Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Quilting Process--Past the Ditch

Quilting in the Ditch in Process!
Nancy from Dizzy Dog Quilting left me a comment from my post on Sunday.  In my post, I was lamenting about how boring ditch quilting is. (Ditch quilting is where one stitches as close to the seam as possible.) She said that she enjoyed doing it because right away she knows which ditches she is going to quilt and no marking is involved. I hadn't looked at ditch quilting that way; but, now that I have, I agree! Thanks for your thoughts, Nancy.

Perhaps on my next project, I won't grouse about ditch quilting ESS (every stinking seam)! I know the importance of ditch quilting--it helps the quilt lie flat! I generally start planning how I'm going to quilt my project from the time I begin choosing the fabric. Isn't that crazy? This works when I know what the pattern is. It doesn't work so well in cases like this mystery BOM (block of the month). I didn't know what it was going to look like until I stitched the pieces together with the last clue!

Often, as I'm stitching in the ditch, an idea comes to me.
Stencil Audition
This time? Not so much! So. . .I got out some of my quilting books and stencils. Sometimes that helps. . .Nope!
I decided against the stencils for a couple of reasons--marking will be involved and I didn't have stencils that I felt complimented the stars blocks in the quilt. For me, quilting must enhance the piecing or the appliqué!

The books were fun to review. But, there wasn't a design that said "pick me!"

I selected some threads to use on the project. I haven't quilted with 40wt. cotton threads in a while so I chose a few of those. Sometimes picking thread opens the quilting ideas. I like the threads; but, I didn't have a vision yet.

Next, I started drawing. Sometimes that helps. Okay. . .now, I'm making some progress. I draw small thumbnails on the back of an envelope or another piece of waste paper. Thoughts of possibilities are beginning to materialize; but, nothing definite has struck me.
A Sample of Free Motion Quilting books
Then, I thought about how I wanted the quilt to feel or what techniques I wanted to try or practice.

 Sometime ago, I bought a pounce marker and some stencils. It would be great if I could use them on this project. Maybe, I'll revisit those stencils later!

Then again, I would like to be more comfortable with the quilting rulers and I would like to quilt in a more modern style.

With the rulers in mind, I drew some more and came up with a plan for the 8 1/4 inch squares. Once I have a sketch in mind, I often draw it full size on a piece of newsprint to play with other filler designs. Then I will draw it one or two times on a piece of paper until I get what I think I want to quilt!

In the photo above, the square for this design is above the Freehand Filler book. I plan to use the bottom of the design for the setting triangles adjacent to the squares.
Full Size Drawing of the Design
I even have an idea for the purple border and an inkling of an idea for the outer border. It is style I haven't tried yet.  So to keep the quilting density consistent as I go, I'll be doing a part of the squares now and as I finish other parts of the quilting, I'll come back and fill in the details. I haven't tried this before. This is my plan today; now whether or not I can stick with the plan. . .well, I guess you'll need to stay tuned!


JoJo said...

Nice design! I hope to be quilting this weekend as soon as I get all of these blue customer shirts OUT of my shop! LOL Have fun stitching.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your process to decide on the quilting. It's always such a big deal for me not wanting to mess up on a top I finally finished.Can't wait to see what you come up with.
Karen Fitzpatrick kfstitcher

Luann Fischer said...

I like how you shared that sometimes things just click right away and other times, no so much! I'm looking forward to seeing the finish.

Nancy said...

Thanks for the shout out! I really love the design you drew out. I love the look of quilting that has open spaces next to spaces flattened with close lines. So modern and dramatic! And I think there's always a place for pebbles/pearls! I think it's going to be stunning! said...

JoJo, I hope those blue shirts "fly" out of your shop!!!! Quilting will be fun!--Terry said...

Karen, I relate to what you wrote about not wanting to mess up on a finished top! I tend to think that whatever happens during the quilting process will work out somehow! --Terry said...

Luann, I suppose if things were always a click away, it would be boring! I'm looking forward to seeing the finish too! :)--Terry said...

Nancy, You are speaking to my heart with the comment about pearls/pebbles as I think they should be included in every quilt! I don't know about the stunning part. . .I'm just looking forward to finish! :)--Terry