Monday 29 October 2018

Auditioning Overall Quilting Designs

Not sure about you but on some quilts I take a while to decide what to quilt on it. Very painful process, as I will change my mind lots of times, only to often settle on the first design that I tried out.

With unfamiliar designs I will first start drawing them for a while to get the flow of the design a bit. Once I think that I have got it, I will start stitching out the design. That sounds incredibly simple but there are so many thought processes involved in this. For example, I chose to combine swirls with some sort of paisley design and started stitching this out on a practice sandwich.
First thing to think about was whether I could leisurely stitch this row by row without making it obvious. If you look at the top of the picture you can see how I just went along and it became too much of a row. In an overall design that would not look good, so I needed to mix it up a bit and work out direction changes as I went along while still following my row principle. 
Next, I concentrated on the size and overall scale, deciding that I needed to stay roundabout at maximum 2in for the paisley in order not to become too wonky...had some really long ones in there in the middle which stood out when everything was a bit smaller. At that point I had to also think about the speed of the machine...the higher I go, the bigger the design. Needed to figure out a speed that allowed me to stitch comfortably without loosing control of the shape. Easier said than done!

Not that you will see it, but after all this I concentrated on the echoing...found that the way I was stitching the paisley made me go around three times which seemed somewhat awkward...also got very confused at times with direction, i.e. you end up on the side of the paisley that you started when I often wanted to go the other way. 
Went back to drawing after this and found that I needed to change direction in a different way which made the echoing flow much better.
I use oodles of material (in this case, black calico) and inexpensive batting to do my test runs. While this seems wasteful I find it necessary to really think through how I am going to advance over an entire quilt in a consistent manner.


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