The first week after my fracture I had my foot elevated and finished the hand quilting on this. I'm not sure if you can tell but I've used sage green thread to quilt the feathers.
It was then time to figure out what's next. What's the quilt asking for??
During my convalescence I've enjoyed some quilting classes on Craftsy, an online teaching platform. One course by Cindy Needham "Design it, Quilt it" was probably the best course I've taken on machine quilting. She uses the phrase "Sunshine and Shadows" when planning how to quilt a piece. In looking at the above picture, she would say it's all sunshine. It needs more. The feather is nicely hand quilted and I love what I did but it really does beg for more. It really doesn't stand out at all.
Cindy uses a technique called scribbling to create the shadow which makes the sunshine pop. Here's what I mean:
See how the feather now pops? It's the sunshine. The scribbling creates the shadow. It's very densely quilted and will hopefully soften once laundered but for now, it makes my block pop and that's exactly the effect I was looking for.
Here's how I accomplished it. Firstly I 'draw' my boundaries so I know where I can scribble and where I don't want to.
Then I do some loose free motion quilting to basically flatten it. I had a few puckers in some of my blocks but this technique is meant to reduce the puckers.
And then I filled in the area.
Then I move to the outside of the feather and repeat the process until the whole background is flattened by the scribbling which then makes the feather pop. I'm so happy with this technique and absolutely loved Cindy Needham's class on Craftsy.
Here's a view of the quilt taken a little further back. I'm also sewing cathedral window quilt designs on the Irish chain part of the quilt.
I've already done some loose free motion quilting swirls and curls in the border which I'm not thrilled about. To be honest, there was a time when I was ready to just throw this quilt away. The basting process was less than successful and then when I stitched in the ditch to stabilize the quilt before hand quilting, it puckered on the front and I was not happy. But I decided I couldn't quit because this is a memorial quilt that I'm finishing in remembrance of my friend Janet. So I got my stitch ripper out and worked out some puckers and then re-stitched. I'm glad I didn't throw in the towel. I will treasure this quilt as a remembrance quilt.
I've got about 6 more of the feather blocks to machine quilt. And then I'll move on to the cathedral windows quilting. Then I may add some more dense quilting to the border. I'll see. I'll wait for the quilt to speak to me. There will be a couple more spots that will require some additional quilting. Like in the above photo where the rectangles frame the feather blocks. They need something but I don't know what yet. But I will know. I'm confident of that.
It's getting there but for tonight I'm stopping and resting...and blogging about the progress. There are a lot of hours in this quilt so far. I will be so happy to have it done but then again I love getting quilts finished.
Until next time,