- I thought the quilt had too much white so I decided to quilt it in non-white thread. This is a risk because any awful quilting will show up more. But a professional long armer once challenged me with the question, "How can you ever get better if you cannot see what you are doing?"
- I wanted to call attention to the print blocks since the storybook images were so cute. I would quilt those minimally, hoping they would pop out as the more heavily quilted white background receded. That was the theory, anyway. My approach was to constrain the quilting of those sqaures to around their edges.
- I was going to try to decide my quilting pattern as I went. I would "wing" it . This tactic would lead to more traveling and stitching back over where I'd been, but I did find this approach was a bit liberating.
- I would try to correct "errors" by further quilting. It is fairly easy to change a plan when you do not really have one.
- I would rip out only if absolutely necessary. After all, I wanted to get better at quilting and not better at ripping out, so better I invest my time in the quilting part of it.
First I did an orange peel style continuous quilting line along the edges of the print squares, leaving the white ones blank to be filled in later with central quilting. Since the white squares were untouched, the grouping of six rectangles from the white and print half-squares formed a wavy pattern.
I decide to play that up with some parallel wavy lines. I did some previews – just a few – on plastic sheet protectors to decide the spacing. I hesitated to get too densely quilted so soon into the project, but the ½" spacing really looked more to scale and better than the wider 1".
I kept my guideline of not quilting the orange peel pattern in the white half-squares but the disjointed appearance was jarring in the white half-widths and disrupted the flow I had going. Perhaps I would pick out those half arcs later. I stitched them in only a few places before deciding I did not like them.
You can see the orange peel pattern only in the print squares and the wavy effect I quilted in the half-square rectangles. I was a bit wobbly initially but I gradually got better the more lines I did.
The small neon pink donut on the hopping foot is the Handi Quilter 1/2" echo foot accessory I used for the spacing on those parallel wavy lines.
As I did more of those parallel waves I wished I'd thought more about how to terminate them instead of abruptly squaring them off. But when you do not plan, you get what you get. I was leaving how to do the white squares for a later decision.
Staring at those wavy lines for a bit reminded me of gusts of wind. The prints from the Storybook charm pack were sky related: laundry drying on a clothesline, hot air balloons, clouds, and mini-airplanes. The sky and wind theme gave me the idea of putting wind swirls at the end of those streamlines of air. There was a stitching line across on the seam line that stopped the unfettered flow but I chose to stay with my guideline of not ripping out. Perhaps one night, when the quilt is finished, and I am watching TV, I might pick at it, but not for now. Had the thread been white, removal would have not been called so much into question.
I was determined to forge ahead and not rip out. In one case I had connected the spiral to the wavy lines incorrectly (left image, below). I pseudo-corrected by strategically adding more spirals in the right image. Now the air streams appear to join up. But look carefully. It is not quite true.
It is like an Escher illusion of the staircase that never ends, also discussed in the Wikipedia article as the Penrose Stairs.
There was one goof I really did have to take apart. I accidentally caught my backing folded over under the batting and so caught it in the orange peel and central spiral stitching. (Nobody has ever done that, right?) When I noticed it, I was kind of hoping it was the same white square that should have been a swirl from an airstream. No such luck. Even from the back you can see it was beside a set of wavy lines and not at the end of them. This error required undoing and so did not break my rule of no unnecessary ripping out.
Here is my backing and binding. I just happened on the Cotton and Steel fabric for half price in a clearance bin last month and thought it would be perfect. I blogged about backing choices in my post for 6/7/17. I like that the non-rigid grid adds to the whimsy. The taupe tone was a key inspiration for my thread choice.
Here is the completed quilt. I am pleased I was brave to use a contrasting thread color and was not hampered – well, not too much – by analysis paralysis for the quilting pattern. My original focus was to have the printed squares pop and the white recede. I was not very successful with that goal, but I was successful in my more desirable goal of learning a lot and increasing my confidence to just go for it. I do not intend to invest time in a fancy label. I'll just use a fine line fabric marker to write the year 2017, the quilt name Storybook Charm, and my name in some yet to be determined location.
A closeup reveals a few glitches but overall I am pleased. The saying is not to worry about it if a mistake cannot be noticed by someone whizzing by on a galloping horse. In my case that horse had better be a Kentucky Derby winner with a myopic jockey.
Linking up now with Let's Bee Social #184.