Monday, May 27, 2013

More Quilting

After my last post, I decided to just dive in and get the second star quilted...even though I was second guessing the design.  When I finally flipped the quilt over to see how everything was looking, I really didn't like it...pulled it off the machine and started ripping out the stitches.

The front--I like the way it looks on the floral fabric.

The back--I do not like the way it looks with the elegant feathers and border curves, plus it emphasizes where the points don't match up well on the front...just looks sloppy on the back.

It is so frustrating that 20-30 minutes of quilting can take 3+ hours to rip out!  I wish I had remembered to try doodling the pattern on the drawing I had first.  So once I was ready to figure out a new quilting pattern, I tried it out on paper and then scraps first!

Side A shows a bunch of doodles for various parts of the quilt.

Side B shows mostly sketches for the pink star.

I finally decided on the peacock feather design from Angela Walters.  I have been trying to find a good place to quilt it for months/several quilts now!  After sketching a few I tried quilting them on some scrap sandwiches (also to make sure my thread tension was right):

This is my junky practice panel--a bunch of practice designs and curves to test the tension with different feet and threads (I used three colors and four different brands, ugh).

Other side for contrast.

Then I got out another practice quilt to try a bigger feather on:

I added some extra filler lines to test out more new threads.

The peacock feather on the actual quilt went okay, I am still debating adding some more accent lines.  It just doesn't seem fancy enough?  I don't know, they didn't turn out as nice as I wanted, I guess.

These feathers are about 12" long, which is a little difficult on a domestic machine.

It took me forever (okay like a week?) to finally decide on some filler quilting for the negative space (between the stars).  I knew I needed to break it up, and came across a mariner's compass pattern by Green Fairy Quilts that I added first.  And then I found this great video on a swirly-McTavishing design that I knew was perfect too!  I've never done a McTavish design on a quilt.  But on my thread/tension testing, the Gutermann (pink) and the Super Fine (black) didn't play well at all doing free motion, so I decided to just use the pink thread on both sides.  Here's my test block:

I had to piece together the last of my pink scraps, but wanted to be sure the pink thread on pink fabric lived up to my expectations!

And my Mariner's compass went smoothly using my walking foot.  I really hated to use that foot since it requires rotating the quilt like a million times, but so worth it for the super straight lines!

The swirls and McTavishing went mostly well, but on a few of the swirls I tried adding extra lines (to look like a shell, maybe?).  But when I finally finished and looked at the quilt laying flat, the swirls with the extra lines just looked congested, too busy.  And kind of ugly in places.

Here's one of the better examples.

The one on the *right* is one of the not-so-good (okay, terrible) examples.

So, hurray, I'm done quilting!  But now I need to rip out the extra lines in the swirls...hopefully it takes less than 3 hours this time.  Once that's done I'll post a full-quilt photo!


  1. I thought the first one was pretty spiffy! I hear you though, if youre not happy, youre not happy. Good for you for putting the time in and making it what you wanted it to be! Beautiful work, as always.

  2. Thank you for your experience. I will now take my time and practice before I do the actual quilting on anything I do. That is if I ever get anything done to that place!!!
    Everything you have done looks great to me1

  3. Wow, your quilting is gorgeous. I'll never get sick of seeing it, even the parts that to you don't turn out so nice! I know, don't you wish ripping out stitches was a BIT quicker? :)

  4. It's still waaaay better than any fmq I can do on my domestic sewing machine!

  5. Wow, your quilting is always so amazing, even the bits that you think are rubbish are fantastic! I can't wait to see it!

  6. Hate ripping out stitches! Blah! Your quilting is so beautiful though! Love the peacock feathers, LOVE the mariners compass. My Grandma has a lot of quilt books and I used to love looking at them when I was little. One of the books has the most amazing mariners compass quilt I've ever seen, and I've been obsessed with them ever since! Can't wait to see more pictures of this quilt, it is just gorgeous!!!