Do you remember McTavishing?

Back in the early part of this century….(and it is crazy to think that 01/01/01 was twenty-one years ago)…. quilters were just starting to think about free-motion quilting filler patterns. We may have quilted in the ditch and maybe done a bit of echo quilting around the designs, but the thought of filling an entire background with quilting designs was a completely new idea!!

Enter Karen McTavish!!

She developed a new technique called “McTavishing”, where she completely filled the background with a maze of quilting lines. It was extremely daunting to think about quilting it myself!!!


Last week when I was on the elliptical machine at the gym, I…..

  • a) Listened to music
  • b) Watched Netflix
  • c) Read a book
  • d) Watched YouTube quilting videos

While I have done all of these at one time or another, I currently spend my exercise time watching quilting videos, and that is where I came across McTavishing again!!

In the video, Karen described her technique simply…..starting with 4 parallel lines…..

….and then splitting the open area into another section, adding 4 more echo lines, and then filling in with “C” (clamshell) shapes.

The final result looks something like this….

It looks so difficult, but when it is broken down, I think that it is doable!!

She also started another design but putting in the bare bones of the design…..

….and then going back to fill it in…..

That looks amazing, but when it is broken down, I am thinking that it might not be TOO hard to do!!

I would encourage you to check out the video. It is definitely worth your time…..

Hopefully, I can find time to do some McTavishing soon!!

Let me know if you try it!!

Are you in a rut with your machine quilting? Sure, you know HOW to do FMQ and you have 4 or 5 patterns that you do well. BUT, you are bored with those designs and need a push to try some new things. If so, please join “MOVE-IT…. a Free-Motion Quilting Boot Camp”!! I will take you on a FREE 10 week journey to learn new designs and become more comfortable with just MOVING IT!! You can sign up by clicking HERE