Wednesday, August 4, 2010

August again - sharing the Process

It's been a week of quilting - FIVE charity quilts are quilted - thought I only had one more on the line, but in tidying up the sewing studio, found 2 more!  so, my goal for this week is to finish the one on the frame, and the three remaining charity quilts before Friday.  This is going to keep me busy - that's 11 quilts all together - these were already pieced and waiting (all winter) to be quilted - and I'm handing them off to others for the bindings.  They (QCE guild committee members) meet on Friday afternoons, hence the urgency to have these all done by Friday! 

Several people have asked me.... "How do you decide on a quilting design?"  Yes, a good question....
Sometimes, I admit, it is a matter of instinct - if there is a very busy quilt top where the quilting won't show anyway, I tend to go for one of two goals -
1, finish the quilt in allover stippling. or
2, practice a new design on a piece where the mistakes won't show anyway! 

After all, if I never practice, I don't improve!

Now, the hard part about practicing a new design on a busy fabric is that I can't see what I'm doing as well as if I were practicing on a solid with a contrasting thread, which is the best way to practice a new quilting design.  That way I can easily see my tension settings, stitch length, mistakes, etc.  If I can't see my mistakes, I can't improve.  It's a bit of a conundrum.

Several of the quilts I've been working on the past week have alternating plain white blocks - this has given me the opportunity to practice some of the new Follow-the-Line quilting designs by Mary M. Covey V. 4.  Her designs are printed full size for tracing, or whatever.  I usually use them with my laser pointer for the first  row, then put the pattern on the metal shelf in front of me with a magnet to use for reference.  By the time I've done that design for 8 rows - it's well memorized by my muscles and I don't have to look at the pattern, I can just look where the needle is going.  Not where the needle IS, mind you - but where it's GOING. 

Sometimes I get ideas that just don't work - they are too difficult for my skill level, so I keep those ideas in the notebook and try them again when I'm feeling more confident.

Here (finally.... I know you've been wondering!) are some pictures of the recent quilting efforts:
 this crib quilt has been waiting a long time for stitches!
took a long time to decide, but finally decided to practice these little 6" feathers... or plumes, or whatever...

a little hard to see the quilting on this one - I used a bright multi-colored tri-lobal polyester - which the machine seemed to love - - - 

I tried to reverse the direction on each row ....

of course the stitching came out a little differently on each block -
I'm a human, not a machine!

So that's it for today - I'm working on a curve piecing tutorial for my next post.  Check back in a day or two!

Thanks for stopping by!
Granny has to run some errands now.

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