Monday, July 18, 2016

Vinnie Loves Maude Quiltalong #5 - Dessert is Served and it Tastes Like Quilting Thread

We made it to the end, though not without more drama than should happen on a first date. Thank you all for your kind words and your patience as our time together was disrupted by the very unexpected death of my mother in law. I'm very hopeful that the rest of the summer will be full of only happy things. Happy things, like the finishing of a quilt!

Is there anything that can bring a quilter simple joy quicker than the last stitch of a binding? I can't think of anything right off the top of my head, actually. Maybe the smell of a new jellyroll in the morning? The sound a new blade makes on your fabric, hopefully not to be followed by the sound of a scream of pain coming from your own mouth as you run over a finger? I guess actually the simple joys are pretty endless.

 We've reached the final stage of our QAL, the one where in pattern booklets the directions often start and end with "Quilt as Desired." Often causing palpitations and stress sweat, am I right? If you check out page 7, #2 under "finishing" you'll see that even in my pattern booklets I try not to leave you completely hanging. It's here that I wrote "The cover quilt was machine quilted with loops in the prints and outlines in the low volume areas, and wavy lines in the borders."
Here's what that meant - loops big and small in the body of the quilt.
  Admittedly, that's still a pretty generic description. How big are the loops? Do I mean all the prints, both outer and inner circle thingies? What color or weight thread did I use? What cocktail did I prepare to celebrate when I was done quilting it all on my home machine? I mean really, the unanswered questions are still there. (The answers: Both big in the background and small in the prints; yes, all the prints; 40 wt coral thread, and red wine.)

Sometimes all that a quilter needs to stop "quilting paralysis" is to have a jumping off point. Maybe it helps. Maybe it doesn't. But I can sleep better at night knowing my own patterns contain a little quilting encouragement in the form of "WWBD" (What Would Beth Do) at the end.

Though it is hard to see, I did do very similar quilting on the famous runner.
Hopefully you can zoom in!

 If you are looking for a more modern looking option that is as simple as it comes but looks pretty darn amazing, I believe you can't go wrong with random wavy lines. I used them to finish this extra block I had from the swap and I personally think it is pretty darn cute.

The key with the wavy lines? Don't make them perfect! Don't make them parallel to each other. Wave some in while the line next to it waves out! The less they line up the better! How can that not appeal to my imperfectionist base?

Don't believe me that they need to be imperfect? Make some wavy lines all perfectly parallel to each other. I think you'll find the overall design turns boring. At least it sure does in my opinion. And if you hang out here enough, you know that I DO have opinions.

Wavy lines too free love-hippie-style for you? No worries. As much of a pain as straight line quilting is (sorry, not trying to discourage anyone from trying it, but make sure you clear your schedule for several days if you go this route), it always looks (and feels!) amazing. 
My lines are 3/4" apart. Because I know you were asking in your head.
This photo of my finished QAL quilt shows how I not only straight line quilted my top, but I divided it into sections on the diagonals to do so. Not only did this make me feel like I was accomplishing the quilting quicker, because who doesn't love being able to check off a section as DONE, but it also made the quilting stand out more and add more movement. Way fun.

A lot of people like to use painters tape or some other marking tool on their quilt when they straight line quilt, and it's definitely a great way to ensure your lines stay completely perfect. But you know me. Like I care about completely perfect. When I straight line quilt I'll mark the very first line along the diagonal so I know I'm off to the right start, then I just eyeball it. Having received plenty of compliments on my quilting over the years, a few of them even deserved, I know I don't feel the need to get all crazy with marking. But you might. If so, I say go for it.

Thanks so much for playing along with my little QAL. Having never done one before, I had no idea what to
expect or how to make sure people felt involved, and I am not sure I did all the right things. But for a first time it was fun and I think a good start. Hopefully you got a little more info about how these blocks came to be, how to create them, and what you can do with them once you do.

These lessons, and the FB group, will live on for as long as Blogger and FB allow, and I encourage you to share your photos and your experiences in the group!


Motherdragon's Musings said...

Sorry I missed this QAL. Have had health issues. But was wondering, if it would look out of place to quilt a full size quilt with wavy lines. I only haveva domestic sewing machine.

MissPat said...

Beth, so sorry to hear about the death of your mother-in-law. My sympathies to your family.
I wasn't able to join in this QAL, but I love the pattern and hope to do it eventually.

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