Thursday, August 14, 2014

Phase Two...Working on Center Details

Today was the 2nd day of quilting on my silk quilt, undisturbed.  The photos I took today are a bit discombobulated in that I worked on a variety of areas simultaneously.  This makes it a bit harder to discuss areas easily.  But...perhaps if I show you a sketch of how I initially envisioned the quilting to be, this will be easier.

If you have followed my blog, you have seen some of the many ways I design quilting.  I have showed sketches like this, drawn in pencil.  I have also done ones on tracing paper, which are often done to size and used with a light-box to transfer designs.  I also draw on electronic images using a Bamboo-pen tablet.  All work well, and allow you to visualize the plan.  The quilting for this particular quilt was designed the cave-man method...pencil on printed photo.  This is often my mode of choice if I want to design on the go.
This is only the center of the quilt, but it shows how I hope to transform a pieced star in square set on point, to a jazzy star, in an octagon setting!  The quilt is flamboyant in it's use of the pink and blue.  I want the quilting of the star to represent this.  I have the points in each color designed slightly differently, but they are all styles of quilting that you will see repeated in other places in the quilt, thereby making them cohesive.

First step...the larger green triangles.  They have this fun little swirly shaped spine for the feathers.  In order to make the template, I used a technique similar to what I showed yesterday.  I traced the actual quilt, and drew the shape I wanted.  It was then transferred to a piece of cardboard for tracing onto the quilt.
Here's the end result.  The actual triangle is also ditch stitched, as all of the star points will be before it is finished.
Another thing that is important to do is to baste the seam lines that you really need/want to maintain straight.  I hadn't yet ditch stitched the pale green background to the deeper olive border, but it is basted to eliminate any shifting.  It may seem like overkill, but it saves me more times.

The blue triangles were next.  As it turns out, I deviated from my original plan slightly, in that I omitted the 1/8" striping I thought I might quilt inside of the pebbles.  That's happens ALL the time.  The best laid plans are only that...plans.  I got this much of the quilting done, and decided I really liked the positive space created without the stripes.  It gives the eyes a place to rest.  Besides, it is much easier to add the quilting later than to remove it!  In the same color thread, I also did the center with some kicking 1/4" cross-hatching.  It went in flawlessly too, which is an added plus when adjacent sections align so easily!
The dark blue points were done next.  It makes me nervous to ditch in a deep color, with a pale background, but this had to be done.  I also had to mark the block in something other than my fall-back blue and purple marking pens.  For this, I used a piece of chalk.  It is the refill to my Bohin chalk pencil,and is nice and sharp.  Never use the colors, as they may contain a wax which can be hard to remove.  I have heard horror stories from quilters about the yellow and green, but white is JUST chalk and is perfect.  I have marked a centerline and a couple other key places.
This motif is simpler, which is just fine.  The eye is allowed to bounce all over from the larger and busier green feathered triangles, to the pebbled blue triangles, and back to the more grounding blue points.  I can't stress enough that a quilt must have a means to draw the viewer's eye to the center, and then have reasons why it keeps coming back to the center (aka repeat of patterns throughout the quilting).  Count the repeated motifs...swirls (I showed this in yesterday's quilting), pebbles, cross-hatching.
 I'm going to end it here for today.  I have gone beyond this point with the quilting, but it is a discussion for another day!


Quiltdivajulie said...

Like I said yesterday, this is fascinating! Thank you for sharing your thought process and the process photos.

Cheryl M. said...

Your quilt is turning out wonderfully. Thanks again for showing the process. I am sure that when people see quilts in a show they think that it just happens 'sort of'. That marking a quilt is a process in itself for the overall quilt to be finished. It is what I think that brings it to life. One question about the basting. Do you hand baste before you place the quilt on the frame or after.
Cheryl M.

Vicki W said...

Thank you so much for sharing so much of your process! I learn so much from you.

Lorette said...

Fascinating! Wonderful post!