Thursday, May 11, 2017

Quilting the Center Panel of the Chicken

This is what a section resembles before I tie
and bury the threads.  .  .MESSY!!
This chicken project continues to be work in progress. I've been stitching-- a little most days and I've been burying threads in the evenings. I started quilting this chicken project the first part of April. I thought that by the end of this month, I would have finished the quilt. However, I still have a long way to go!

Generally, I've been threading the machine with a color of thread and then stitching until I need to switch to a different color. This means, I'm stitching in various spots on the quilt. This stitching here and there format coupled with hours of knotting and burying threads has contributed to me feeling like I'm just not getting anything done!

I tried knotting and burying as I went; but, I felt like I made even less progress so I decided to tie and bury a bunch of threads instead of one at a time! Although, I've found that the repetitive motion of tying and burying threads hurts my shoulder so I am pacing myself and taking many breaks.
For the quilting,  I've stitched around the print in the fabric and added texture. The
body of this bird is mostly quilted, although you don't see it because the thread 

Using the print in the fabric as the quilting motif means I don't have to 'think' of what motif would fit that section. The downside to this approach is that the quilting blends into the piece. My husband thinks it is crazy to stitch for hours and then not be able to see the quilting stitches.

I'm using 100 weight silk thread as I quilt. I may need to use some cotton thread because I might not have silk in the color that I need; but, I am trying to stay with the light thread weight. The reason I'm using a light weight thread in a color that blends with the fabric is so that the quilting will provided texture and so that the appliqué is the focus of the piece. Can you see where I've stitched around the various prints to give my bird the illusion of 'feathers?' Perhaps, I've stretched that term--feathers-- a bit far; but, I do hope that you can see it!

The rooster body is now quilted. It took a long time to determine thread color and
what stitch to use!

The photo above is another example of how I quilted the body of one of the chickens. This is the rooster which is in the center of the wall hanging. There are just a few threads there to knot and bury. At times, I've had so many threads that I quilted another section of the quilt because I didn't want to stitch over one or more of these thread ends!

I want to share with you a tip about using threads when you don't have THE color that works the best with fabric. Choose the thread that matches closest in value. In the photo above, the thread in the 'orange' section is actually a burgundy. The blue thread in the tail is actually a grey navy. It works well even on the brighter turquoise shapes because there is some grey already in the fabric. Isn't this an interesting find?
Center panel of wall hanging. I've about 50 leaves to quilt along with the arches and  
some backgrounds to finish the center panel.  

I've spent so much time with my nose inches away from the surface of this project that I lost sight of how much I have finished! In the above photo, I can see how far I have come. I need to remember to take a photo and to look at the WHOLE quilt at the end of the day instead of concentrating on the fine detail work. That stepping back view will help me maintain the perspective of the project. I also need to keep in mind that it took me ten years to get to this point so taking another 30 days or so to quilt this piece is but a small increment of time in comparison to how long this project has been a WIP! (Work in Progress)

When I'm quilting, my goal is that my quilting enhances the project. My other goal is that the design of the project will bring you to view the quilt and that my quilting will encourage you to stay awhile and 'browse!' I still haven't decided how I'll be quilting the background of the other chicken blocks; but, I trust that when it is time to put the needle in that area and begin, the design will come to me or at least to my fingers! Enough sharing for now. I had better get back to tying and burying thread tales so that I will have a 'clean' workspace when I want to quilt tomorrow!


Anonymous said...

coming along great. I love the sky quilting and colours.

JoJo said...

Now that's a nice looking chicken! I'm loving your choices for the quilting.

Janice Smith said...

The quilting of the chicken's body looks great and shows up very well. I envy your talent. :-)

Unknown said...

I think your quilting looks wonderful, especially those feathers. So cool! If you don't mind a polyester thread, you might look at Superior's new Microquilter and/or WonderFil's Invisifil for more colors. They are both 100# so might match up better with the silk thread (which is my absolute favorite thread to quilt with!!). said...

Thanks, Wendy! The sky fabric was an awesome find! said...

JoJo, Thank you! I believe my quilting has made his stature a bit more majestic! said...

Janice, The quilting part of the process is my favorite part so I've practiced a lot over the years. Thank you for your kind comment! said...

Nancy, I do have one spool of Superior's microquilter. I hope I will like it as much as I do silk! I do have a couple spools of Invisifil too. Let's see what happens. Thanks for your comments about these products. I do like Invisifil.

Monica said...

It's really looking good, Terry. And you are right, another 30 days now is small potatoes! Onwards! said...

Monica, yes, 30 days is small potatoes. . .I am going to be celebrating when I finish this project!!! I know that fact for SURE! :)

Anonymous said...

Stay a while I do. And then it's mind-boggling how detailed the quilting is. And then I think you are such a better person then I ever could be. Those chickens better go in the Hall of Fame when they're done.

Luving U!--t said...

You are so kind, Theresa!! Thanks for the comment about the quilting and I'm honored that you think so highly of me.