Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Quilting the HST-Warm/Cool Quilt

I finished quilting my HST-Warm/Cool Quilt this morning (I really need help coming up with a better name for this quilt!!!) and wanted to share my process in quilting this quilt.
I was lucky enough to win a copy of Free-Motion Quilting with Angela Walters directly from the lovely Angela Walters herself.  I've studied this book for weeks and wanted to try several of the techniques she teaches in this book.
For much of the process, this is how I worked.  That book was open right next to my machine and I copied each motion directly from there.  Here instructions are so clear and simple . . . step-by-step and easy to follow.
My original strategy was going to be to try differnt loopy and roundish designs in the warm sections and different geometric and squarish designs in the cool sections, but I was worried that would be way too busy.  I still wanted to try lots of different techniques, so I decided to use "back and forth" for the cool sections and a variety in the warm sections.
Angela teaches to pick just a couple of designs.  Now that I'm done, I totally agree.  I think this quilt would have looked more stunning if I had picked just 2 or 3 designs.  However, I'm glad I tried lots of them . . . I now have the confidence to use them on other quilts.
Here's how I started: I quilted a large "flower power" design in the center box. (All design names come from the book.)  "Back and forth" in the first and subsequent cool section.  And then "basic swirls" in the first warm diamond.  My sections are pretty narrow, so I realized quickly that it is a challenge to use an all-over design in a narrow space . . . I just didn't know how to correct that.  I finally figured it out several rows later.  It has to do with scale.  If I were the kind of person who likes to unpick, that swirl section would go, but I'm happy being perfectly flawed.
The next warm round shown below, I used the "paisley" design.  I love the look of this one and found my rhythm pretty quickly.  This is probably the one I would use to alternate with the "back and forth" on an entire quilt.
Or maybe this next design: "wavy lines".  These horizontal lines contrasted in such a stunning way with "back and forth" and were pretty easy to do.
The next row is "figure 8" and took my brain a little while to get wrapped around.  Once I found my rhythm this was a simple, quick design.
The following row is a line of "flower power".  This is another one I wish I could pick out on this quilt.  It is pretty dense compared to the other designs, but would look stunning as an all-over design on a quilt.
The next row (the bottom "v" shape below) is where I finally figured out scale.  This is a line of "swirled hook" and this is where I had the book right on my machine to copy every movement.  This design can be used as an all-over design, but if you increase the scale, it can easily be used in a line.
The last warm row down below is a "double loop swirl"
Here, my rounds ended, but there were some sections out to the side where I could try a few more designs.  In the photo below, you can see the "swirled hook" and "double-loop swirl" again and then . . .
There's my first attempt at "pebbles".  I really wanted to practice this design because I want to use it on the pathway for my Grandmother's Flower Garden.  It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.
The next row is another example of changing the scale of an all-over design and stretching it into a line.  Angela does a great job of explaining this and calls it a "swirl scroll".
On the last two rows, I repeated "paisley" and "wavy lines" just to get 'er done.
Overall, I'm pretty pleased with how this crazy quilt turned out.  I'm glad I took the opportunity to learn some new techniques, but here's some things I learned:
1. Stick to 2 or 3 designs as Angela suggests.
2. Change the scale for a better look.  Don't be afraid to go big.
3. Don't be afraid to try new things.  You never know if you can or can't do something until you try.
Now, I'm off to figure out what to bind this busy quilt in (and try to find a more clever name for it.)
I'm linking up to Lee's WIP Wednesday since this is what I'm working on this week.
Grab a button:


cherylj said...

What a beautiful quilt and love all of the different quilting patterns.

MaterialGirlQuilts said...

Love the quilt and your quilting looks great! I really need to work on my FMQ some more.

Tanyia said...

beautiful! I quilted mine much more simply but I played along in this QAL last year, the colors are lovely!

Lisa Ann said...

So pretty! I like that you used different patterns in each of the rows. I think I'll have to check out this book!

Megan @ MiaDolceOriginals said...

Just wow! 1) I love the warm/cool design, and 2) your FMQ has really inspired me to try something new! Thanks for sharing your lessons :)

Caryn said...

This is amazing. I loved the warm cool design already, but your quilting takes it o a whole new level. I was so taken by the first picture and the amount of dimensionality that added. This really touched on some ideas I want to utilize in my grandmother's garden quilt, so seeing that they do in fact create the effect I'm looking for is thrilling. Thus was the perfect quilt to practice FMQing on. I really theink the end results is stunning.

capitolaquilter said...

Wonderful advise on quilting and I still have a warm cool quilt on my bucket list. Your project turned out so nice.

Chez Roo said...

The quilt is beautiful, and all your FMQ is gorgeous!

Debbie said...

What an awesome experiment/learning opp!! This I would LOVE to see in person! Good for you. The quilt is just lovely. Thanks for linking up to wip Wednesday where I've had the pleasure of guest-hosting this week!

M-R said...

Congrats - it's a beautiful quilt and you did a great job with the quilting. I did the same idea for my first FMQ quilt -- pick a bunch of designs to try in smaller spaces. :)

Deb@asimplelifequilts said...

This is so beautiful and love how you walked us through your quilting choices in your post. Great to reference back to - thanks!