Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pinwheel Sampler: I'm Finished Unpicking. I Think.

Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.
–Paulo Coelho

My quilt label is once again out-of-date, but I've finally got the quilting done in all of the pinwheel blocks.

This is the first time I've shown the whole quilt top. Just to balance it out, here is the back. I LOVE the windmills along the seam.

I took these pictures on Monday and Tuesday of last week but didn't have a chance to write a post. I finally had a few minutes on Saturday and with the goal of keeping things short and sweet, I spent way to much time editing photos and putting together the above collage. I was going to post just that and call it done, but I started writing, I figured I might as well give you the full guided tour. Obviously, it's a really long tour as I'm just posting it now. And there's a bit of picture overload. Off we go, then.

Block 1A: A little bit of stippling, a few swirls and some pebbles. I wasn't sure how this block was going to turn out. Unpicking was involved so I could do the swirls in colors of thread that stand out better in the pink and brown sections. I think the pebbles done in pink look kind of lacy.

Block 1B: More swirls and pebbles and a big flower which I really like. I didn't care much for this block before it was quilted, but really like it now.

I hadn't planned to add a second row of stitching around the pebbles, but while I was working, it just seemed like that's what it needed. It kind of frames it in.

Block 2A: I was really leaning towards unpicking the swirls in the sashing, but finally decided that I'm OK with having some supercalifragilisticexpialidocious swirls and some supercraptastic swirls and used the Blue Line Eraser to remove my spacing marks. I think I'm done unpicking. Or, at least I'm not going to unpick anything in this block.

Block 2B: This block is one of the first blocks I finished when I was working on this quilt a year ago. It's been quietly avoiding the seam ripper and is one of only a handful of blocks that hasn't been unpicked even just a little. Or a lot, as the case may be.

Block 3A: I finished this block last year as well. This is one of my favorite blocks pre-quilting, but I didn't like how the doodle quilting in the background looked. My options were to unpick and use a lighter color of thread, or add more quilting. I went with the second option and ended up with a lot of thread-play in a color of thread that stands out. I'm not sure how I feel about it. And I don't really have the option to unpick anymore, so I guess it stays.

Block 3B: Again, one of my favorite blocks pre-quilting. And one of the first blocks I worked on last year. I'd just mastered meandering feathers and really wanted to do a wreath. I'd intended to do feathers on the inside and outside, but saw a feather wreath like this somewhere and decided to do criss-crossing straight lines instead. I used a walking foot for that and it was a hassle. But I LOVE how it turned out.

I did an approximation of McTavashing in the background. I probably should have brushed up on it before I did it in the quilt, because I remembered it differently than it really is. At this scale, my stitches aren't as even as they could be. Still, I really like the effect.

Block 4A: I am still undecided on whether to unpick the feathers in those pink triangles in the center. I think it would look better if the thread stood out a little more. I decided to try the straight-line quilting with my free-motion foot on this block. It was scary, but not too bad for a first attempt. And it was a lot less of a hassle than using a walking foot, which makes up for the scary factor.

Block 4B: This is another block that I like more after it is quilted than before. The quilting is fairly simple, but I think it works. I love the feather "swags" in the pink flying geese. You can't see it, but there are feathers in the brown part of the pinwheel as well. I also did the straight-line quilting on this block with the free-motion foot. Still scary, but I did improve a bit from the last block.

Block 5A: This block is another of my favorites, both before and after quilting. I've repeated a few quilting motifs throughout the quilt, but tried to do different things in each block to make them all unique. I really like to do fans or half-flowers in the triangles. I did feathers in the brown section {which you cannot see} that stretch from the corner to corner across the length of each section. They kind of look like kite tails.

I love those little loopy swirls.

Block 5B: I did half-flowers in the smaller center triangles and then did different leaves in the big pink triangles and the brown sections. I really like how the leaves came out. They are kind of rough, but that is how they are supposed to be, instead of trying to be pretty and round and smooth and not quite succeeding.

