Thursday, August 16, 2012

Jelly Parfait - feathers

When I'm trying to decide what to quilt on a top, I almost always print out a full page picture so I can see the entire top at one time.  I put a piece of clear vinyl on top of the picture and use dry erase markers to draw on the vinyl.  The dry erase markers are very easy to erase if a design doesn't work out.

Unfortunately, because the picture is only 8-1/2" x 11" and the dry erase markers don't have an especially fine point on them, I can't always get the scale of the drawing to fit the picture.

That was the case with parts of Jelly Parfait.  I knew the swirly design for the border would be fine.  I knew the String of Beads would be fine.  I knew that the continuous curves would be fine.  It was the feathers that I wanted to put in the large triangles that wasn't working out nicely.

If I had a large enough piece of clear vinyl, I could have put that directly on the top and drawn the feathers that way ... but I don't.  What I did have was lots of pieces of tissue gift wrap, which *was* large enough to trace the triangles onto.  Using a photo I had seen online as inspiration, I drew one large curling feather in each non-pieced triangle.  It looked good enough for me.  :-)   The tissue paper also served as a reference for me when I got to quilting.

From experience I knew that printed fabric will hide the quilting.  That has its good points: if you make an error in stitching, chances are even *you* will never be able to find it after a while!  The drawback is that it *does* hide quilting .. which is why I don't suggest "fancy" quilting in print fabrics for customer quilts.  Why pay for something that you're just not going to see?

Then again, for my OWN quilts, I can do what I want.  And I wanted to do feathers in those triangles.  It also gave me the opportunity to practice more feathers with the implied permission that mistakes could be made.  :-)

You can see from this picture of a triangle in the print fabric, that you virtually can't see any of the quilted feather at all.  Trust me, it's there.  I used a very light lilac thread which blended perfectly.

For comparison, here's a picture of the triangle in the solid fabric.  This feather is *also* in the print fabric. 

All the non-pieced triangles of Jelly Parfait will be quilted this way.  If this was a customer quilt, I might have suggested to do some other quilting design in the triangles with the print fabric.

Here's what the corner triangles look like.

I'm still very much trying to get my feathers to look wonderful.  These are a tad sketchy in some areas; it's those very long feathers that need to stretch out to the very corners of the space that still look awkward.    I do like my fat little feathers, though.  :-)

But overall, I'm pleased with them. 

At this point, I'm on the 3rd of 6 rows, so I'm halfway through the rows.  After all the rows have been quilted, I'll do the bottom border.  Then the quilt gets removed, turned and reloaded so the side borders can be quilting horizontally.

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