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Divide and Conquer Quilting

Hooray! Your latest masterpiece quilt top is finished and you are ready to baste and quilt! This is the stage at which so many of us (even the most active quilters) say “Now what?” Often the hardest part of determining how to quilt a project is creating a plan that allows us to move easily through the quilt with the least resistance. With these simple organizational techniques, this process can be made not only easier, but infinitely more rewarding.

Let’s start with an applique project, though Divide and Conquer Quilting techniques can easily apply to any quilt. The quilt top has been pin basted and the thread choice is underway.

Step 1: With an applique project, it’s best to begin by ditching the edge of the applique pieces to help them pop out. Thread selections for this portion are best made to closely color match the color behind the applique pieces. This might require several thread changes. In this case, I have chosen multiple colors from Super Threads’ Masterpiece collection. The threads are #50 to help get nice and close to the applique edge without interfering with the appeal of the applique pieces. I find that a #50 weight thread imbeds nicely into the quilt rather than building up too much surface interest where you might not want it.