Friday, 8 July 2016

I love quilting but..............

A couple of things I have had running through my mind as I hurry to finish a quilt for a show;
1.  All the gorgeous quilts on Pinterest, in magazines, on shows.
2.  All the beautiful quilting on the gorgeous quilts.
3.  Starting a new quilt loving the design
4.  Getting tired of the quilting on the new quilt.

1 and 2 set off pure, unadulterated green eyed envy.  My efforts seem puny.  But in reality, nothing is perfect and each of these artists has practiced and practiced and will admit on camera that their work is not perfect.  After all you are pushing a 50lb machine over a surface that is not identical with every roll. And it is a human doing the pushing around and we are feel differently on different days.  The fabric behaves differently depending on the surrounding environment.  Feel your quilt on a warm humid day vs. a cold, crisp, dry day.  Not exactly the same surface.  The fabric behaves a bit differently and a bit is a lot in quilting.

Does it matter as you are quilting if there is just a tiny stitch out of place.  Well when your face is almost on top of the quilt, the lights are on bright, everything seems huge.  Step back and see the quilt as others will.  You might find it is not terrible after all.  If you can still see something, then fix it.  Do I take my own advice.  Well.............most of the time.  I thank Angela Walters for her pragmatic advice on video about not being perfect.

Each quilt is a learning.  This one has a pieced back.  It is a nice pieced back and took as long as a simple quilt top to make but it has lots of seams and even though the seams have been pressed open they make a bit of an unseen interference and when paired with close seams on the top can be a bit of a challenge.  So the lesson to me is think about what you are planning to quilt on the top a bit before you decide on a pieced back and how complex that back will be.  But that would not have stopped me trying.  No.  This picture will show you what I mean about the top quilting with a multi pieced back.

This junction is very busy and if there were seams behind it was not easy.  After the quilt is finished, there will be appliqued circles over the junction.  Am I sorry I chose to do these lines?  No, it suits the quilt.

Which leads to 3 and 4; loving the design and then hating it.  I used the simple Paint program from Microsoft to put a .jpg of the quilt block design in and draw lines for quilting on it.  It looked good.  Lots of movement and it took advantage of the diamond shapes the blocks made.
But of course the reality of all the lines coming to a single point as in the photo and the actual number of lines that had to be stitched was overridden by how it looked.  Am I tired of doing straight lines?  Yes.  Straight lines are not fluid like leaves, flowers, feathers.  But they are effective in some cases.  This is not the first time I have done lots of lines and am still pleased with other finished quilts.

Do designs evolve when quilting?  Well mine generally do.  I have an idea but am open to additions based on how the quilt is looking with the basic design.  In this case the diamond shapes with the straight lines on the blocks created a narrow space at the middle of the diamond. Why not relieve the monotony of the straight lines with some pebbles.  Sounds like a plan.  Pebbles are actually pretty easy but with a pieced back, the easy gets a bit harder.  Concentration has to be intense to account for the interference of seams from the pieced back.  Is it working as my mind and eye have planned; yes.
This will provide veins like long windmill arms set into the diamond shapes and make the eyes move around the quilt.  Am I tired of the circles like I was of the lines.  Yes.  Could I have set the robot to stitch an all over pattern.  Yes.  Would it be nice? Yes. Would it be me?  No.

I still do not know entirely what this will be like finished.  And I will not know until the last stitch is in and the applique circles are on and the binding as well.  I chose not to have a border as there is so much colour in the quilt.  So I am putting a dark green, almost black border to contain all the colour.

After the show is over I will post a picture of the finished quilt and if you check in again to my blog you will see it if you are still interested.  In the meantime I will have moved on to something else.  There are lots of something elses in my sewing room ready for some quilting.  Now, another session this evening with pebbles.  Ah, cookie and tea as a treat after.  Bribing myself!

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