First of all thank you for your comments re the butterfly ball. Rachel, I agree with you, I also secretly like the distressed look on the blue butterfly! And Lis, thank you for your comments and I think you are right- there is too much going on in the quilt. Interestingly, this has been another lesson in my learning- namely,to stick with my initial instincts. Quite simply, I was a bit of an easy lay and got seduced by all the glitz and bling! Whereas, my initial plan was for the whole of the centre of this quilt, to have almost no colour in it, with the colour pretty much only being in the border design. The centre I had planned to leave kinda like a wholecloth quilt and put the whole design in a matching thread. Next time, I will play harder to get!
Here I am again, about to take deep breath and begin a big project.
I have already loaded this quilt up a couple of days ago. I am fully floating this quilt at the moment and I plan to quilt it fully as I progress it, rather than rolling it back and forth.
Now it is loaded, I plan to spend the whole of this week doing nothing but planning the design.
This quilt belongs to my lovely special Canadian cousin, J. It has been sent specially over the atlantic in order for me to have the honour of quilting it. It was made for her by her grandmother on the other side of her family, who traditionally has made every family member a quilt, I think initially meant as wedding quilts, but now often given as they become adults. Usually, she would have hand quilted it, so I feel especially honoured that she has entrusted the job to me instead. Where the two ends of the quilting heritage meet I guess!
On initially receiving this quilt, I sat and looked at it for many an hour, whilst I let quilting ideas tumble around in my head. What to do on it? The one slightly unusual thing about this quilt, is that there is absolutely no structure to it at all. Every dresden plate on this quilt is placed at random, so there is no pattern I can take to play with and create a secondary design with. Maybe in some ways that means it would lend itself to an edge to edge pattern, but my plan has always been to custom quilt this quilt, or probably more likely heirloom quilt it!
This week though, when I finally started thinking about it properly, I still started at the point whereby I was trying to create some kind of structure out of it. I kept trying to use some kind of specific quilting design, placed at strategic points and to build from there.
At this stage, my idea was to place these designs in the plain squares and continue from there.
And here was the moment when I realised that this was not going to work:
I chalked the stems of a few feathers and found that there on my first roll of the quilt, there were two plain blocks together and I thought, yuck! that concept of mine won;t work!
Luckily, before despair kicked in, I had a bit of an epiphany. Jay! my cousin, despite all her talents of being lovely and funny and warm and clever and strong and beautiful, is not a quilter! Despite having grown up surrounded by quilts and their makers, none of it has particularly worn off on her. In fact, when we spent the week together last year, in Houston, I obviously spent every minute at the quilt festival. Jay? she spent her time at NASA!!!!
It was this that gave me my inspiration. NASA. Space…..and that took me back to my old favourite, micro quilting. I figured, this quilt is for her and if I make it funky and modern, whilst keeping a bit of traditional softness to suit the dresden plates and I throw in just a little bit of space, then she should be happy!
What do you think, Jay?!
I then thought it would be fun to play with a few different design concepts and put them out there to anyone who wishes to comment, so here you are, let me know what you think. This, so far, is just for the background quilting. Consider the one above, Space, to be number one.
Phew, as you can imagine, by then I had one of those horrible little painful dimples in my finger from pressing so hard with my pen!
I’d love to hear which one you would go for, but I reserve the creative right to make the final decision! Love Suzy