Urban Chickens Half Quilted

After finishing the stitching on the white around the “chickens,” I came up with three basic designs for the squares part of the block.  First, spirals.

The red is the first one where I totally misjudged distances and had to fudge and add a round. The second one turned out better. Curves could be smoother and spaces more even. This quilt is for me, and I can live with imperfection. And it is more fun than practicing on squares that won’t have a function. More realistic too, as designs that are easy in small pieces are not always in the middle of a larger piece.

Second, what better than chicken tracks. My first try (blue and orange) looked more like jewelry, but gradually I got there.

The checkerboard arrangement on the first attempt made it easy to use just two colors and quilt continuously. However, when making the blocks, I’d tried to avoid the checkerboard. Since continuous quilting no longer worked, sometimes , as in the lime and teal block, I used spirals in the small squares since they were easier to do individually. So the second design has two variations.  All that starting and stopping was a pain. By the time I got to the three shades of blue, I had decided that thread changes were not necessary. Two boring steps–threading the machine, ending and beginning again–eliminated.

And the third one is based on a design for squares by Angela Walters in her book, Shape by Shape--if she gave it a name, I forgot it. I know she showed it with triangles too, don’t think she showed it with rectangles.  I tried to proportion the indent to the lengths of the sides, but it still was a bit awkward. I’ll have to look at the book again to see if she gave any hints.

This design was harder on the machine than with the pencil practice sketch–not enough room to maneuver the longer lines .(My Featherweight has a 5 1/2-inch harp.) It helped to split the block into two rectangles. It also took a while to keep four sided shapes–I tended to end up with triangles when it was hard to see where I’d been or where I was going. And this was with edge blocks. I decided this design–whole or half–was not for the center.

When I planned out which design to put where I needed a fourth–couldn’t have two of the same designs side by side. So a simple variation on the spiral, making 12 instead of 6.

12  spirals

This one also went into the center where the angular one wouldn’t work.

So I thought four designs would solve the boredom issue of the design I’d started but decided not to pursue. And it did to an extent, but why do you suppose I am blogging instead of quilting?

Here is a link to Michelle’s tutorial for the block in case you’d like to make one.


Filed under design, quilting

6 responses to “Urban Chickens Half Quilted

  1. Cher

    you are really learning how you need to be flexible in free motion quilting- I think your skills are really improving and considering the machine you are working with,,,really nicely done!

  2. dezertsuz

    I wish you had at least a sit down George or something to make this easier for you. The thought of maneuvering all that fabric on a FW is daunting to me! It looks great, though. I just saw that Waters design on someone’s blog last week and thought it was great. Of course, I can’t remember whose blog it was! She did show how she did it, too. If I come across it, I’ll let you know.

  3. Quilting is looking good! I love reading about your design process, but like the above reader, can’t quite get my head around the fact that you are quilting on a Featherweight! (Actually I quite like that idea, but do recognize the challenges. Does it have a special foot to be used?) I really like this quilt, so will keep watching it progress.

  4. That’s looking great! I love Shape by Shape. It has so many good ideas. I am also not a fan of changing threads every time fabric changes, at least not in fairly scrappy quilts. I am looking forward to seeing the full quilt!

  5. I can’t wait to see the full quilt! And I’m amazed at doing it all on a featherweight! I especially love the big spirals on the first set of blocks.

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