Tuesday, July 19, 2011

In the Pink: A Study in Pinwheels

Great ideas need landing gear as well as wings. –C.D. Jackson

I've got my label finished and the back all sewn up.

The top is in four pieces, instead of the eight it has been sitting in for the last nine months.

And I've been doodling out designs. Lots and lots of designs.

When I started this quilt 18 months ago, it was with the intent to quilt it myself. I'd never machine quilted before, and planned to use a walking foot to stitch straight lines ¼" away from all of the seams. Since then, I took a beginning machine quilting class and I've machine quilted 12 quilts. Only three of them were straight-line quilting. My free-motion skills have improved with each quilt, and now that I'm ready to quilt my Pinwheel Sampler, otherwise known as In the Pink: A Study in Pinwheels, I've taken quilting ideas from the greats and incorporated them into my design.

• The designs for these two blocks are a combination of different quilting that I like, pebbling, swirls, curlicues and flowers.

• The leaves in the border of the top block are inspired by Christina at A Few Scraps.
• And the pretty scrolls in the border of the bottom block are inspired by Natalia at Piece N Quilt. Natalia does such beautiful free-motion quilting and she uses those pretty scrolls often. I used them in my Snowball Quilt too.

• I want to keep the quilting about the same density throughout the quilt, but don't want to stipple in the background of every block. Wendy at Ivory Spring uses lots of beautiful, non-stippling fillers. McTavishing is one of them and it always looks so beautiful.
• I'm using the curlicues I did in my Snowball Quilt again in the points of the top star block.
• The feathers in the center of the second block are inspired by Danielle at Nacho Mama's Quilt. I used these same feathers in the centers of my snowballs.

• The half-feathers using the long side of the triangle are inspired by Wendy at Ivory Spring.
• The cris-crossing feathers in the sashing between blocks is inspired by Lane at That Man Quilts? I hope I can pull it off; the sashing is only 3" wide.
• The half-flowers and feather swags were something I saw on flickr. I didn't save links to those pictures specifically, but they are somewhere in that group.

• I want to use a variety of background fillers. I haven't figured out what to do in the first block here, but a loopy meander fits nicely in the second.
• I may wait until I've finished all the other quilting before I decide which background fillers to use in those that are missing it. I will probably visit Leah Day at The Free Motion Quilting Project for ideas.

• I want to quilt the pinwheels in each block differently {even though there are two of each block}. I'm using five or six different designs, but hope that by changing up the placement and details, I'll have not only a pinwheel sampler, but an FMQ sampler too.

• I think these two blocks are my favorite in the whole quilt. And I love the swirls and curlicues, so putting those in one of these blocks was a no-brainer.
• As I doodled, I sometimes would try a variation of what I wanted to quilt in the sashing around the block to see if something else looked better, or to get it right, as is the case with that floating row of swirls.

• In the thumbnail sketches of the complete quilt {see above}, I added a filler by Leah Day called Wandering Clover to the second block, and I really like the texture it adds.
• I really hope that I can execute this as well as I can imagine it. This much complex quilting is a little beyond my reach. Perhaps that's why I am obsessing so much about the thread. But if you don't push yourself, you can't grow.

I hope to have the thread situation squared up by the weekend and be able to start quilting soon. I think that machine quilting is my new favorite part of quilting. I never thought I would say that as I was machine quilting for the first time, just one year ago.

Today's post brought to you by:


Stray Stitches (Linda G) said...

You are going to have one totally amazing quilt! I am just learning to fmq and you are quite an inspiration.

Paulette said...

Whoa! Wow! That is one amazing and ambitious quilting plan, E. I have no doubt at all that you will be able to do it!

Shay said...

I love that you have it all planned out...it's going to look gorgeous.

I suspect you take more time and care just drawing out your ideas than I do quilting!

Angie said...

Great stuff! Love it Love it Love it!

whimsyfox said...

holy guacamole, that quilt is going to be EPIC! such beautiful designs!

i second Shay's comment. :)

Elizabeth said...

That quilting looks like it will be amazing. I hope to take a machine quilting class soon. You are inspiring.

Busy Quilting Mama said...

The quilt looks great and your sketches are amazing!

tich said...

I have just come across this post and it is absolutely amazing. The sketches are so detailed and are a piece of art on their ow. Wonderful work.