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Pluma Digital Quilting Design on the 2023 Stronger Together Quilt




This is Pluma! Not only was it on display in our booth at QuiltCon last weekend, but it was the most popular quilt in our booth! More on the pattern later in this post.

Pluma is a unique digital panto in that it features feather plumes going against each other in each repeat. It's almost as if the larger couplet of plumes swallows the smaller couplet. It makes for interesting movement.

As a way of connecting the two halves of the design, there's a circle in the center of the motif. This provides another interesting textural element.

The plumes are stitched out individually with each plume nestled closely with its neighboring plume. While there is some minimal backtracking/overstitching in the design, it does not occur in the feathers.

The Quilt Design

I used the 2023 Stronger Together Quilt designed by Michelle Ramsay of Quilts Made with Love. She hosted the Quilt Along for this last month during Black History Month. This pattern can be downloaded with a donation to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) via the Fat Quarter Shop's website. They also have an adorable cross-stitch pattern of the design!

Here's a picture of Michelle in our booth at QuiltCon in Atlanta.

I feel like I have a lot of words, ordinarily. 😊 However, I can't come up with enough words to describe how much I loved sewing this top together!

First, I absolutely love Michelle. She's been in the Longarm League for a few years now, so I've gotten to know her and her business. She is such an easy person to cheer for because of who she is. But also? She's a great designer, pattern writer, and of course longarm quilter! Michelle infused so much intention, meaning, style, and even education into the pattern. I haven't sewn another pattern quite like it. 

The pattern features biographical vignettes about Black explorers and their contributions to our country. To see how they tie into the quilt design is truly special!

Educational element aside, the quilt is FUN to sew together, too! It's easy sewing, but it's not mindless—a perfect amount of "pay attention" with the satisfaction when seeing the like-sections come together.

I already had the Unruly Nature fat quarter fabric bundle designed by Jen Hewett for Ruby Star Society. I picked this up from Stitch Supply when I visited for a retreat last October. I decided to use it for this pattern because it had similar colors to Michelle's version, but with prints that read more as prints and not solids. I was interested to see how the prints translated in the design, especially given some fabrics are medium-scale and there are a few smaller patchwork pieces. As you can see, it all worked swimmingly! 

Because of the size limitations of the fabrics I chose being fat quarters, I pieced the night sky fabrics using different blues from my stash instead of a solid sky as Michelle's pattern shows. I love how the patchwork sky turned out! I didn't deviate again from the pattern as written, except for the blue border. Again, because of not having matching blue yardage that I wanted to incorporate, I simply omitted the borders. I liked that my blue binding serves as a narrower frame for the quilt.

The Quilting Details

A video of the stitch path appears at the top of this post. 

Here are the sizing specifications for how I set up this design using my Intelliquilter (48.5" x 48.5" quilt size):

Row height: 4"
Gap: -1.882" 
Pattern height: 5.882" (measurement from top to bottom of the repeat)
Offset: 50%
Backtracking: minimal

The backtracking is minimal around the circle in the middle (refer to the video stitch-out). It's really not too bad.

Here's a look at the included PDF:

If you use Pluma on a quilt, we'd love for you to use the hashtag #plumapanto and tag @longarmleague on Instagram so we can see how you use it! You can also visit our full digital design shop to take a look at all our previous designs.

Interested in getting new digital pantograph designs like this one on the day they're released (and at a deep discount)? Sign up for our Digital Panto Club and get them delivered straight to your inbox on the first Wednesday of each new month.


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