My apologies to those of you who read regularly because I've posted a picture of this quilt many times already. If you are sick of looking at it, just cover your eyes for a minute. I'll let you know when its safe to look again. For those of you who might be new readers, here is the quilt top I'm working on:
Okay, you can uncover your eyes now.
Yesterday I set up the machine for free motion quilting. My idea originally was to quilt a thread spool into the bottom corner of each block, then do a sort of loopy stipple up to the center top of the block where two needles would cross one another like swords. So I made a little practice piece, mainly to reassure myself that I could actually draw a spool. As I've said many times, I am a terrible artist. Absolutely terrible.
Not too bad. Then I practiced my loop-de-loos up toward the top of the piece.
And then the needles, once again reassuring myself that I can actually draw some semblance of a needle.
Then I studied the quilt blocks for a bit and I decided that two spools and two needles were too much. Some of the blocks don't have a lot of space around the sewing machines, and I was afraid that those blocks would appear to crowded. Also, I consulted my consultant (Mike), and he thought one spool and one needle would be plenty. So here's the first quilted block:
I decided to stitch very closely to the embroidery both inside and outside the sewing machine, just to make it stand out a little, and to add a little bit more structure to the quilt itself.
Also, I had to decide where to put the spool and the needle on each block. Should I put it in the same place each time? Or should I put it in a different place? I ended up deciding to use the largest open area of any given block. So, on the next block, I placed them in a different area.
And then I just did a sort of loopy stipple, filling in the open areas of the block.
I didn't want to get too carried away with loops because I was afraid it would be too busy and detract from the embroidery.
Again, I stitched very close to the embroidery to make it stand out from the rest of the block.
I used the same fabric on the back that I used in the outer border, the black on the left in the image below, and so the quilting barely shows at all there. One of these days, I'm going to get very brave and actually do some quilting that shows. For now, I'm still building my confidence. I have in mind to do a vine-like thing in the outer border to echo the vines in the fabric. I'm going to do some straight line quilting in the sashings. In my experience, outlining the blocks helps them to stand out on the quilt back.
So far, I have two of twelve blocks finished. This is a simple design, and I think I'll have this finished within the next couple of days if I keep after it. I've been dragging my feet for a couple of months on this quilt, and so I'm glad I finally got myself together to get started on it. Often, I drag my feet because I'm not sure I'm capable of doing what I want to do. Then, I get started and realize it's not half as hard as I built it up to be in my mind. Do you do that too?
Today is a swimming day. I've only been average on my exercise commitment. I can't remember if I said this on the blog, but I give myself a "C" for last week. I only exercised two out of four days. I'm trying to do better this week. Yesterday was a physical therapy day, and I'm counting that as one day since I'm doing a significant amount of exercise during those sessions...enough to make a lady glow, if you know what I mean. I have a little bit of housework to do in addition to heading off to the pool, and then I'll devote the rest of the day to quilting this quilt.
What's on your agenda for today?