Here is the rearranged layout. (Starting sketch here and first actual layout here I do occasionally finish a project quickly). The blocks are actually set straight. I have made blocks to fade into the background before and float, but this is the first time that the “floating” part was almost square and looks like they were set on point. So I reoriented the flower square to the angle of apparent blocks instead of the real blocks, and it felt more unified.
One change demands another, so I started shifting the blocks till I got this arrangement.
I learned some limits to the walking foot. I didn’t want to do all those starts and stops in the zig zag in the upper right and lower left triangles, so I tried using the walking foot forward and reverse. While it keeps layers smooth going forward, it allows them to bunch when going in reverse. I think the puckers will “disappear” when the quilt is washed and gets more crinkly, so I didn’t rip anything out nor change my plan. The zig zag worked up to about 6 inches; then the same stabilizing techniques that I had used no longer worked as it got longer. I guess I’ll have to perfect my FMQ straight lines in both directions.
Also this is the first time I tried sectioning off areas and then quilting between lines without adhesive; that too produced a few puckers even though I’d pressed the batting and pinned more carefully than usual. When I have had no puckers I have started in the middle and worked out to the edges. I don’t like to use adhesive, but I do like sectioned designs. Does anyone have other solutions?
The quilt measures 40 x 54 and is close to the maximum I can quilt on my Featherweight.
A note to my followers: I am heading out tomorrow for “Rockies by Rail” in Canada and not taking my computer. There will be photos, but not till I get home.