Saturday, July 21, 2012

Quilting on Tilly

I was cleaning out my photo files and noticed that I finished my Tilly quilt top waaayyy back in January, and haven't touched it since.

Part of the reason it isn't finished is because I couldn't decide how I wanted to quilt it. And looking at it again, I still couldn't decide. I *thought* I wanted to focus on each rectangle separately with my quilting so rather than put it away again, I quilted straight lines 1/4" away from each vertical seam while I pondered the possibilities (sorry for the blurry photos).

While I was stitching away on the straight lines, the larger flowers in the prints started calling to me. Wouldn't it be fun to quilt some big flowers?

The idea stuck, but what color thread to use? Stick with the neutral or go for some color?

I really liked the gold, but it didn't look different enough from the neutral color (Aurifil 50 wt color of my favorites!). I decided to be a bit bolder and use the rusty orange for the flower and the dark brown for the center stamens. Hooray, I have a plan, or at least the start of one!

The next step was to draw the flower. I recruited my daughter for that. She's great at freehand drawing, especially doodly sorts of things. We used four sheets of copy paper taped together. I originally intended just to quilt right on the paper but decided that it would be a big pain to tear out afterwards. If I do this again, I'll use Golden Threads paper (that I have and totally forgot about until after this was done).

It was easy enough to cut around each row before quilting it and just quilt using the outside edge of the paper as a guide. It's an added bonus that this is not a precise pattern so if I get off a little bit, it's no big deal.  There are five or six rounds to the flower. I had finished two rounds when disaster struck...

My free motion foot broke!! It's really a miracle that it has lasted for more than five years. I'm all the time pulling, tugging, and rearranging as I'm quilting. I tried to free motion with no foot at all, but that caused all sorts of tension issues. Since the lines on the flower weren't overly curvy, I opted to use my walking foot to finish up the main flower.

If I had thought of the flower idea sooner, the straight lines would have stopped at the edge of the flower. But it's okay, I am not going to take them out. This is a quilt that is for fun (aren't they all!) that will stay at my house, so I'm exercising my creative license to leave it this way.

Here it is from the back. I rarely use a light and plain backing. This is a Kona...not sure of the official color. Since this is supposed to be more of a light, summer throw quilt, I thought the light color backing would be appropriate, and now that I'm going quilting crazy with it, it will be fun to see all the stitching.

My husband and rescuer repaired my free motion foot with super glue. I haven't tried it out yet, but hopefully it will hold together long enough to finish this quilt. Look for another finish soon!

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