Thursday, January 20, 2011

Workshop in Progress: Thread Color & Quilting Design?

I'm linking up to Cheryl's Workshop in Progress on Naptime Quilter.  I love to quilt, but I don't love the actual quilting . . . I never feel confident in choosing thread color and design.  And frankly, I don't practice enough for my quilting to ever look good to me.  I always have to remind myself of my mother's mantra, "It looks good from the stage."  In other words, no one is ever going to see my tiny mistakes.
Anyway, here's my workshop delimma.  I made the red quilt just for fun (based on Amy's "Chain Linked" pattern from Diary of a Quilter) and loved it so much that I decided to make my baby's quilt from the same pattern.

Here's how I've done the quilting on the red quilt.  Straight line quilting outlining the shape of the optical illusion and around each square.  I'm thinking of adding another "set" of squares inside each square too (in fact, convinced that I will.)  I find this process rather tedious . . . stop and turn at each corner, but I do like how it looks.

So my question is, should I use the same pattern on Joe's quilt?  The back is a bit busy (shown below).  Or should I just stipple all over (to accomodate the back and to get it done faster)?  Either way, what thread color should I use?  My instinct is to take the time to straight line quilt it with a dark brown thread, but wonder if I should switch to a light blue thread on the light blue parts.  If I stipple, would a dark brown work, or should I try for a lighter brown?

Thanks for your input!


Katie B. said...

Well, first of all, these are gorgeous quilts! I love them both, especially Joe's with the name on the back!

I love the straight lines you did in the first quilt. Perfect. On the second quilt, I think that type of quilting might be a little too disruptive on the back (and the back is just as cool as the front!). I'd be inclined to go the stippling route, and I'd probably use a lighter brown/neutral color so that it blends in rather than stands out. But, really, you can't go wrong! It's going to be an awesome quilt regardless.

Andrea said...

I agree with Katie - I'd do an allover stipple as the distinct line quilting may interfere with the bold piecing of the back. Also, if you back is just slightly off when you baste it, you'll notice it big time in straight line quilting!

Andy said...

Hm.... I love the straight line quilting, but I agree with the other comments - that might detract from the backing. If it were me I would go for an all over stipple and get 'er done! I LOVE that back. It could be it's own quilt!

Tanya said...

I made a similar quilt and had the same dilemma. I chose to do a "blocky meandering" where you free motion quilt it with straight lines. Elizabeth Hartman from "Oh! Fransson" does it and it looks wonderful. Just another option, but I do like the straight stitch quilting.

Cheryl Arkison said...

What a neat pattern!

If it were mine, I would go with a blue thread that matches the blue chain.

The outline idea that you did on the red is indeed nice. I would have given up, I have no patience for all that stopping and starting.

What about two lines down the center of each chain, from top to bottom? Like what you did, but instead of going around the outside of the square, just keep going straight down. Then you can do the same thing horizontally, but either through the center of the feature squares or on the chain part as well. It gives you a grid pattern.