|I spoke a little about my quilting process for my fairy tale quilt yesterday but wanted to talk a bit more about it today and link up with Gemma at Pretty Bobbins and her IQuilt Thursday. This is only the second quilt I have attempted free motion quilting (FMQ) on so I am a newbie!! It has taken me back to my kindergarten days when I felt like the pencil was in control of me instead of me being in control of the pencil. I do think of FMQ as a form of writing and the sewing machine as my pencil.|
|I began to think of the quilting as I was piecing this quilt together hoping I would be struck with an awesome idea. That didn't happen so I turned to my friends for their opinions :). Some of the Wombat girls as well as Nicole suggested a vine or beanstalk type quilting. I thought that was a great idea and started looking on Pinterest for quilting ideas. I kind of had an idea in my head but couldn't see it clearly. I had a few goals I wanted to accomplish with the quilting or at least a few things I knew I didn't want: 1. i didn't want the quilting to compete with the stories in the quilt blocks 2. there is a lot going on in the quilt so I didn't want the quilting to be busy and 3. I wanted the quilt (and the characters in it) to lay flat and not crinkle up (eliminating stippling) 4. I wanted to practice some FMQ and 5. I wanted to keep things simple and enjoy the quilting process because it is not my favorite part of quilting. I am hoping the more I can quilt the more I will like it or at least be comfortable doing it. I have many quilts I plan on making and would like to be able to quilt them, for the most part, myself.|
I decided on doing this sprout like design. For minimal quilting and easy math I planned to make 10 beanstalks 8 inches wide and went to work marking vertical lines on my quilt to give myself some boundaries to stay with in. As I marked those lines I thought to myself, "Are 10 beanstalks 8" wide and 82" high minimal quilting? They sounded kind of gigantic to me. I then decided to do some straight line and echo quilting and would quilt each block on an individual basis. I started with the castle since i always start quilting in the middle of the quilt and smooth it out towards the edges. The castle is a huge block approximately 18x24. I wasn't sure that outline quilting was the way to go either. Are you seeing a pattern here? So I did what every good quilter does when they are in a dilemma: I stalled and perused fabric :). While I was looking at fabric I came across Wallflowers by Alison Harris. I thought there was a woodgrain type print, which I can't resist, so I clicked on the thumbnail and it was actually a stem print with an occasional leaf. Bingo!! It was the exact picture of quilting I had seen in my mind.
|During my quilting on the castle I tarted with the darning foot. I felt like it had control instead of me so I switched to a walking foot. Then I decided this was my time to practice and went back to the darning foot.|
The quilting is very subtle on the front and shows up best on the solid flannel on the back. I used the darning needle for these lines and just practiced controlling the needle and tried to keep them straight then added a leaf here and there. The blue vertical lines I marked at the beginning never were used as I ended up quilting horizontally. This is the beginning of my quilting journey. I am thankful for my friends and other bloggers who share their stories and give tips to help me improve my work. You can pop over to Gemma's to see some beautiful quilting and read about other's process with quilting.