After much fiddling and fussing, I finally arrived at a good starting point. The Stars and Moons quilting idea was salvaged after all. Yay! There will be Mariner's Compass stars in all four corners and along all four sides. The 5 large pink moons in the middle of the quilt will have these same stars, and I'm hoping that all of the little moons will have them, too. We'll have to see about that when I get that far in my design work. I still have no clue what I'll do in the backgrounds, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
Here's my final rough draft in chalk.
Once the rough draft was all tweaked and twisted, it was time to chalk out the design. While this might seem like a lot of work, I find that when doing a more intricate design or a design that relies on accurate measurements to get things to turn out the way I want (like this design, for instance) it's a lot less work to chalk it out than it is to try to stitch it out and then have to rip when things don't line up properly. In cases like this, I'll always take the time to draw out the things that need to line up, then all I have to do is stitch on the lines and I can rest assured that I won't have to do any retroactive quilting because something turned out wonky.
My rough draft chalkwork is done with a Chacoliner, because it's easier to brush away when the line is wrong or the design turns out to be stupid. Trust me, a lot of designs turn out to be stupid, and I do a LOT of brushing away. When I'm ready to do my final chalking, I switch to my mechanical chalk pencils. These have a very compact chalk lead, which leaves a very thin and precise chalk line. A thick line tells you approximately where to stitch. A thin line tells you exactly where to stitch. I want to know exactly where to stitch, thus the mechanical pencil.
Now that the chalking is done, it's time to get busy and do some stitching. I love this part.
A closeup of the 'ghost' circles I'm using in the corners and along the sides. These circles are being stitched with Mariner's Compass stars surrounded by double spined curvy diamonds and are filled in with microstippling to make the stars pop. The thread used is black YLI Fine Metallic, which is my all time favorite metallic thread. I'm still not sure what will go in those areas outside of the curvy diamonds. I've got enough curved crosshatching and *way* enough microstippling, so it won't be either of those things, but what will it be?
A closeup shot of the crosshatched area. I love what that thread is doing on the black. What a great pop of color! This is YLI variegated machine quilting thread in Maui Sunset. The curving line is the same thread in Mediterranean. There will be filler work done on the other side of the curving line but I haven't yet decided what that filler will look like. All I know is that it will be done in the Meditteranean thread, as it flawlessly matches all of the blue batiks used in the quilt.
Here's a full length shot of the completed area. Sorry it's not a better photo, but I was teetering on top of a folding chair trying to focus the camera, it's very late and I am a total wreck from burning the midnight oil all week trying to prep for filming. I promise I'll get some better shots next week when I'm back home and the pressure is off.
DO you like it so far? Click on the pic if you want a closer look.
I'll be back from filming the middle of next week and, if I remember to pack my camera, I'll show you some pics of what it's like to film TV episodes. Then it'll be back to work on this quilt! Woohoo! More quilting!
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