At the Longarm: Bonus Triangle Quilt

On New Year’s I made a goal of trying to get caught up on my quilts that need longarming.  Well New Year’s Eve day I had already written the New Year’s Day post and decided there’s no time like the present to get working on a quilt so to the sewing room I went and loaded this.

I decided to take one of the most intimidating quilts first…and one of the most long term.  This one I made some time back…I didn’t tell you about it as my plans are to submit it to a magazine once it’s finished.

I LOVE the quilt.  It came about as I was trying to use up bonus triangles.  Oh my, mine are so out of hand.  I could make MANY quilts with only them.  Each block in the quilt above uses 12 bonus triangles and this quilt didn’t make a dent it what I have.  Oh my.

I did a little teaser on my Instagram feed showing off the quilt.

At this stage, I was LABORING over the quilting.  LABORING.  I can and do longarm but I’m not the best at coming up with designs and I am not the perfectionist I wish I was so often if a quilt is going to published and it needs a little extra “UMPH” we send it off to my friend Carla and she does it.  Well this time I knew what I wanted for a design so I decided…”DO IT JO.  DO IT.  YOU’LL NEVER GET BETTER AT IT IF YOU DON’T”….So I did it.

This is the design I wanted….See the flower in the middle and the back and forth design in the white area?
As I said…I’m not a very experienced long armer when it comes to custom quilting.  So I was doing the white part and could do it continuous motion.  AH…Continuous motion means I can keep going without all the starts and stops.  It took me a bit but I could do it.

After the white part was finished I was going back and doing the center square with the flower one individual flower at time.  It was SO SLOW GOING!  SO SLOW.  I was wasting thread with all the starts and stops.  I was wasting time and my patience was being tried.

To do a pass this big was taking an hour and 15 minutes.  Oh…what had I gotten myself into.  I was miserable.

Well then the lightbulb turned on after I had made three passes.  I could “jump” onto the dark square area and make the flower motif as I went past them while doing the white area.  I tried it a couple times and it worked.

I got the hang of it and by the next pass I was doing the ENTIRE quilt continuous motion.  I know you long time longarmers are saying “DUH!”.  For me, it was a lightbulb moment.  I was THRILLED.  I could now do a pass in 40 minutes.  Ah…BLISS!!!


Of course I didn’t figure it out until I was this far along….oh well, the saying is true, better late than never!!
I got it done!!  I need to bind it and write a ditty up to send off to a publisher.  I’m hoping someone picks it up.  It’s a quilt that if I saw in a magazine, I would likely make…goodness knows I have enough bonus triangles.
Speaking of bonus triangles….I need to some up with another quilt idea.

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36 thoughts on “At the Longarm: Bonus Triangle Quilt

  1. Suzy R.

    Congratulations on a beautiful quilt with wonderful quilting! You are right – if I saw this quilt pattern in a magazine I would want to make one, too!

  2. Tina in NJ

    I don’t think you’ll have any trouble selling this one to a magazine, Jo. I would love to make this one, many times.

  3. Norma

    Yes, I would love to make it and I already have too many in the line up! Good job with the quilting too! Sometimes a quilt tells you what it wants and sometimes not.

  4. Susan Earle

    Hey Jo — Lovely quilt top! I have lots of bonus hst’s and have been trying to think of ways to use them. They are LOTS of different sizes. I’ll look forward to seeing what you do with them!

  5. Robby H.

    It’s lovely. You may have felt late to the party in figuring out how to do all the quilting in one pass, but you’re brain will remember that next time and help you think up a way to do it again. It’s not just literal muscle memory we build, but mental as well.

  6. Vicki

    You have inspired me to dig into my big pile of quilt tops and “just do it”. The quilting part is very stressful for me…always afraid of ruining my quilt.

  7. Loris Mills

    Gorgeous quilt! And I hope I see it in the magazine so I can buy the pattern! It’s a beautiful use of those scrappy HST’s. I am with you on the longarming. I like to finish my own quilts but really get jammed up thinking about design. I’d rather be piecing most of the time.

  8. Sharon Pendley

    Absolutely beautiful!! I’m a newbie at quilting & just love it. I’m only making the simple block quilts for now for church & the quilts are sent all over the world. This is what got me hooked. Anxious to learn more. Need to take some quilting classes to really learn more. Maybe one day I’ll get a long arm & make the pretty designs that you made. You are so talented! Good luck!!

  9. Vivian

    Wow! Gorgeous! And all from Bonus Triangles?!? Great quilt Jo, definitely let us know if one of the magazines picks this one up. I often felt the same way you feel about the longarming when doing free-motion on a domestic machine. You really do have to steel up your nerves and just go for it. And remember the addage about what will be seen by “the man on the galloping horse…” — unless it’s a competition quilt, no one will be looking that closely for the “oopsies”.

  10. Ginny A

    Amazing and beautiful quilt! Now…how long had you been saving bonus triangles to get a quilt this big or was it a block at a time over time?

  11. Rosie Westerhold

    LOVE this!!! I don’t have “bonus” triangles; I have 1/2 square triangles that I made in the very early 90s from all of my fabrics at the time. Many, MANY still need to be squared up. This quilt would be a good project for that. Please let us know when it gets picked up, and where it will be published!!!

    You know you have to PRACTICE before you become proficient at anything. Keep on practicing on the longarm. Your results this time are WONDERFUL. I’m still getting there as I have been quilting on a DSM and then a longarm since 1991. Haven’t quilted anything since last June. Hope that muscle memory kicks in when I get the next one loaded!!!

  12. Wendy P

    I so want to make this quilt – totally my style and colors. Let us know when it’s published.

  13. Susan the Farm Quilter

    Great quilt and you did good on the quilting! I’m always trying to figure out how to keep the quilting line going, because I’m horrible at coming up with an E2E quilting pattern…my brain only sees custom quilting! That said, when I made a quilt for my MIL, I did have 86 starts and stops (yeah, I tie knots and bury thread for each one) in one twelve inch block. I can’t wait to see which magazine picks up this quilt! And you will be surprised by how many of the people who make this quilt copy the quilting you have done on it!

  14. Andi

    Hi Jo!
    First, let me say I love the quilt! This is one I would definitely do. Second – I’ve been longarming for 15 years, and have never gotten the hang of custom quilting either. I love Pantographs, they are all I use, and my customers love them as well. It does get easier ( custom) with practice, but its just not what I know I want to do. Again, Love the quilt!
    Also, I totally get what you mean with Karl. My youngest son lives in Australia, and saying goodbye each time is just a booger! Sometimes I don’t see him for 2 years at a time – – –

  15. Lace Faerie

    Beautiful quilt, Jo. Congrats on pushing yourself into custom longarming. I can hardly wait for the pattern to be published! I love your quilts!

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