Thursday, July 14, 2022

Feather Quilting Dresses Up Jingle's Setting Triangles

Hey there, Quilty Folk!  I finally have some quilting progress to share on my Jingle sampler that is not invisible!

Sashing Triangles Done, Just Starting This Star Block

By the time I was done with the Drudgery That Is Ditch-Stitching, a little devil was whispering wicked things in my ear like "How much credibility would I lose as a professional longarm quilter if I paid someone else to do this for me?" and "maybe I should try some other hobby, like golf?"  Y'all, I have tried golf and it did not go well -- so it looks like I'm stuck with quilting!

It took me three days to quilt these feather designs in my setting triangles, four if you count the day I spent considering all of the bazillion possible ways I could quilt them until I narrowed it down to this one.  It's a digital block design from Anne Bright that I chose because it has formal, symmetrical feathers that complement the style of metallic Hoffman fabrics that I used in my borders and fussy cut for some of the blocks.  But it's not too traditional, either, with the staggered feather plumes curling around on themselves.  There's a touch of whimsy to these feathers that connects well with the simple appliqué shapes.  At least, that's the hope!

These Inside Corners Were Challenging!

These weird inside corner shapes (above in green and below in red) were challenging both in deciding what to quilt there, how I wanted to turn the corner with the design, and then fitting the designs into the weirdly-shaped spaces.  I was very glad when I had the fourth one stitched without messing any of them up!  

I positioned the individual feather plume designs one at a time, sizing them to fit the space, and then connected them to stitch out continuously.  I love how my border "frame" in that trompe l'oeil stripe look even more three-dimensional, now that the loft surrounding the frame has been compacted by the feather quilting.  

Same Designs Stitched on the Poinsettia Fabric

I used 40 wt Glide in color Honey Gold to stitch the feathers on all of my setting triangles, and then I went back over the quilt, stitching little bits of gold quilting here and there in the pieced blocks wherever I thought the Honey Gold thread would look good.  I may still use small amounts of metallic thread in this quilt to add a little more sparkle here and there, but there is already A Lot Going On and metallic thread might just be Too Much when all is said and done.

This Block Isn't Finished Yet, Either

One thing I'd like to point out is that I was not long arm quilting yet when I started this project back in 2013, and that definitely is reflected in my fabric choices.  I still love these beautiful prints, but today I would be incorporating more solids or tonal solids that would show off the quilting better! Although it's interesting how the feather quilting breathes so much life into the plain emerald setting triangles, whereas the same design just adds texture to the poinsettias and tones down the print.

Six Years to Finish the Quilt Top

Somehow this quilt gives me a late 19th/early 20th century Aesthetic Movement/Arts & Crafts vibe, like I'm channeling my inner William Morris.  (What, doesn't EVERYONE have an Inner William Morris?!)

Feathers Show Up on Red Better In Real Life Than In Pictures

There is still SO. MUCH. QUILTING. LEFT TO DO!  I would love to tell you that I have it all planned out, but I'm actually just flying by the seat of my pants.  I don't even know what color thread I'm going to use tomorrow, let alone what I'll be quilting with it!  Here are some possibilities:

  • At some point I have to pop my ruler base back on the machine.  I feel like I need to add a fair amount of straight line ruler work in those patchwork blocks to provide a counterpoint to the flowing feather curves.  Most likely switching back and forth between Honey Gold, Candy Apple Red, Cream, and Emerald thread.
  • All eight appliqué blocks need background quilting!  I have a muddle of murky ideas for that brewing in my head but it's like waiting for the final answer to pop up in the Crazy Eight Ball toy.  I know I want an off white thread for that but I don't know if I'll stick with the Glide trilobal polyester that has presence and sheen, or if a matte thread like Aurifil cotton or So Fine would be better so as to keep the background "in the background," or maybe even a lighter weight thread like Bottom Line or MicroQuilter, since I'll likely be double stitching a lot as I maneuver around the appliqué elements.
  • Then there's that gigantic appliqué center of the quilt needing to be quilted.  The negative space in that area seems massive, like an ocean's worth of possibilities, because this is the one area where the quilting will show up dramatically against the ivory background fabric.  Right now I have too many ideas and it's like creative gridlock inside my brain, so I'm just going to hop out the car window and go for a walk (metaphorically) until the traffic clears up.  Meaning, I'm going to stop thinking about the center medallion, focus on quilting the smaller appliqué blocks first, and hope to have more clarity about the center of the quilt when I run out of other blocks to quilt!

