A special thank to Luann Fisher for sending me a beautiful prize. You can read her blog, "Let's Create Today," here. I'll post a photo of the hand dyed fabric next week.
Quilting the hexagon top has stretched me out of my comfort zone! First, there was my desire to quilt each block differently. I blogged about the six cream blocks here and the six black blocks here. I wanted to practice quilting with a ruler. I first used the back of the foot to anchor the ruler and discovered that I could go in two directions fairly well with this method.
Then, it was on to the sashing. I drew a design and then attempted to quilt it using free motion. After quilting two and and half blocks, I decided it was too wonky. So I spent some time ripping and then I spent more time contemplating. I laid the quilt out on the floor and I thought, "What if I simply the design?" My next thought was "What if I use the walking foot to quilt the design?"
As I pulled the fabric through the machine to accommodate the direction I needed to go, I noticed I was having trouble holding the foot next to the line. When I took the quilt out from under the needle, I found that I had rotated the shaft that the foot attaches to so that the foot was no longer over the feed dogs. No wonder I couldn't follow a straight line!
I took the machine in to the dealer for a fix. Fortunately, it was done at no charge and was ready an hour after I had left it!
This is the 8 1/2" design that I used. It was a lot of turning the quilt and I was so wishing that I had a long arm! The reason, I went with this design was to provide texture so the hexagon blocks would be the star of the quilt. Also, I wanted to try to quilt the sashing in a more "modern" way.
When I finished quilting eight of these, I needed to figure out what to do in the outside border. I decided that I would continue using this design, although because the area was smaller, I used a smaller square--5 1/2". I eliminated a line and changed the structure a bit so I could use the walking foot at the 1/4" and 1/2" marks without drawing chalk lines.
I quilted 10 of these. I felt like it took forever! I would have to take a break after quilting each square as well as give myself a short stretch after stitching each round. I spent about 20 minutes quilting each of the 18 squares.
I'm using a Rainbow polyester variegated thread made by Superior. It has purple, green, yellow and orange segments which is wonderful because the thread blends so well that from far away, you don't see the quilting at all!
Then I had to decide what to do with the rest of the sashing! I thought, I sketched, I thought some more. . .well, you get the picture!
I decided that I would stitch a straight line in the middle of the 1 1/2" strips and then divide the space at the corners so it would look like I had quilted a box in the green and the orange sashing.
Between the 8 1/2" squares, I followed the line idea in the three inch sashing strips. I stitched 3/4" from each edge. I liked how it turned out.
Unfortunately, my walking foot started making a lot of noise. Then a piece of metal fell off and the noise stopped. I'll figure out where it came from later. It is sewing much better now! How I wish that there was a ruler foot for my machine. . .well, there is; but, it doesn't quite fit. However, I may just buy it any way to see if I can free motion straight lines next time feet are 25% off!
Here is a photo of the quilt with just the squares. Notice that you don't see much of the quilting at all! I achieved what I wanted although I do miss seeing the quilting. Isn't that a conundrum?
Next up was filling in the spaces between the blocks in the outer border. I definitely was THROUGH with pulling and pushing the fabric though my generous 11" harp space; but, I was sick of it! I wanted to do some free motion. . .but WHAT??? I was thinking that I've been around this quilt so many times already and I've at least two more trips around it before I adequately fill the spaces. Then the idea came to me. . .quilt circles. A circle motif could be modern. I could free motion it which would make me happy AND the circle could represent both stitching around the quilt as well as how I felt when I was trying to discover how I was going to quilt the next section!
Well, see for yourself! Then tension went wacky. How odd. . .I didn't change a thing and I quilted the third corner directly after the second. I spent some time unstitching. I didn't finish; but, perhaps, that will happen next week!