Saturday, June 27, 2009

I often wonder

at myself. You veteran quilters might best understand this post. Based on what little I've read, heard and supposedly learned, you should have a quilting design prior to starting to quilt.

Now I've posted about this before, I've been guilty of not doing this but it's come out alright in the end. Still, for my kids' quilts, we planned. We had a design.

Let's talk ability and the Quilting Godesses' other plans. Ability, adv. beginner. Some days, less than beginner, some days and a couple glasses of wine and I dare say I'm intermediate! But on this morning, with only 1 cup of coffee, adv. beginner.

Let's talk Quilting Godesses' other plans. Those ladies just love to laugh at unsuspecting adv. beginner quilters who think they have things under control. (I'd say they laugh at all levels of quilters but cannot speak with any authority on that so I haven't.)

So, I had to change the quilting design of P's quilt while the quilt was on the frame due to my ability and more specifically, how my ability was able to rise (okay, FAIL) the QGs' challenges. Took a while but both P and I love the result.

Next came J's quilt. I started quilting along and quickly realized why people use rulers. Just b/c you draw a straight line on your quilt doesn't mean you can quilt it that way. Bought a fat foot, used a ruler and YES! I've got the hang of this quilting thing. Finished J's quilt pretty quickly.

Moving on to K's quilt. 3rd of 4. (Although S' quilt will be quite a while getting done since I've taken a hiatus.) It's on the frame. It had a couple simple motifs. Yep, I said it "had". I felt like the quilting was too simplistic, and truthfully, it was. What did I do? I changed the motif a bit. Instead of trying to vine leaves in the 1" sashing and 2.5" borders like originally planned, I started swirls in the borders. This pulled fabric patterns out. I put swirls in the simple arced squares quilted inside a regular square piece of fabric. In some other squares, she wanted a simple flower. I spiraled in the middle of the flower and echoed the petal outlines. In the small sashing, I'm quilting small little flowers. And all of this, with varigated thread.

And that second to last one, my friends, is the one I think is a bad, bad idea. I'm forging ahead, however. She's 12, going on 13 and will like it with the flowers even if teal varigated thread on white is a bit much. She's in the middle of the "throw it all in there and that's what makes it good," artistic phase.

The picture is from my phone and tiny but I wanted to show you what I think looks so scary.

I could be wrong and when I get it off the frame, maybe it will all come together. Maybe if I didn't use the varigated thread for those flowers, it'd be better but I'm not at the point of changing threads (or even wanting to) in the middle of quilting.

But don't you see? This is probably what will make me change thread colors in one of my next quilts. I don't learn from others... I learn from my screw ups.

And so today, I wondered at myself and I thought about all the veteran quilters out there and wondered about you. How many of you can read today's post and think of an, "Ahh, I remember when..." story.


DMSHOW said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Missy said...

Oh Becky! That sounds wayyyy familiar! I am a design as you go person too. Sometimes I have the directions.. and I go to chain sew.. and well... sometimes I sew a whole bunch the wrong way! *gasp* Sooo.. Quilty Godess says : either you take the million and one pieces that you JUST sewed together.... OR you make your own design out of it and try again another time. :) Usually I go for making the design, IF it is possible.If not... well I'll get cramps from seam ripping! LOL

Have a great day Becky!! I think that you will be ok, quilt it out for a bit, then go back and look at it. Then you can make a better informed decision. HuGS!

GARI said...

Wow, I think I wrote that not too long ago. I am one who starts a quilt (or quilting) with a plan and then there is departure. I still do that when piecing a quilt but when it comes to quilting, I do plan and pretty much follow the plan. But I practice on a white board, sometimes for quite a while, before starting with the quilt. And I take pictures of what I decide to use so I can remember all the way through (ever forget what you put on that first border?). But the one thing I have learned: if I or the recepient like the quilt, it is good! Your's will be, too.