Time was short too, and I was flattered and in need of quilting income so I said yes! Eeek! It didn't take me long to wonder just what had I gotten myself into? Not that I couldn't handle it, but taking my perfectionist tendencies and combining them with a short deadline and not one, but two other quilters' opinions? And this quilt is a sample for yet another quilt shop!
Oh my word! I was totally stressed about it, my inner critic had a field day nit picking it to death (and I restitched some areas too), but I was assured that they were quite happy with the results. Thanks to Lori at Thread Runs Through It for all the encouragement and giving me a try.
|Oops! It's sideways on the bed!|
Somebody did a lot of work on each shape, with a zigzag around the edges and a change of thread for each color. But while they wanted custom quilting, they didn't want it too fancy or dense so it took me a while to find a balance.
If I had to do it over again, and I just might since the shop that has this quilt is selling the kits, I would not have quilted quite as densely in the 9 blocks. I love how the borders turned out. With all the fusible on some fairly large areas and a double layer of batting, it was a challenge to avoid ripples as I wove in and out of some places. I'd love to do this quilt quite densely for somebody and add details in some of the larger appliques.
|I had to go back into several areas later (see pin above) as it was hard to travel around all those shapes.|
I ripped out the stitching in the area around the pin below, and re-stitched. With a puffy top (To be clear,it laid perfectly flat before quilting, but was an issue with extra batting, fusible, and stitching that couldn't work simply from center out.) I re-learned that extra stitching in a puffy area makes it worse. I also realized that nearly parallel lines of stitching look really bad if the stitch length gets a bit long.
Guess what happened below? Yep, stitched the edge to the quilt. Easily fixed, but really annoying.
I got this quilt basted first by the initial long armer, which was helpful, even though I had to pin baste in some areas, especially as I took out the basting as I stitched. I was also told I didn't need to stitch around all the applique, but in many areas, it was easier to do that than it was to figure out how to stitch a shape into and out of narrow areas between applique shapes.
I freaked out at one point thinking I was gonna have two quilters upset with me, but Lori encouraged me and asked for pictures. I'm so glad she did, because unwadding the quilt from under the machine and laying it flat for pictures removed 98% of the areas I disliked. Not to mention getting more distance than 8-12 inches from my nose to the quilt.
I actually enjoyed stitching all of those different shapes and swirls when I ignored my harsh inner critic. I even gave the butterflies antennae!
This quilt did have me starting to long for a bigger machine like a sit-down long arm, just for the visibility as these blocks were quite large and while they are very asymmetric, I would have liked to do a more cohesive design, which was impossible without either marking a lot beforehand, or removing the quilt repeatedly so I could see more of the block/quilt at a time. But the freehand fill was fun and worked well for this design.
The back above. I had absolutely no trouble with the back, no puckers, nada. I did have a few moments of panic and then realized there were some dark spots in the batik that tried to trick my eye.
It's not perfect, but it was beautifully put together and the quilting set it off well and turned a lovely top into a gorgeous quilt. I am not sure I am wanting to quilt for others, but Lori has shared my contact info with some others and we'll just see how it goes.
Lori and I have talked about having me teach some free motion classes this fall when their new classroom space is finished. Until then, my quilting space looks like this:
OK, hopefully I will be done with this mess soon. I am putting the finishing touches on our homeschool plans for this year, which will start on Monday!
Part two of my inspiration series is in the works, check back soon. This post is linked up with the Free Motion Friday post at Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting Project.
Have you quilted for others? On a domestic sewing machine, one of the big sit-down machines, or are you a long arm user? Share in the comments please!