Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Under the needle

      I taught another beginning free motion quilting class on Monday, and had a couple of questions posed that were very good.  Both  questions made me stop and think about how I approach the quilting part of this whole process.    I like the piecing and sewing part, love the designing and colors, and enjoy enhancing the quilt with the quilting.
   So the first question concerned where to begin when you start quilting.  I had taken this small runner as an example of meandering / stippling. It turned out to be a good example.   I picked a spot near the main vine and leaf that is near the center as the beginning point.  Since I was quilting the background only and using a simple fill stitch, the actual spot did not matter.  If it was to be filled in with a geometric or gridded stitch pattern, planning and marking would be needed.

   Second question was how do I decide where to quilt, like on a log cabin quilt.  A log cabin is traditional stitched along the logs or in the ditch to enhance the pattern.  So my response right off was.....what part of the design to you want to accentuate?  Do you want the dark logs or the light logs to stand out?   A good rule of thumb---which is often broken here---is to quilt down the part you want to recede and leave the area you want to stand out un-quilted, or at least only lightly stitched down.

   All this relates to how was I going to quilt that scrap quilt from 5 " squares.  So enough's how I quilted it.


   I did not want to just do an all over pattern, which is my usual habit.  And there is no border on this one either.  So I asked those questions....what did I want to enhance, and what did I want to recede or ignore.

Since I liked the diagonal row effect of the pattern, I wanted to visually enhance that aspect. So I quilted long vines with loose curls and wavy leaves in each diagonal row that the pattern creates.
   You can see the stitching better on the corner of the back that I flipped over.

  I also alternated the direction of the vines with every row....some  go up and some come down.  It's a little different style for me....and I really like it.   Not what I would normally think to do....the vine was a border motif  I ran across and adapted.
   Anyway, it will be a good example for the next class on Monday when I teach the swirls and vines.  A little binding needs to be done, too....and the label.  And better photos when it is finished.

Happy stitching.


Quilting Babcia said...

I love the way your log cabin turned out. The leafy vines are a perfect compliment to the logs.

Janet O. said...

I love what you have done with this, Debbie. Great new perspective on using what would normally be a border design--I hope I can remember it. : )

Mary said...

Thank you for sharing these pointers. I especially like the vines on your scrappy quilt.

Lynne said...

Lovely quilt, pretty quilting. Can you come and teach me please?

Nicki said...

I have heard and/or seen the technique of altering the direction of quilting like you did on your vines. I think it helps with versitility of the quilt in that you don't have to lay it or hang it in a certain direction because the quilting goes both ways. Those were really good questions from your students. Your quilt turned out beautiful.

Dana Gaffney said...

I really like the quilting, log cabins can be a problem for me since I don't really like the stitch in the ditch for them. You added motion and softened all of the straight lines without taking away from the design, perfect!

Barbara said...

Good questions and good answers. I never know what to do with either.

liniecat said...

Fabulous result on the scrap quilt, a perfect quilting design for it.

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