Finally Quilting

Seems I’ve been saying, “After X I’ll start quilting…” for a long time. Actually it is since the Sisters OR Outdoor quilt show and classes. There was always something else that needed to be pieced first. I didn’t run out of things to design, but had no pressing due dates, so I headed for the box of tops waiting with backing.

Oops. not prepared backings, but fabric for backings.

The first three I tried would need to be pieced to be large enough. Then there was the issue of thread.  I piece with gray or cream, so haven’t thought thread color for quite a while. Finally found one with thread on hand and a back, a top I’d started in August.

I had done some practice and, for the most part, could maintain an even stitch length. I outlined the monkeys and did pebbles around them.

Pebbles

Practicing Pebbles

I didn’t want the whole quilt to be pebbles because I wanted the quilt to be softer. (It is infant size, 36 x 36.) But I wanted something special to highlight the monkey row.

I moved on to the other lighter squares, saving the dark green for a later thread change.  Since I like high contrast, I’ll probably always be dealing with thread changes–or become confident enough to quilt with contrasting colors.

Spiral-1

First Spiral

I decided to put a large spiral in each light 4-inch square. I practiced with pencil and paper and thought I had it. Nope.  I had a hard time keeping the curve curvy. And something was wrong with the center where I changed directions. I studied and studies as I quilted new squares. Even after I figured out the spacing issues, it took till the sixteenth spiral to do it.

 A better spiral

After 16

I did practice the design in a small scale, but I think problems show up more when it is enlarged.  I do some practicing on swatches that are sandwiched, and some on quilts for children. Remember the mantra?  Altogether now: The kids don’t care.

The spiral makes me think of the monkey tail. On the dark green I’m going to do arches that suggest the grinning mouth.

ETA I tried sketching the “smile.” I didn’t like it so I’ll opt for a simple zig zag. Linking up with Leah Day’s Free Motion–see button to the right if you want to check on other’s stitching. I hope someday FMQ is as easy for me as it looks for her.

Advertisements

6 Comments

Filed under quilting

6 responses to “Finally Quilting

  1. I am terrible as curves in quilting…and people say straight lines are more difficult? I think the spirals do mimic a monkey tail, how clever! Cute monkey fabric 🙂

  2. What a fun quilt. I am confident whoever receives this quilt will love it!

  3. Sounds like fun quilting to work on!

  4. I’d say that your quilting looks wonderful – thanks for sharing how you went about it!

  5. Good work! I find the key to swirls is keeping my movements smooth. Thanks for linking up!

  6. Cher

    your spirals look great to me…one of the best tips is to use a white board and draw your pattern over and over, so you have a muscle memory that helps when you are free motion quilting…I use a warm up piece to get into my free motion groove…that way I can see if the thread will work the way I want and it loosens me up at the same time…you know that saying, 10,000 hours to master a skill 🙂

Conversation is good, so please join in. I'll reply here if it seems relevant to others, by email, or by visiting your blog.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s