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.