Friday, February 12, 2010

Long Time in the Waiting

I have been wanting to have this quilt top quilted for over a year now. I initially thought I'd send it to the Amish to hand quilt last summer, and then the plans for getting the longarm started falling into place. I held off quilting it in the earlier months for fear I'd ruin it. Afterall, I spent 8-9 months with the intricate piecing, and did not want to blow that. Additionally, I have had grandiose plans for how I wanted the quilting to be, and I had to actually learn how to quilt that!
Right now, I have about a dozen quilt tops about to be sent or brought to me, so I am taking advantage of the lull to get my quilt on the machine. The backing has a 3" band which I hope will be centered around the periphery of the quilt. This is next to impossible to do hand basting, but on the frame seemed much more doable. The back is a soft aqua Andover dimples, and that stripe is a dainty and old-fashioned small flower (and not just taupe as it appears).
The first bobbin of aqua bottomline is coming off the winder. Please overlook the rest of the mess on that table. Some housekeeping really needs to take place soon...
Viola...1 hour in and the top and backing are on, and basted at the top and sides. I am taking "quilt top floating" for a trial run with my quilt. I figured that with all of the blocks on point and set in seams, this quilt is likely not to be as square as I think it is. I am also curious what all the hype (good and bad, but definitely vocal) is all about regarding "floating" or "partial floating". So far, after 4-5 hours of quilting I can say it is a bit of a pain because a TON of batting and top hang in an area I like to have clearer. There is no easy access to see underneath to the backside. Also, with this technique, you have to pin the quilt often, and access is restricted.
I have incorporated design features from Carla's Quilt Whispering class. Scroll down and you can see what she drafted for the quilt! It's gorgeous and aggressive, and more at her ability rather than mine. I took ideas and some patterning from her design and merged these with what I drafted for the quilt. So far I am tickled! Above is a continuous-line pattern I designed for the quilt's outer 4" border. One of my requirements with quilting is to limit the stops and starts, as they waste too much time and thread. And below...the design partially marked on the border...
...And then sewn all across one side. One other thing I have done differently with this quilt is to test out a Hobbs Heirloom wool batting. I have heard that it is just lucious to quilt with and that it gives the best definition to the quilting. And boy, are the rumors right. I just love this stuff! It is not cheap, but for special quilts, it is worth the cost. Consequently, since I love the little bit of "poof", I modified Carla's design so that it does not yield such an over quilted (and flat) quilt. FYI...I found the batting at www.heartbeatquilting.com for only $35 (king sized) and this was a good $10-15 cheaper than anywhere else.
This morning I started on the 2 rows of wide feathering (only after doing way more SID than I like around the stars and stripes of the border!). I am only now taking a Feather Bootcamp online class, but I am not unhappy with how my feathers look (my repetoire just needs expanding!). The next shot is before I decided that the 2" darker taupe band really did need more quilting.
Because of the odd shape of blocks on point and the fact that they are large blocks, I have to quilt parts of blocks rather than the entire thing.
I know it all looks simple, but I just don't want to overflatten the quilt. Question...Would you do something more with the darker taupe stripe (which currently just have SID and the teardrpos quilted??)? If so, then what?
Much of the first block is quilted now. I don't know that I "love" the larger curves in the teal parts of the star, but that is because I know they could have been done more symmetrically and better. I love the curved cross-hatching though.
16" of quilting done, MUCH more to go!... Probably another 12 hours if I am estimating properly. Maybe this will go faster since I know what I am doing, but it is still slow because of not being able to do a full block at a time, etc.
Tomorrow...quilt the red and aqua blocks, and start on the points of the feathered star. This may be slow, however, because there may be a change of thread colors to a burgundy.
The texture on the back is wonderful. The tension looks great (a sigh of relief!). Thank you Bottomline and wool!
Stay tuned for another update later this weekend and perhaps some more peeks of the applique quilt I showed earlier this week.







16 comments:

Sewing Junkie said...

Your choices are stunning. The work is over the top. Don't doubt your ability. Chris

Kathy said...

Absolutely beautiful! I can't wait to see it finished. Great job.

Vicki W said...

Beautiful!

Quilts on Bastings said...

Wow, you have made an amazing start on this quilt - I love what you have done so far. I can't wait to see the finished result.

Mary said...

Your quilting is great. What a fun pattern you pieced. I think the quilting is going to make the quilt. I think you have a blue ribbon in your future.

Yvette said...

Again, my jaw is on the ground. This is just stunning!!!!!

You have the machine that I would love to have but alas don't have the space or the time to learn. I did take a class and have a drivers license to rent the one at the sewing machine store but time is my enemy.

Rhonda said...

Your quilting, as far as I'm concerned, is fabulous, fantastic, great, excellent....all those adjectives!!!!

Emma said...

Just WOW!

Béa said...

Absolutely beautiful, I would love to have a top quilted by you !

Shelly said...

Gosh....so lovely!
Your question about the darker taupe band......I like it the way it is-gives your eye a place to rest. Strong work!!

Cathie said...

Wow, you have a GREAT start on this. Enjoy it and take your time. The taupe looks fine - as said above, a place to rest the eye. The feathers are wonderful - looks like practice has paid off well!

Lisa Marie said...

Beautiful Quilting! Thanks for sharing your work.You have done an amazing job so far.

Kathy said...

Wow, it is a stunning quilt! The wool batting is going to be nice. I have one quilt that I made that has the same batting and I really love the lightweight feel, but the warmth is wonderful.

Ms. Jan said...

Margaret, your quilting is absolutely amazing. I can't wait to see this quilt finished!

Carol said...

Wow!They are absolutely gorgeous!

Carol said...

Wow! They are absolutely gorgeous!