So quilting. I am going to show you the method of quilting that I used on my original Hemispheres Quilt. This method uses concentric circles echoing out from a single point. I decided to use just some solid white in my tutorial so that the detail of what I was doing would show up better than on a print or than on my wall hanging. I should preface this by saying that this is not a tutorial on Free Motion Quilting. I am sure it can be done with free motion, but that is not a skill I yet possess. Plus, I want people who, like myself, cannot master FMQ to have some options other than straight line quilting. That said, lets do this.
So first, find any round object that is a good size for tracing your center circle. For me, the lid of a mason jar works perfectly. It is still small, but not too small that you have trouble getting a smooth curve with your machine.
Trace your object using a water soluble or heat removable marking pen (test it out first to make sure it diappears!) on your quilt where you want the center of your quilting to be. I generally toss mine off center somewhere.
Now, with your machine, line up on the circle you just drew. Before you make your way around the circle, take a couple stitches forward and a couple stitches backwards to lock your stitch in place. You want to do this at the beginning and end of every circle. Otherwise, your quilting will come out in the wash.
Now, begin to sew along the circle you drew. Ease through the curve like you did when you were piecing, trying to start/stop as little as possible so that you don't end up with angles. If you are worried about not being able to get a smooth curve, trace something a little bigger. The bigger it is, the easier it will be to guide your machine through that circle. Since this circle will be our center, it will be the smallest and have the tightest curve. All the curves that follow will get easier as you echo out.
Once you have completed your circle, make sure you backstitch at the end to lock it in place.
To get exact spacing between your concentric circles, I use this tool that came with my machine. It is a guide bar that you can insert into the arm that holds your presser foot. If your machine didn't come with one, I am sure you can buy one that attaches similar to how they make walking feet that attach. (feet? foot? idk)
Line up the guide bar on the first circle you sewed. While sewing, you will want to spend more time watching that guide bar and keeping it lined up than you will watching your needle. As long as that guide bar is in the right place, your stitches will follow. Again, backstitch as you begin your next circle.
Once you get to a place where no more complete circles will fit on your quilt, you finish out the corners as arcs. You still line up on your previous circle, but you stitch from one edge of the quilt to the next.
And here is the finished product! Again, you might want to do your lines much closer together. Mine always fall between 0.5" and 1". This 1.5" could be good on a really huge quilt, but for most, I would suggest keeping it in the same range as straight line quilting.
Happy quilting! Can't wait to see how all of the Hemispheres turn out and how you decide to quilt them!