Sample #1 is almost done. Yay! This sample will be used in two of the four episodes I'll be filming with Linda Taylor next week. Episode #1 will feature template work and episode #2 will be on using thread color to change the look of a quilt. Episodes 3 and 4 will be on feathers (surprise!) and I'm going to work on that sample today.
The border is almost finished on three sides, leaving the top border unfinished so I can work on that on camera to show you how I do the layout, how I fill the area, etc. The point of this quilt is to show the confident beginner quilter that creating good design is NOT the big deal you'd think it would be. All it takes is some imagination, some patience, and a willingness to experiment a little and maybe break some rules. As you can see by looking at the photo below, there are only three design elements in this border and all three are very simple.
**IF YOU ARE A CONFIDENT BEGINNER, YOU CAN DO THIS!!**
1. A curving double line created by using melon templates as a stitching guide to assure nicely shaped corners, even width and smooth curves. The negative space within the curving line provides a crisp design element and a sharp delineation between the piano keys and the pebbling. Easy!
2. Piano keys stitched at 1/2 inch and 1/4 inch widths with little curvy bumps used to travel between the lines and avoid having to backtrack. The spacing between the lines was fudged ever so slightly here and there to make the lines fit in the space. Easy!
3. Freehand pebbling done in a slightly contrasting thread to alter the color of the border fabric and make it ever so slightly pinker. Easy!
No brain cells were killed in the execution of this border, as no math was used. I hate math. I am not one bit sorry that I wrote Math Sucks in that book. I only use math when I can't figure out a way to weasel out of it. When laying out this design, I just fudged everything to fit, which is way easier than using a calculator and trying to get everything to fit. Easy!
Threads used in the border are YLI Variegated Machine Quilting Thread in 'California Poppies' So Fine thread in color #500 and YLI Iris thread in 'Grape.' If you haven't tried Iris yet, you should. What a *great* thread! Beautiful sheen, very forgiving, runs like a champ. What more can you ask for from a thread?
This little quilt has been a lot of fun to work on and I taught myself a lot as I worked through it.
PS As you can see, not all of the blocks are completely quilted. This is so that I can demonstrate on camera the various stages of the quilting process.(Stage 1 chalk guidelines, Stage 2, do this, Stage 3 do that, etc.) Also, there will probably be more quilting in the piano key border, but I haven't had enough coffee yet to figure out what it will look like.
Click on photo to enlarge if you'd like to get a better view.
Snippets from my Ask-The Expert column in MQU
- Applying Binding With Your Longarm or Midarm Machine
- Properly Loading Your Quilt
- Using Specialty Threads
- Tensioning the Quilt
- Blocking A Quilt
- Straightening Your Leaders
- Turning The Quilt When Quilting Borders
- Preventing Hourglassing
- Help! My Thread Is Breaking!
- The Importance of Stabilization
- Updating Your Clamps