” or “Mini Mix and Match Quilting.” These are the collections that are perfectly sized to be used together. Each collection will feature our standard size guide that can be seen below.
You can use this guide to determine the size of the block you need to stitch based on your hoop size, your materials, and how big you want the finished quilt to be. For example, if you only own an 8” x 12” hoop, then you can stitch the blocks that are “A” size and smaller. The larger the block, the larger your quilt will be and the more fabric you’ll need.
Once you’ve determined what size block you can stitch, you can then find the two (or more!) collections that you would like to Mix & Match! Just make sure to use the same size block throughout. If you use the “A” size from one collection, be sure to use the “A” size from another collection so their seams match up. Sometimes there are exceptions to this rule, such as using 4” x 4” quilt collections alongside 8” x 8” quilt blocks, but I’ll go into more detail on that later.
Choosing Patterns with Coordinating Colors
If you scroll through our website, you might see some quilting collections that automatically look good together. For example, our Porcelain Blocks quilt and our China Blue quilt have a very similar color palette and share a similar theme of delicate and intricate floral sprays and motifs.
Combining these two collections is very easy to imagine since the colors pair well together and it will result in a beautiful quilt that is quite stunning, as you can see below!
Choosing Patterns with Different Colors
But now we need to talk about how to Mix & Match two quilting collections that don’t obviously coordinate, and might take a little more legwork to make something brand new. To do this, I’m going to be using the On-Point Flower Print quilting collection and the Porcelain Tiles quilting collection.
If you take a look at the designs included in each collection, your first thought might be “Oh these will never work together!” While they both feature busy, floral motifs, they look more different than similar. The On-Point Flower Print blocks are chocolate-y browns, warm yellows, and reds, while the Porcelain Tiles are bright and bold with almost every color of the rainbow.
A more inconspicuous difference is their size and orientation. As I mentioned earlier, typically you want to use quilt blocks that are the same size, so their seams match up, but pairing these two quilting collections is an exception to that rule. The Porcelain Tiles come in two sizes: 6” x 6” and 4” x 4”, while the On-Point Flower Print comes in five sizes.
To make our Mix & Matched quilt work, I decided to use the 8” x 8”, “A” size block from On-Point Flower Print, and the 4” x 4” size blocks from Porcelain Tiles. This works best with 4” x 4” blocks that have symmetrical patterns because you can just repeat the same block four times to make an intricate 8” square block like so.
Once you’ve turned the 4” square porcelain tiles into an 8” square quilt block, the next thing to tackle is its orientation. The orientation of the On-Point Flower Print designs are turned 45˚ on their points so they look like diamonds, while the Porcelain Tiles are just a standard squared orientation.
Since the Porcelain Tiles are symmetrical designs, you can easily turn it 45˚ so it is on its point as well. This can be done with any block that features a symmetrical and centered design, as you can see in Geometric Fringe Quilt below.
Stitching Out the Blocks
Now that you have the construction of your Mix & Match quilt mapped out, begin to focus on planning your colors and stitching out the blocks you will need to piece it together. Since the Porcelain Tiles have a bright and colorful palette and the On-Point Flower Print blocks have a much more subdued and tonal palette, they tend to clash beside each other. If I pieced the blocks together as they are, the result would be a jarring quilt top with mismatched quilt blocks.
Instead, I decided to stitch the On-Point Flower Print using some fun and bright colors that were used in the Porcelain Tile blocks. I stitched them on the same white base fabric that was used in the Porcelain tiles, then I used various shades of blue for the leaves of the design, and reds and yellows for the floral elements.
The result is a fun new twist on the On-Point Flower Print quilt. You could make an entire new quilt using just those recolored Flower Print blocks, but for our purposes, I wanted to show you just how stunning these blocks are alongside the Porcelain Tile blocks. If you compare the quilt above that has the clashing colors to the new quilt below, you can see what a world of difference coordinating colors make!
Once you’ve figured out the colors, the sizes, and the orientation of you quilt blocks, all that you need to do now it stitch them and piece them together. Mixing & Matching multiple collections is a great way to make a quilt that is personal and just as unique as you are! Take the creativity into your own hands and customize every quilting collection we have to your hearts desire!
Mix & Match Quilting Videos
Now that you’ve got a basic idea of Mix & Match quilting, you can see the technique in action. The following videos offer more details and demonstrations about Anita Goodesign Mix & Match quilting.
Here, Jessica and Alyssa discuss the advantages of Mix & Match quilting versus traditional quilting.
This video mentions several products, including Beautiful Blocks and Borders, Christmas Blocks and Borders, Foundations and Quilting Essentials. These products make it simple to get started in Mix & Match quilting with a virtually unlimited range of patterns. Start with a solid basis for creating beautiful keepsakes that will be cherished for years to come.
- Mix & Match saves lots of fabric by sewing quilt blocks in the hoop rather than cutting and quilting separately
- Stippling stitches are done at the time, avoiding extra work later
- Once the top is completed, backing, batting and binding are added and stitched
Traditional embroidered quilting takes a lot of work, measurements and calculations to come out looking great. You have to use a clear quilting ruler to draw lines to determine block size, making centering the design challenging. Trimming these blocks wastes a lot of fabric in the process.
