Thursday, October 26, 2023

Channel Quilting with Forty/3

Channel quilting may not be as glamorous as other techniques but it plays an important supporting role to help feature the piecing in a project and that's just as valuable.  For the Aurifil Artisan October challenge, I've put together a few examples. 

A straight vertical line of stitching using Aurifil Forty/3 thread has been my go to lately.  Finishes number 7, 12 and 15 in 2023 to be specific.  There is something quite satisfying about the repetition.  Back and forth, it's hard not to get the Beyonce Irreplaceable song lyrics "to the left to the left" stuck in my head, haha! 

Although I have been quilting this style with Aurifil 50 weight thread, I like the extra detail achieved with Forty/3 weight and it is nice and strong to hold up on the long arm.  The photo above shows how I load the quilt top sideways to make using the channel lock feature.  

These two are from Modern Quilt Studio mystery quilt alongs "Arrowhead" and "New Day" that I joined in along with a few friends. I have always been a fan of Weeks and Bill and they outdid themselves with fun themes and support for participants. 

Perfectly imperfect spacing was my goal so that the process was enjoyable - almost meditative - and the results have an even-ish visual flow without having to fuss with marking.   Choosing one thread color despite having a high contrast palette can be tricky.  I tend to lean towards the lighter because seeing the lines on the dark portion can be a nice graphic element and less dramatic since it can hold its own.

A finished quilt is not complete without a photoshoot. I purposely chose harsh lighting to accentuate the channel quilting.

You can really see the visual texture on this close up of a mini made during a Maria Shell "Pods" workshop.   When there's a lot going on in the piecing and composition, I feel that the linear quilting gives the quilt structure and does not compete for attention.

All of the piecing was done with Aurifil 50 weight thread 2326 , 2620 and probably more colors depending on which spool of Aurifil happened to be handy. 

Quilting Aurifil Forty/3 cone colors: 

2315 Shell

2370 Sandstone

5020 Light Military Green


  1. I, too, love this kind of quilting with "perfectly imperfect spacing." I need to give 40/3 more of a try than I have!

  2. Love the imperfect spacing. One question- on the longarm, do you always sew left to right or do you sew in both directions?

    1. thanks - I sew both left to right and then change directions to go right to left and haven't had any issues with 40/3 thread

  3. Hi , I always enjoy seeing your beautiful works of art .


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