This one’s for Elizabeth

Early still here.  I haven’t even started the day yet.  But, I wanted to share a few thoughts in response to Elizabeth’s comment from yesterday.  Elizabeth and I have become good blog friends, and I was going to send her an email, but then I thought that maybe other people would be interested in the answer, so here goes. 

Here is a lighter picture of my practice piece on the greek keys.  Part of the problem I’m having with this border is that things don’t stand out with the red thread on the red fabric.  I want my quilting in this border to be as distinctive as the rest of the quilt.


And, here it is from the back.  Easier to see the patterns.  I used this white on the back of my practice piece so I could get a feel for the amount of thread buildup I’d get using these different fillers.  The bobbin thread on the red silk quilt is a cotton all purpose coats and clark, which is working terrific, but I don’t want huge lines of it on my back in this border because the rest of the quilt doesn’t have that.


I’ve tried several things.  In the upper left, some feathers and then I got into some of Leah Day’s background fillers.  There are flowing leaves, then some flowing feathers, then in the key on the upper right, tree roots.  In the straight lines, I played more with feathers and leaves and tree roots, just practice.  I have a three quarter inch space to fill, which I thought would be easy, but to get something small enough to fit and allow some echo work, the original shape gets so distorted and lost that those dense fillers are not making me happy. 

Lower left is the feathers I’m likely going to use in the silk quilt (I think).  Instead of continuing the feather all the way to the end of the key, I’m going to put about 4 feathers in to fill the key.  And, on the lower right, more flowing leaves. 

I have one more piece of the wine fabric and am going to try some more practice.  Hopefully, I’ll get the answer if I try enough things.  But, I’m glad for opinions.  If you see anything you like, say so.

About the pumpkin seed border.  Elizabeth is going to use that, but her template doesn’t fit her space.  I don’t think I would make my adjustments in the corners, Elizabeth.  Here are some thoughts. 

I trace my pumpkin seeds from a template.  This is a tracing.


Conventional wisdom when the template doesn’t fit the space is to shift your template a little bit each time you draw it so that the seeds are slightly bunched together.  This is what I did in the silk quilt.  Below, I traced over my template in orange ink, shifting the template to the left just a bit with each tracing (left hander)to show how easily I adjusted a half inch out of my repeat.  If you’re doing something for show, I’d be more exact.  I’d measure the length of the space I wanted to fill and divide that into a measurement very close to the length of the tilted seed.  I’d mark that distance in the space and trace a seed between every mark, shifting the template to make each one fit in the space it is allowed to fill.


BUT, I think it would be more interesting to use a spacer.  Here are two ideas for that.  A spacer would go in the center of the space you’re filling and would allow your template to fit the space without shifting the template.  Trace from both ends, always tracing the same number of seeds from each end so that the last empty space is in the center.  Then, put something fun in that empty space.  How about a circle.


Or, if your last empty space is wider than that, what about a seed turned sideways?


My preference would be to have all four corners match and make the adjustments however you need to in the space between the corners.  It will be lots less noticeable that way. 

Okay, I am going to sew for a little while and then I have so many chores…ughhhh.  I’m cleaning out and making a goodwill pile.  And, that is not fun work.  You don’t get the reward until it’s all done and out of the house.  Without bringing any back in.



Elizabeth said...

Hi, Lane! Thanks for all of the really great information. Lots to think about! I'll definitely be mulling it over in my head over the next few days. I've gotta figure a way to make those pumpkin seeds work and I really like the idea of adding in a little filler -- the circle is really great!

Also, thank you for the pictures of the Greek Key. Wow! Beautiful work! Really amazing! I can't wait to see how it comes out.

I've been thinking of doing a wholecloth. Nothing really big. Yet. Yesterday as I was drying my hair, I noticed this really cool tree on the package of a new set of sheets that was sitting on the floor next to the foot of my bed, just in view. I think, perhaps, I will use that as a template, and do a 12" mini wholecloth as a trial run.

. . . Perhaps I'll give up sleep entirely, so that I can quilt full-time . . .

Thanks again! Great stuff! Lots to think about!

xo -E

myfrangipanniis said...

I like the left feathers your work is beautiful