Saturday, September 01, 2012

Quilting schematic: alternating continuous curves & a flower

I'm pretty sure I recently lied to all of you.

I posted an entry for a quilt I made in 2010 but only now got around to making a gallery web page for it.  The blog pointed to the gallery page:  4-patch and Straight Furrows quilt .   On that page, I showed a drawing of the continuous curve variation and a drawing of the spiral flower I quilted in alternating blocks.  Since the web page was done 2 years AFTER the quilt was finished and the quilt was given to my sister-in-law, my memories of *exactly* what I did is a little hazy.  I don't have the quilt in my possession to examine, so I was basing my blog entry on looking at pictures that I had taken at the time.

One of my quilting buddies asked for a more detailed explanation of how I did what I did.  Once I started thinking about it, I believe I didn't do what I said I did.  :-)  My apologies.  :-)

But, I've now re-thought the quilting process of alternating the continuous curve variation and a flower block and have come up with what I believe is a viable schematic.

I drew a 3x3 grid for demonstration purposes.  Your quilt probably won't be a 3x3 grid but if you understand how this quilting path works, then you can adapt it for your own quilt.

Here's the overall schematic, showing the path for the two different blocks.   At first glance, it looks complicated, but DON'T PANIC!  :-)   It's not.  It's kinda like painting the Golden Gate Bridge (a common analogy out here since everyone has first-hand knowledge of how BIG the Golden Gate Bridge is).  If you look at the entire process, you'll run away,  screaming in terror.  But, if you break it down into smaller and smaller sub-units, all those small sub-units are very doable.  Eventually all the sub-units get done and suddenly the entire thing is done!  :-)

Remember, you can stop the quilting process at any time, but if you do, I suggest you find an appropriate stopping point, such as at a corner or when you finish a block.  I don't advise stopping in the middle of a design or, heavens forbid, in the middle of a curve!   It is just about impossible to restart nicely at such points.  Make it easy on yourself.  :-)

I know you're thinking, "oh my gosh ... how the heck do I interpret that??"  Well, you don't have to!  I've made a PDF in (what I hope is) excruciating detail that tells how to do the inner motif of the continuous curve blocks and the flower design.    I explain why I'm using different colors and what that mysterious green star is for.  I have detailed diagrams and descriptions on what piece to quilt next so that you are set up properly for the next motif.

There are two different designs here: a continuous curve variation and a spiral flower.  All the continuous curve blocks can be done in one path.  All the flowers can be done in one path.  But, the diagram shows each motif being done as separate quilting runs.  (a further thought is at the end of this entry, since I thought of it after I made the PDF.)

Here's the diagram for the inner 4-petal curves in the continuous curve blocks:  

and here is the diagram for the spiral flower:

Now ... as the overall diagram is drawn, you start (and end) the continuous curve blocks in the upper left corner.  As I look further at the overall diagram, it occurs to me that *IF* you started the continuous curve in the *upper right corner of the topmost left block* (i.e. where the blue arrow is), you would also *end* there ... and then, you'd be set up perfectly to start the spiral flower motifs.  This would make the ENTIRE quilting design ONE path.  One start.  One stop.  Awesome.  

So, if you missed it earlier ... diagrams and instructions for quilting the continuous curve and spiral flower designs is available in a PDF.  Enjoy!

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