I used the leaves that we did in the 2012 Free-Motion Challenge in January as filler for the background. The leaves in the background and half-flowers in the center pinwheel are round and smooth and make a nice contrast with the the rougher leaves in the pink and brown areas.

Block 6A: I really like how this block turned out. The dark fabrics are really difficult to photograph so that you can see the quilting. I guess you'll have to trust me when I tell you there are feathers there. Getting the curlicues to come out smoothly in a larger space than I've quilted them in before was a bit challenging, and I possibly didn't do the best job ever on that part. I'm hoping the awesome pink fabric will make up for that. The swirl filler in the background is quite possibly my favorite bit of quilting in this whole quilt, but I can't be 100% sure. I love how it came out, though.

Block 6B: These two Dutchman's Puzzle blocks were the hardest blocks to figure out quilting for. I think it was because I wanted the pinwheel in the center and the large windmill to stand out and the extra flying geese blocks in the corners were kind of in the way. The quilting in this one is pretty simple, but I like the effect.

Again, I used my free-motion foot to do the straight-line quilting. I'm still working on this and not all of my straight-line quilting is this even, but this little section is pretty darn awesome and I had to show it off.

Block 7A: I should quit using the word "favorite" because it implies exclusivity. I'm not sure what other word to use in it's place though and this is another of blocks that is a favorite, both before and after quilting. It was one of the first blocks I finished last year. I used a walking foot for the straight lines and I love how it came out. I had the curlicues stitched in a light pink that blended in, but ended up unpicking and using the darker pink, which I like much better.

Block 7B: This quilt is called In the Pink: A Study in Pinwheels. Even though I have doubles of all the blocks, I wanted to quilt something different in each one. I wanted to stretch myself a bit and I wanted the quilting to accent the piecing. It is fun to compare the different quilting in each of the sets of twin blocks. The difference the quilting makes in the perception of the block is especially evident in this set of twins. In the block below, the quilting emphasizes the three frames around the center pinwheel and you see both the pink and white pinwheels together as a block. The quilting in the block above makes the pink pinwheel stand out and emphasizes only the brown frame.

Block 8A: The loopy half-flower and swirl filler in the background is something different in this block than the others, but I've repeated half-feathers, feather "swags" and flowers.

Block 8B: Again, nothing really new here; arcs, fans, half-feathers. Something about the straight line quilting in the background that frames out the on-point squares makes me think "80's." Is that just me, or does anyone else get that vibe?

I just have the quilting in the sashings left. I'm doing feathers. The finish line is in sight. Sort of.

Today's post brought to you by:


Christine M said...

Your quilt is beautiful Elizabeth. I love how you've pieced the back too!

QuiltNut Creations said...

Absolutely love it!!! Love it, love it, love it!!

Paulette said...

HOLY.COW. Beyond that, I'm speechless. It is just too cool for words. Your quilting is amazing. I am so stunned, I can't even add all the exclamation points I should! (There's one).

Let me know if ever want to start quilting for other people, because I've got a few tops I could send you. :)

Anonymous said...

I bet you mom used to say , "Quit picking at it or it will never heal"

Look way good.

Lane said...

One word. FANtastic! I love it. You did such a nice job. Lane

Deanna said...

Oh, that makes my heart hurt! My pinwheel sampler is a finished top languishing in the closet. Now that you are all in practice...maybe you would like to...show off your skills.... :)

Truly, though, your work is lovely. Well worth it!

Irina said...

wow, your quilting is just amazing....

Amy's Crafty Shenanigans said...

Gorgeous - I love pinwheels and love how you've quilted each section differently - awesome!

Silvinha said...

Amazing work , congratulations from brazilian fan

pinksuedeshoe said...

Gorgeous E! I want to come see this in real life. It's been so fun to watch it change and evolve over the past months. It's going to be a treasure!

Melissa said...

Wow, that is just stunningly gorgeous! Thanks for posting all of the pictures!