Thursday, March 10, 2011
Why am I doing this, again?
Some time ago (a year ago, maybe?) I started this "Charmed Circles" quilt. I'm not even sure why. Well, really, I do know... my friend Nancy made it and showed it at retreat and I really loved the modern wedding-ringish thing, and I wanted to make something in the aqua/brown palette. So I ordered the pattern and away I went. I had a bit of a struggle with the machine quilting concepts, so I thought I'd share my process with you.
I spent one quilt retreat piecing it all together (which, with all those curved seams and corners meeting up, wasn't QUITE as simple as I thought it'd be, but it wasn't bad). And I had this plan for how to quilt it.
(Ignore the rumply part. I am. :-) ) I had some great fabric for the back. I stitched around all of the arcs. I thought I'd leave the seed shapes plain (or maybe stitch the strips within them) and then, for the in between pointy-squares, I planned to do a loose sort of stitching, from the back, to follow the pattern of the back fabric. Wonderful thought, yes? But it looked dreadful. Tight and too much quilting and just messy. I concluded that after sewing four of those squares. So I ripped and ripped. Ugh.
And then it sat while I pondered what to do. Finally, I spent a quiet half hour at Starbucks one afternoon between errands, and I doodled possibilities. I'm not big on marking quilts and following lines, so I knew I wanted something I could free-motion and have fun with.
I wasn't kidding when I said I doodled. And I doodled some more.
I started liking the leaf shape. And to make it a little clearer, I put some clear vinyl down on top of the actual quilt top, and used a dry-erase marker to test out possibilities:
And then I decided to go for it:
I can hardly wait until I'm done with this thing. (And, oh goodie, bias binding and scalloped edges are what are still to come!) I know I will like it again some day but for now I'm just tired of the darn thing!
By the way, at present it's sort of rumply but I have confidence that blocking it will even it all out. Really, it's amazing what blocking will fix. Trust me.
Only 7 more squares to quilt...