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...


  1. Anonymous3:01 PM

    Worth the effort, Diane! It's lovely :) (almost enough to make me want to make one!)

  2. I like that quilt a lot!

  3. Great idea to doodle and come up with a quilting pattern that you liked. The clear vinyl tip is excellent. I will have to try it!

  4. It looks like you're doing a great job with your quilting. It realy is a neat quilt: hope you like it again, soon.