A break from history

I find I need a break from blathering on about what I've done. I want to talk about what I'm doing now.

Because I'm getting ready to start quilting a quilt.

This quilt.

I pieced this quilt a few thanksgivings ago. I remember because Rob's Mom was here and Sydney was on a blow up mattress in my sewing room and I had a machine set up in our bedroom so everyone could sleep, but I could still sew.

It's based on the three green fabrics. At the time, I was calling them the perfect three shades of green. They go so well together. Now my tastes have moved more toward the olives, but at one time, these were all the rage for me. The tan is a holiday print that adds the small amount of red that I repeated in the cornerstones.

This quilt is going to be all about the quilting. Each of those four big corner areas is going to get something holiday themed quilted in it. Christmas trees in one corner, a string of lights in another, ornaments in the third and these gifts in the last one. First, I traced it all. All these images came from something. The lights came from a holiday gift bag and the rest came from a child's holiday coloring book. I had to pull things from a variety of pages to get the items I wanted and I did all the overlapping and merging things myself.

I used these tracings as my plan, so they have a variety of outlining techniques drawn on so I could pick the one I liked best. This one is just basic outlining, but there are lots of things tried and decided. For the actual quilt, I only need the basics, tho. So, just the outlines of the shapes I need to mark for. The rest can be free hand, but shapes this intricate, I'm just not ready to trust myself yet. On paper, I can erase. That's much easier than trying to free hand it, messing up, and then having to pick it out.

Next, I pin a piece of tracing paper to my sketch. I don't want to transfer the pencil lead from the tracing to the thread and I don't want to lose my original pattern, so I'm going to needle punch to transfer the pattern to the tracing paper.

One side of the tracing is just holes. But, if you turn it over, you get bumps and those bumps cast a shadow if you turn a light on it just right. So, when I quilt this, my flourescent light that is usually above my eye line will be lowered to below my eye line so it will cause the bumps to cast a shadow for me.

When I pin baste the quilt sandwich, I won't put many pins in these large corner sections. Just a few. Then, I'll do all my outline quilting and ditch work to give the piece stability. After that, I'll quilt the center and then, I'll pinbaste my corner sections and pin the needle punched tracing right into the sandwich.

After I quilt in the general shapes, I pull off the tracing paper and I can add all my free motion background quilting and pull the pins as I go.

Much easier than trying to trace the whole shape onto the quilt before pin basting and then hope the drawing stays until I can get it quilted.

And, the paper? Make small stitches and it tears right out. Any that sticks can be pulled out with a tweazer. Or, wash it and most of the sticky bits will wash away. I've used Golden Thread paper, parchment paper from the grocery, and expensive tracing paper from the art supply house. All of them have worked well. The parchment might be best for a beginner because it is a harder paper and less likely to tear on you while you quilt. Golden thread is nice, but not as available to me as I'd like. Next, I'm going to try regular gift wrap tissue paper. I've been using that to trace garment patterns and it's more sturdy than I expected and I think would do this job nicely. As long as I'm careful.

K. That's it for me. Sydney baked 30 cupcakes to take to the volleyball team. And, she did an hour of spanish. I just love it when home is cool.



Vesuviusmama said...

Can't wait to see all your beautiful quilting on this!

lindaroo said...

I can just hear the vibrations of Nirvana when you describe the quilting process and the peace in your home, it's lovely! Thank you for sharing the details of how you do this, I'll look forward to more as you share the process. Blessings!

Coloradolady said...

This is going to be amazing! I can not wait to see the progress on this one!!

Enjoy that peace at home! It is a treasure when it comes. Have a great weekend!!

Shevvy said...

That is going to look amazing. I am getting better at my FMQ, but I'm not very good at following a line yet. Freeform works best for me so I don't have to worry about accuracy..
I've really enjoyed your trip down memory lane, thanks for sharing.