I started on this quilt for no particular reason, except the fact that Juliette had picked up the fabrics when we were in Savannah in February, a bundle of 8 fat-quarters. Actually, I think she wanted me to make a quilt for a friend’s baby, but instead I had knitted a tiny cardi…
Well, I had the fabric, I had an idea so in the end I made this big star quilt. It is only Half Square Triangles in the end! Mine are measuring 10” plus some 2.5” squares for the uneven borders.
And then I went crazy on the quilting. I am sure there’s a rule about not over quilting a quilt. The quilting is the result of two things. First I took my first lesson on Craftsy, Machine Quilting Negative Space by Angela Walters. And secondly, I recently purchased of a quilting ruler with a specific quilting foot for domestic sewing machine.
First the Craftsy lesson. I really enjoyed it but also felt frustrated. The first part focuses on practicing designs on paper, pebbles, swirls, leaves, paisley... I love doodling, I’ve been doing it for a long time and it is very satisfying to see how I improved over time. I actually find doodling easy, the doodling area is small, not overwhelming – easy peasy! For me, the difficulty starts with larger spaces, And when it comes to put the quilt on the machine then the frustration kicks in. Thanks to Angela Walters, I learnt to mark, or more precisely I finally accept the fact that marking, even very roughly, is a necessity. It makes sense you need a roadmap and some escape strategies to navigate a whole quilt. I also accept that machine quilting is not a speedy process, but it takes time, planning… What a surprise!
Another thing I learn is to change the scale of a design, to mix it with another one to make it more interesting or flowing from one pattern to the next one. I practice of few of the techniques on each point of the point of the star.
My frustration comes from the fact that the lesson is probably more design for longarmers. I know that several time Angela explain how to translate the design on a domestic sewing machine but I would I loved seeing it done. Also, the designs taught in the first part of the lesson (the doodling part) are repeated one the machine. I would have loved to learn more about planning for the quilting patterns: how to look at a quilt, how to decide the density of the quilting pattern…
Like everything, the lesson is not enough. I now need to do my homework, practice and practice again. I will go back to the lesson because I realised that doing the exercise while watching the video did not work too well for me. I will also go back to her book, Free-Motion Quilting which actually is a very good complement to the lesson.
Now the ruler and quilting foot for domestic sewing machine. I quilted straight lines between the points of the star using my newly acquired ruler. First, I had to get use to visualising the 1/4” difference between where the ruler is and where the needle drops. I realised that I might be eye-hand-coordination challenged: so many time I lifted my hand before the needle was down resulting in stitches skipping off the straight line. In all honesty, I think I would have save myself some trouble by quilting with my walking foot.
Overall the result is not as bad as it sound. Actually, it is a pretty darn little quilt.