Monday, March 31, 2014

Every quilt teaches a lesson

Every one! We just have to listen! This quilt taught me that it is okay to go back to the drawing board. These on-point blocks are huge. Thirteen and a half inches square, causing the setting triangle to be 20 inches on it's longest side. I sketched and quilted the first feather into the setting triangle and stood back. Ugh! It's too big, too chunky for the delicate hand-applique that sets this piece apart. Yes, I'm going to show it to you!

Besides, those long, curvy lines are really difficult to control. You can see I've already started ripping the stitches out. Back to the drawing board. Master Quilter Sharon Schamber told me in a class once, that when an area is too large to handle...Divide and Conquer! So, I sketched a border into the triangle. That made for a much smaller area for the feather. And, I changed the feather to look more lacy.

Wow, what an improvement that was! Hard to tell it's the same space. And, even though the corner setting triangles are not as large an area, I treated them the same. Makes that stitched border look like it's running around the quilt, behind the on-point blocks. Success!

Simple pebbling and stippling combine to fill the blocks around the lovely wild birds. Look at that hummer – each wing feather is stitched separately! Masterful applique work!

So, listen to your quilt! It will tell you how it needs to be quilted. Even if not right away! LOL!

Shoot for the moon.
Even if you miss it
you will land among the stars.
                          Les Brown

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Nordic Snowflake

This was a first for me; a non-symmetrical piece with a huge amount of empty space on one side. This is the work of designer Gudrun Erla and you probably saw the pattern in a recent quilt magazine. Okay, so now what?

I Google'd (is that even correct?!!) Nordic designs and came up with a lot of sweater patterns, including the snowflake that appears here. That gave me the idea to do linework in the wide open space, in rows, just like a Nordic sweater pattern. I generally shy away from lots of ruler work. I thought it was slow and tiresome. But, I enjoyed every minute of it! I mean, after the design is planned, there's not much thought to it. Just lay down the ruler and Go! So, it went a lot faster than I thought it would.

A couple of designs came direct from Zentangle. (I really must write a post on Zentangle one of these days! Just Google it!) To give you an idea of scale, the two-row checkerboard pattern is based on a one inch grid. Using a wool batting really rounds out the places left unstitched. So much texture!

Then I decided all that straight line stuff had to be softened with some swirly stuff, and some pebbling, too. I absolutely loved working on this one! And, I won't be afraid of linework any more!!!

You have brains in your head,
you have feet in your shoes,
you can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

                                                             Dr. Seuss