Thursday, August 28, 2014

Positive Progress and Starting of Designs

To the average reader, I probably appear to have the attention span of a gnat.  One week I post pictures of a green silk quilt I am quilting.  Another week there are photos of a different quilt.  Truth be told, I operate best when there is a variety of things to do.  I typically have 3-4 quilts in the works at once...one is in the design phase, one is partially quilted, one is probably sitting on a table mostly quilted (awaiting some pick out and contemplation, and another being hand stitched.  This one is two evenings from being a completed top (unless I decide on some embroidery, but probably not!).  It only lacks 12 silk dots being hand appliqued.  It is planned to finish at about 80", as I want to have another quilt that can go into the largest category.  Big Bertha has a limited number of shows, and she needs a replacement for sometime next year.  Furthermore, I made 25 of those hand stitched hexagon blocks, and by goodness, I was going to use all of them!  It is busy, but I am OK with the business.  It is different enough in color, fabric and design choices so I think it will look great quilted.
I say that without much of a plan for the quilting yet!  The hardest area I think is this 11" wide border.  It will have a scalloped edge, which I have already marked.  Since I already have ideas for the center and silk sections, I am focusing my energy on the green outer border.  My first step was to print out a picture, which is faded out a little (this helps me to see when I write on it!).  This picture is only 8-1/2"x11" paper.  I just started sketching some thoughts I had for the quilting.  At this point I have no idea what will fit, what will be marked, etc.  I just want to identify motifs that will combine nicely in this space.  It is wide, so I will need several ideas.  The other key thing is keeping with the theme of the quilt.  The hexie blocks are made from Kaffe, Philip Jacobs and Brandon Mably (and others) large scale floral prints.  The fussy-cutting of the pieces makes them look very flowerlike, so I want to maintain this flower motif throughout areas of the quilt.  The deep green silk (happens to be matching the border green perfectly) dots I have appliqued on the border will be the centers for the flowers on the border. 
One thing I have run amuck with previously is that I overdesign the quilt via computer, and then have all the details so completely small that I cannot possibly quilt them on the actual quilt.  So, once I have a basic concept for the quilting that I like, I either use tracing paper and sketch the quilting on it (at actual size), or do what I did this time -- I printed out the photo of the border at actual size.  I had about 6 pages that needed taping together, but whatever.  It is only a guide.  It's sole purpose is to tell me if this design will look good, and how to mark it to quilt.  
 I pulled out my curved cross-hatch rulers and a couple circles and started sketching.  I have an idea how to minimally mark this as I go.  Nothing is so complex that I need marking prior to loading.  The silk will be a different story.  This green fabric is tougher to mark because of the deepness of it.  I will use a sharp chalk-pencil, and a blue pen on the silk applique.  The ribbons that connect from flower-to-flower will probably be created from a cereal box, and marked as I go.  As always with designs, I hope that I will like it.  I hope that I choose the right threads.  Those crazy nerved will kick in soon enough...as I probably won't start this for 6-8 weeks.  I have some very patient clients' quilts to get done now that school is back in session!


8 comments:

JoyceT said...

Thank you for sharing your process for the quilting design.

treadlemusic said...

Your process is like mine and I really like the idea of printing out a "life sized" photo to work on. I then put the 'final' idea on a cork board in front of me for on-going reference (I quilt on a Sweet Sixteen sit-down machine). That is a lovely quilt...even more so with the upcoming stitching!

Lorette Cole said...

Gorgeous! And I appreciate your thought process on how you design your quilting! Which curved rulers do you like best? lorettecole@gmail.com

Rebecca Grace said...

Thanks for sharing your process, Margaret. Your work is so inspirational! I've been thinking a lot about how many projects to work on at once, so this post was very timely for me. I deliberately started several different projects this year as an experiment to see whether switching between them would be better for me creatively, but instead it's paralyzing me. I am having so much time switching between projects that I'm just spinning my wheels and not getting ANYTHING done. I guess it's a personality thing, and I need to get back to a One At A Time mentality to get into my groove again.

Quiltdivajulie said...

Giggling at your gnat comment -- I know a lot of wonderfully creative/gifted people with VERY short attention spans. They revel in having many projects to leap between.

Busy Quilting said...

I much prefer the design of the full size border than your initial thoughts.

A Nudge said...

A very helpful post on quilting designs for your gorgeous quilt! I invite you to link it to Hexie Weekend to share what can be done with hexagons and other EPP forms.

LynCC said...

Yep - I like the leaves that appeared in the arches much better than the scrolled feathers. I love feathers so much, so that surprises me. But something about the leaves just meshes better. Must've been a subconscious switch on your part. :)