Anita Goodesign Mix & Match quilting makes this process much easier, saving a lot of fabric and time, because many steps are handled in the hoop. You use less fabric on the sides, which would otherwise be wasted in the trimming process.
You also add your stippling and quilting stitches at the same time that you’re creating the block, saving time later. All of your blocks end up being the same size from the beginning, allowing you to piece them without a lot of painstaking trimming.
Mix & Match Quilting coordinates all of your components from the start for a better overall design. It even allows you to add new patterns into the process that would be difficult to use otherwise. This allows you to use your existing patterns and add new ones to customize your quilt.
Jen and Alyssa discuss the quilting options available in Quilting 1, 2, 3 series.
Quilting 1, 2, 3 gives you many options to completely customize your quilt using a simple selection process. The collection allows you to quickly and easily choose your background, stippling stitches, border design, and embroidery. Once you’ve selected these, you’ll simply merge them to create a completely customized quilt block that will look wonderful and flow well with the rest of your unique quilt design. The package provides hundreds to thousands of design possibilities to create unique quilts with Mix & Match quilting fabric options.
- The package makes it simple to create customized blocks with many available designs
- Select backgrounds, borders and designs, as well as additional blocks and sashing options
- Merge embroidery designs from almost any collection for a truly customized appearance
The different options available within the Quilting 1, 2, 3 design make it easy to create a completely customized quilt by following three simple steps.
First, you’ll choose your background, with ten different available stitch patterns and three different sizes of stippling, available in both square and rectangle. Next, you’ll select from several available borders, including a puffy trapunto frame. Finally, you’ll add your embroidery design to the block.
By going to your machine, you’ll be able to load each of the three design elements into your machine, then merge in your background, frame and isolated embroidery design. You’ll then have all the designs merged into a single block, which you can complete in the quilt, making it easy for beginners to get a beautiful quilt without a lot of experience.
When you’re ready to join your blocks, you’ll find a range of sashing blocks and designs in the collection to create a perfect combination for your design. The blocks are available in different widths, sizes, and complexity, allowing you to create as simple or complex of a quilt as you like. There are also several other options, including a range of piecing blocks and motif stitches to create a unique design.
Anna and Stephen further discuss the Anita Goodesign quilting technique versus traditional quilting.
A great way to get started with Anita Goodesign Mix & Match quilting is with our Mix & Match Quilting Value Bundle. It contains 17 beautiful collections to give you a wide range of options as you explore this exciting new way to save time, money and effort when quilting. The collections include Baltimore Revisited, Blanket Stitch Christmas Blocks, Christmas Special Edition, Christmas Quilt, Dogs and Cats, Faith Quilt, Folded Fabric Quilt Blocks, Garden Gate, Jelly Roll Quilt Block, Quilt for All Seasons — Spring, Quilt for All Seasons — Winter, Quilter’s Dream, Quilter’s Dream 2, Rose of Sharon, The Great Outdoors, The Orient and Traditions.
- Block is worked in the hoop, reducing measurements and calculations to find your center
- Allows you to avoid extra calculations, measurements and cuts while saving fabric
- Tape your fabric to prevent issues with the pressure foot catching the edges
Traditional quilting with machine embroidery wastes a lot of fabric. Instead of only using the fabric that is necessary for the block, additional fabric is needed to get to the edges of the hoop. Once the embroidery is done, the excess fabric is cut away and discarded.
With traditional quilting, you also need to find the center of the pattern, which can be difficult and time-consuming, requiring careful measurements with a quilting ruler. The cut block is also very thin, requiring batting and decorative stitches. After that’s completed, border and sashing pieces will need to be carefully measured, cut, and stitched to create a quilt top.
Creating a quilt can be a time-consuming process. But using the Anita Goodesign Mix & Match quilting technique cuts out a lot of the time, effort, and waste that happens in traditional quilting processes.
The Anita Goodesign way hoops the stabilizer then stitches a squaring stitch so that you can add the batting and fabric only where it is needed, saving fabric. The fabric and batting are cut just a little bigger than the squaring stitch and are added on top, then taped into place, wasting virtually no fabric.
The hoop is placed back on the machine and stitched, creating a perfectly centered, squared design. The next block lines up perfectly because all the squares are created on the machine, making them all the perfect size.
Additional Quilting Resources
Mix & Match Quilting Guide
The Mix & Match Quilting Guide tells you everything you need to know about this style of quilting. This guide will walk you step-by-step through the entire Mix & Match process, giving you perfect, easy-to-use quilt blocks the first time.
Quilt Size Guide
But what about when you need to figure out how many quilt blocks you need to complete a quilt of a particular size? Our Quilt Size Guide makes this process simple, providing you with all the information you need at a glimpse. By following the chart, you’ll quickly find exactly how many of what sized quilt blocks you’ll need for a wide range of quilt sizes, ranging from crib quilts to king-sized masterpieces.
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