SO...  If you don't hear from me, I'm probably quilting!  I'm not even going to proofread this post, that's how tired I am, so please excuse the typos and runon sentences and other grammatical sins.  I'll be linking up with my favorite linky parties, listed on the left sidebar of my blog, and I hope YOU are having as much fun quilting this week as I am!  Thanks for checking in with me today!

One more thing -- gotta give credit where it's due!  The pattern for my Jingle quilt (minus the mitered stripe borders) was designed by Erin Russek and it's available in book form on Amazon here (affiliate links support my BandAid fund).  As someone attempting hand applique for the very first time following Erin's instructions, I cannot recommend her patterns highly enough.  If I can do it, so can YOU!


Pamela Arbour said...

Thank you for another in depth post on this quilt. It is turning out beautiful but I am almost more impressed with your dialogue! LOL I am enjoying your thought process for quilting this quilt. I agonize over the same things. Even though I am not a professional quilter, I do have a sit down long arm and I can say I probably spend a third of my quilting time staring at it trying to decide what to do next. That sitch in the ditch really did something for it so I will consider that on my next nice quilt. I don't generally do that to my whole quilt but it does look great and each of your blocks looks great as well. I think you gave yourself 2 weeks, How much longer do you think it will take? How many hours did you spend each day? I am enjoying your journey

Brenda @ Songbird Designs said...

Wow, that is going to be beautiful, already is!! Have fun!

Gretchen Weaver said...

The quilting you've accomplished so far is beautiful! I hope you can settle on the next phase of quilting without too much stress. Happy stitching!

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

so much quilting- I don't know how you machine quilters do it - you must use up so much thread!!

mboykin said...

Rebecca, I enjoy reading your posts! Your quilt is already beautiful and the quilting is making it a stunning piece!

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

Wow, wow, wow!!! This is looking amazing, Rebecca!

piecefulwendy said...

Well, wow - this is looking fantastic! You are amazing. I'm pretty sure I missed the Wm. Morris channeling thing - ha! said...

Sometimes the oceans of possibilities can make you feel that land is eons away! I like your thoughts. The feather motif is beautiful! As for the backgrounds. . .depending on how dense you quilt it. . .try the micro quilter so there is less build up. I'm thinking a cotton thread might be too much of a matte look and contrast poorly with the brightness of the fabrics and the glide thread you've already used. I'm impressed with how far you've come! Well done!

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

You tried golf haha!! I think you should stick with the quilting.. maybe haha!!!
This is GORGEOUS!!!! Those feathers are just stunning on this piece!!!
Have fun quilting - we will see you when you come up to take another breather!!!!

Pam said...

That is the prettiest Christmas quilt I have ever seen. The fabric is out-a-sight and the quilting is to die for. Well done, you!

MissPat said...

I'm recovering from a tooth extraction and I have no energy or motivation, so I'll just say this is gorgeous. I'm so glad you waited to quilt it because your quilting is going to take it to another level (or two or three).

Sheri said...

Wow, your quilting is amazing and the Christmas fabrics are so beautiful!!

Jenny said...

What can I say but "So gorgeous"

Jay said...

I am thoroughly enjoying your journey with this quilt, especially since it's you and not me! I can't imagine the decision-making process involved with deciding/designing the quilting on any quilt. Kudos to your process and skills.

Barb N said...

You know the saying, "Gorgeous takes time." Betcha don't because I just made it up, lol! Anyway, it's true - all that time you're spending on this quilt will pay off in the end. It's truly wonderful workmanship!

Sandy said...

It's absolutely gorgeous, Rebecca Grace! I do love feathers, and yours are exquisite.

Andree G. Faubert said...

Hi Rebecca, glad that you're chanelling your inner William Morris :-) it's looking great!

Marie said...

That feathered plum panto is to die for - such a beautiful interpretation and SO gorgeous where you've chosen to use it. Keep it up! I know it's probably going slower than you'd like but it's not a race. Just enjoy it.