Sunday, October 25, 2009

What, A Quilt??

Yes, I really do quilt! Seems I've been side tracked for quite some time, but it feels nice to be back in my studio, finishing up a few things that have been sitting on the back burner....this bargello quilt, for example. I'm making this for a friend who fell in love with a larger version I have hanging in my house. I made it in different colors, and also used a design from the book Bargello Quilts, by Marge Edie.

I love the process of making a quilt, but when it gets to the quilting stitch design I often get very frustrated, one reason this has been sitting around for so long! I knew I did not want to follow the wave pattern for my quilting design, so I pondered what to do. I began by printing a copy of the quilt, placing tracing paper over the top and drawing several quilt stitch options. I decided on random diagonal curves, which criss cross each other, but now how do I want to transfer this design to the quilt? Typically, on my smaller quilts, I use a flexible curve to mark my drawing lines, but it is much too small to cover this quilt. I decided to use string. Inexpensive, easy to move around, and I can recycle it when I get my fabric dyes out. These leftover strings will work great for tie dyeing and wrapping fabric for shibori. I placed the strings in the desirable locations, then marked my stitching line with a colored pencil. Now, for the quilting......
This quilt measures 59" wide by 67" long, which isn't that huge, but it's larger than most quilts I make. Every time I do a large quilt, I tell myself I will never machine quilt another one. I've heard of being out of physical shape, but is it possible to be out of "quilting shape"?? My shoulders and neck were sore, my stitches were uneven, stitching lines out of whack, and I was getting very frustrated moving that behemoth through my machine. I really admire you quilters who can manage large quilts on a regular machine. It's not for me, I tell you! Could it possibly have something to do with lack of patience??

So, here is the finished product. I'm still debating on whether I need to make the quilting lines closer together. I think I'll let it hang on the design wall for a few days before I make my final decision, but I would appreciate any comments or suggestions you may have.... as long as your comment isn't to rip the whole thing out and start over!

Next time I decide to make a large quilt, I'm going to call one of my long arm friends!


Anonymous said...

Hi Nancy,
I love the quilt. Bargellos are a favorite of mine although I've never made one. I have the "twisted ribbon" pattern and hope to put one together one of these days. Also, I just discovered a blog with a new machine quilting pattern/idea every day. It's fun...go to
Rita from GJ

roxanestoner said...

Helloooo, Well I love the quilt, the motion, the colors, just beautiful. I like the way your randomly positioned the quilting lines but as you suspected yourself I believe it needs a bit more lines in order to "glue' the sandwich together. Just my two cents worth.

Nanc said...

Thanks,Rita! I checked out the blog you suggested and it looks great! Thanks for sharing!

Roxane, Thanks for your comments. I have to agree..I think it needs more quilting. I need to get in the right frame of mind to finish it up!

Lynda said...

Wow, what a beautiful quilt! I love the colors. The quilting is really quite wonderful swooping across the bargellos. But I agree, it may need just a little more. I don't enjoy machine quilting larger things either...patience is not one of my virtues. I'm sure she will love it.