Friday, January 10, 2014

2014: new beginnings

I have a whole messload of unquilted tops.  I made a list of them a long time ago.  I've steadily worked on quilting them and the satisfaction of doing so was lovely.  I plucked all of the low-hanging fruit, as it were, and what's now left is tops that are of fairly large dimensions, which means that it's going to take more than "a while" to get them quilted.

So, with all the smaller quilted being done and the pile was just staring at me, I put my Big Girl Panties on and pulled a top from the pile.  This top was pieced in November 2010.  Oy vey .. it was THAT long ago?  :-( 

I put the appliqued bands at the top and bottom to make the quilt a more useable dimension, so this top is a combination of pieced Carpenter Wheels and applique.  And therein lies the problem for me.

How do I quilt this thing?  I was thinking I'd like to do something on the background that would tie the applique and pieced parts together but do something different for the pieced segments.  I didn't want do to the clamshell/peacock feathers again; I had done that on a couple of previous quilts.

Aside: is there some unwritten rule that says quilters shouldn't use the same designs repeatedly?  That we ought to use NEW!  FRESH!  designs each time?  This just taxes my poor one brain cell too much.  On the other hand, I can see myself falling back on using the "same old designs" again and again because they are familiar.  And that would make the quilts look rather boring, don't you think?

Anyway ... I finally decided on a random, branching scrolly design for the off-white background fabric.  I chose a light green Glide thread (I *love* this thread!) and Superior's Bottom Line for the bobbin.   I've outlined the applique pieces so they will puff up; I like that effect.

BUT .. and there's always a "but", isn't there?  I find myself procrastinating over the quilting.  "Random" is just not easy for me to execute.  To me, "random" still means an even distribution of quilting over the area, where the results are visually pleasing.  Some people can do random so well; not me.   It's not terribly relaxing for me because I'm always second-guessing myself over where I "should" be quilting next.  I can do even distribution in the area that I'm looking at, but what happens when I advance the quilt???    Oh the doubts!  :-)

These pictures are where I currently am.  I've just completed the scrolly background quilting in the available area and the quilt was advanced slightly so I could take pictures. 

Hopefully, when I get back quilting, I'll be able to hook the scrolls from the next areas unobtrusively into the previously quilted areas, so it won't look like "OH!  See where she had to advance the quilt?".

As for the pieced segments ... I know I had an idea of what to do with them before I started quilting. 

I know from past experience that *I* really need an overall plan before I even load the quilt.  If I don't, the quilting suffers. 

At this point, I'm desperately hoping that I either drew or wrote down what my grand ideas were ... cuz after this break in quilting, I'm coming up blank. :-)

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