I was so worried after sending back my first Quilt of Valor. Would it be good enough? Would they want me to quilt a second one? This was the first time I had quilted for someone other than myself or family.
Of course I am the text book worry wart. I couldn’t help it. But I really shouldn’t have worried. I got a request to do a second one. And in the request I was asked if I’d be willing to take another quilt that needed special treatment.
Um, sure. Gulp. Guess I set the bar a little high. Hopefully I’d be able to meet expectations.
Well after an interminable wait of TWO WHOLE days!!! The quilt top showed up. I was more excited than a 4 year old at Christmas. I couldn’t wait to open the package. And once I opened it I jumped up and down and squealed like a kid at Christmas. No, really. I did. Ask Mr. Steam.
Look at those stars! I love stars. Seriously, I can’t seem to design a quilt unless it has stars in it.
Look at all that white space! Oooh baby! I have really been wanting to do a quilt where the quilting makes a secondary pattern on the quilt and doesn’t really follow the quilt block. But I have not had time to make any tops with all the party throwing, t-ball attending and, oh yea, my day job. This was going to be AWESOME!
My first stop is Pinterest to get some ideas. I wanted to do a wreath of feathers. But my wreath feathers need some serious work. Somehow I really wanted to still to a circle, but it needed to be sans wreath. And of course it had to have feathers.
I found the perfect inspiration on Threads on the Floor from two of her quilts.
First is her star quilt. I love the faux wreath that is created by the feathers. And I love the straight line / circles in the sashing. But my pebbles and ruler work need, well, work. Still it got my thoughts running.And then I found this quilt. Also on Threads on the Floor. And this is PERFECT. Put a curved diamond in the white space to make a faux wreath around the star.
So now that I have my design worked out I needed to practice it. So I printed out the space to be quilted and slid it in a sheet protector. Then I can use a dry erase marker to my hearts content, or at least until I am happy with how things look. Typically it takes me a day or two of practicing. Its a perfect take along for tee ball games. Once I can draw it, I can usually sew it with no problems. I love this little trick.
My next hurdle was to mark the quilt. I wanted to make sure that the arcs on the diamonds had a consistent curve. If I did them without marking they would get all lopsided. But I didn’t have any templates that were the right diameter. I also couldn’t find any plates or serving dishes in the house that had just the right diameter.
Argggg! What was I going to do. I could try cutting a template out of card stock. But how would I get the template right? Enter my compass from my high school drafting classes. This is how I could make just the right curve for the template.
But then I remembered I had a pen holder attachment for the compass. I could put my blue marker in the compass and mark directly on the quilt top. Alas the marker was too thin. No problem, painters tape fixed that right up.
Wahoooo! It worked great I could mark the quilt directly!!! And I could adjust each arc for the specific size of the block.
I marked both the stem for the feathers and the outer edge for the feathers. My feathers tend to shrink and grow. The outer edge helps keep them the same size.Now it was time to start quilting. After all the stars were ditched, I got started with the feathers themselves.
I was thrilled with how the faux wreath turned out. It was the exact look that I was aiming for.
However there was one problem. The space between the feathers and the star was bigger than I was comfortable with. I needed something to fill that space but not loose the faux wreath. I also wanted it to be something that would be quick. Back to the sheet protector. You can see I tried a couple of different ideas. Top right a free standing star. No, too much marking. Top left, echoing the feathers. Eh, still not right. But echoing straight lines? Now that looked cool.
I love the results. I think it helps emphasize the stars and in a way reminds me of chevron stripes on a uniform.Now on to the next quilting challenge.