The center of the train tree skirt was done. So it was time to move on to the outside of the tree skirt. As always, I wasn’t 100% sure what I was going to quilt. I knew I wanted to quilt smoke coming out of the steam engine stacks. I did that smoke in black thread.
I also knew I wanted to make ballast (the rocks between the rails and ties on tracks). I planned on using 1/4″ black ribbon as track. But, I was going to add that after the quilting was done.
But I still had lost of space that had to be filled in between the cars and the smoke. There wasn’t enough space to do more full swirls. I thought about doing some McTavishing to look like wind, like on the Triangle Tree skirt. But that idea wasn’t singing to me.
So I stopped and decided to read the quilting book I had just checked out of the library. It was In the Studio with Angela Walters. I LOVE this book. So many quilting books talk about the technique and tools, or how to quilt a specific motif, of give you different motifs. And while that is very helpful and in some cases just what is needed. In this book Angela talks about WHY she chose a quilting design and what some of the different quilting patterns she considered. PERFECT!!!!!! She spoke a lot about the different things that quilting can bring to the quilt.
In one section she talked about depth. About how if you quilt spirals so they aren’t complete, but rather “bump into each other” it makes it look like one spiral is under the other.
“Fa La La La La” (that was the angels signing!)
That was perfect. I wanted swirly wind. If I made my swirls look like they were under the smoke it would be just the look I was going for. I had never tried this before, so it wasn’t going to look the best, but hey, the skirt is going UNDER a tree, and it will have presents on top of it. And I am doing matching thread. So what’s to lose?
Up close they look a little rough. But the blue line is still there, so your eye gets drawn to where I missed my marks. But I wasn’t worried about that, the blue lines were just to get my swirls in the right direction and right general size. And I try to never judge my quilting from this close. So I took a few steps back and…..
looked at the whole thing, It SINGS! Awesome texture. Looks like blowing wind. Melds well to the ballast without a hard line. Yep! That’s the ticket. I figure two more good nights of sewing and the quilting will be at the station!!!
Train tree skirt links: