Meandering Musings

Back in the day, meandering seemed to be the overall quilting design that all the kids were doing. What’s great about it is that it’s fast, and it’s pretty easy to fill a large space of almost any shape. It’s still a good design for beginners to help hone their skills, but it can also be a pathway or backbone for designs with a little more style. Each of the designs below began with the same basic meander, then a little something extra was added to four of them.

Here’s the unembellished meander.

Try echoing your meander to create a little more emphasis. I just echoed once here, but I think it would be interesting to echo it at least one more time.

Create a ribbon look by not quite echoing, but curving out a little and crossing over the original line periodically. This was very fast, and much more forgiving than the echo version.

Add a spiral in each “cove” of the meander. Not my favorite look, but it is interesting.

Use the meander as a vine with leaves on either side. The meander was stitched first, then I came back in and added the leaves, stitching right on top of the meander as necessary. This one surprised me! I began with the same size meanders as the other examples, and the leaves are very tiny, but it became very dense very fast. If you try this one yourself I recommend starting with a significantly larger meander.

If you’re not comfortable meandering, practice drawing some examples on paper. If you’re concerned that you might not fill the space evenly once you’re ready to quilt, go ahead and mark it the first few times to get comfortable with the flow. Once you have the feel of it, you can apply that muscle memory to stitch other fills in a meandering fashion that skillfully fill the necessary area.

I’m sure you’ll come up with lots of other ways to build on a meander. No matter what you do, have fun with it!

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