Monday, April 29, 2019

Dragon Fruit Quilt Fill

Today, it's all about the Dragon Fruit quilt fill.

Dragon Fruit quilt fill on the United runner by QuiltFabrication

Quilted on the United runner made for the Be A Diamond Blog Hop, it's a fill I created specifically for this runner. With all of the star prints, I wanted some kind of a star motif in the background. But drawing a star, and nesting them attractively in a small space was not an adventure I wanted to take on. Hmm, what else would look nice?

So, I got my handy piece of vinyl and my favorite Expo Vis-a Vis WET erase marker (affiliate link), and started drawing over the background space. I tried swirls and pebbles, swirls with feathers, right angled lines that crossed each other, triangles, and stars. Nothing felt right. 

Then I put the swirls together with straight line spikes - now the design is coming together. Add in some echoing around the spikes, and fill is born!

drawn out Dragon Fruit quilt fill

Below are the four steps on how to make one motif of the Dragon Fruit fill - it all starts with a curl, then back a bit to make a hook, add three triangle spikes, then echo back around those spikes.

the four steps drawn out to make the Dragon Fruit quilt fill

Below are three of these motifs put together. Starting with the 'in' arrow, each motif is drawn with a changing swirl direction, so as to move around and fill in the space.

 Dragon Fruit motif to make a quilt fill

Now that the basics of drawing the Dragon Fruit quilt fill are covered, here it is in action:

Keep in mind that I was quilting this fill to get it done, and not to focus on perfection. That's only necessary for show quilts. But there are a couple of things to notice when quilting:

1. Don't worry if the echo is narrower, shorter, or even a bit curved. Or sometimes it's only halfway or missing. It depends on the amount of space that the machine is in at that moment, and the area that the machine needs to travel to next.

2. Backtracking is your friend. Use it in the ditches to move from one area to the next, or use it over previous stitching if all of a sudden the design is boxed in with nowhere to go. The golden rule is to not have more than 3 layers of stitching. More than that, and the thread buildup is really noticeable.

3. Just let the quilting flow! Repeat this mantra - curl, hook, spike, spike, spike, echo. Repeat. After several repeats, the design will become second nature.

So why is this named after Dragon Fruit? Well, hubby went shopping with me, and discovered Dragon Fruit.

a pile of Dragon Fruit

Quite a beautiful pile, yes? Though we didn't buy one, their uniqueness stuck in my head.

Dragon Fruit

With this view from the bottom, I think the Dragon Fruit fill is aptly named, don't you think?

Dragon Fruit bottom

Go ahead and bookmark this page for that one day when Dragon Fruit happens to be the perfect fill for your project. Be sure to send me a picture when the quilting is done - I'd love to share it with everyone!

Happy Quilting!

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  1. Great tutorial for a fun design, thanks Susan!

  2. I'm wondering what a dragon fruit taste like! I have never seen one or tasted one - in fact I don't think I have ever heard of it

    1. They have white flesh with lots of tiny black seeds (like a kiwi fruit, but all the way through). They are mild, sweet tasting, can be a bit bland if not grown and ripened well. Texture is almost gritty from the bazillion seeds. They are actually a cactus fruit. Chose a bright coloured, firm one because they are nicest crisp rather than soft. Serve cold on a stinking hot day for greatest enjoyment. :)

  3. Oh I like it!!! Thanks for the Tute!!

  4. What a fantastic motif and name for it, Susan!

  5. Hi Susan! Yes indeed, this is an appropriate name for this quilting pattern. I love watching your short videos! Just watching the repeating motion makes the design stick in my head, plus I can always use the mantra you shared as well. I am PINing it now. ~smile~ Roseanne

  6. Thanks sew much for the tutorial! I really like this motif! And, yes, the name fits perfectly!

  7. This is a fantastic design! Thank you so much for sharing how you worked this one. I do love it as fill in for United, so I'll be excited to get to working on this over the summer!

  8. Your talents again amaze me! Your quilting and drawing are so pretty! I've heard of dragon fruit, seen it, but never tasted it. Thank you again for teaching and sharing!

  9. Fun design. My MIL has a dragon fruit cactus plant and has managed to get it to fruit a few times, although I believe they prefer a more tropical climate than we get here.

  10. That looks like fun, and easy to pick up, maybe, and not too awful if you mess up a little here and there. In other words, just my kind. LOL


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