Friday, October 23, 2015

Further Along

If you think I seemed to be behaving in a cagey sort of way by not showing what the quilt looks like in it's fullness, you would be correct.

The reason for this is straight-forward. I don't want to.

I want to focus on the quilting motifs and the learning process because I think lots of quilters are in the same situation as I often find myself: How Should I Quilt This Top?

The answers, I have found, can reveal themselves if I take the time to look and listen and learn.

The Modern Quilt Movement has certainly taken my notion of quilting in a different direction in the past 8 or so years. I enjoy the open spaces (or negative spaces) that they feature, because this opens the opportunity to wander around and create secondary designs in free-motion quilting. This is IMPORTANT to ME because I do NOT have a programmable computer assisted long-arm machine. Everything I do (or attempt to do) is guided by my hand so I am NEVER going to end up with a flawless quilt. Ain't Gonna Happen.

What to do. What to do?

Which brought me here to this video by Karen Hanson of Quilt Expressions. It will take 58 minutes of your life and add years to your knowledge.

If you don't want to take 58 minutes out of your life, take this piece of advice from Karen.

I paraphrase: Quilt what you can.

This means (to me!) you should not let what you don't know how to do stop you from trying to learn to do it

I loved how I was starting to see quilting in wide open spaces in big quilts but I had no idea to do this without a computer. This is where Research  comes into play and I can't stress it often enough... I love living in a world of 24 hours Search Engines. 

I wake up so early in the morning.... and I begin pouring through search engines and find great inspirations like Green Fairy and Quilting in Negative Space on Pinterest.  

Green Fairy Quilting, Judi Madsen, actually demonstrates on YouTube how she goes about marking her tops and using straight-edge rulers to guide her machine and break down the "big picture" into workable areas. 

Allow me to emphasize: These are not the acrylic rulers you use to cut your fabrics. They are thicker for a good reason. You run your hopping foot along the edge of them and if they are thin (like a rotary cutting ruler) your hopping foot can hop right on top and the needle will shatter it. I know this from Experience. I experienced it twice, for good measure, because I didn't learn the lesson the FIRST time! So now, it's Knowledge.

With this powerful knowledge, I began to tackle this top. I have now reached one step away from the center and wanted to accentuate the explosive look. So I stepped back and thought about how I would do this.

There are radiating 2" squares in a diagonal row and I thought if I allowed them to come forward and push the 'negative space' down, I could begin to achieve the desired effect. 

Here is the result and yes, I have stitched unsuccessful motifs and taken them all out and started over. It ain't that big a deal.

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