Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Quilting Process...

As a longarmer there are several different processes that you can follow in order to longarm quilt.  I wanted to share one with you all as I go through the process of quilting a wonderful quilt from one of my customers, who allows me to do whatever I want to do for her.  Here is a pic of her wonderful quilt!

This quilt is very special in that each block contains pieces of fabric from many people in her family.  So, what I do is put it on the frame (or sometimes up on the design wall) until it "speaks to me".  I know that sounds kinda crazy, but it will speak if I let it.  Sometimes, if I don't have time to wait around and wait for the conversation...I have to just go with something that "works".   Just looking at this quilt it is fairly traditional in the blocks in that these patterns pieced in the blocks are blocks that have been pieced by quilters for generations.  The usual suspects in a traditional quilt are Baptist Fan, Feathers, Clamshells and/or Meander.  When I spoke to her we talked about "swoopy swirly patterns"  there are many swoopy swirly type patterns of feathers, but not so much of the Baptist Fan or Meander. 

Then, I go to the patterns in my computer and online to see what other type pattterns might work or even better be optimum. For many people, I would go with a flower pattern "swoopy, swirly" of course, but my customer is more geometric type I think.  (When I say geometric - I mean shapes that aren't recognizable as swirls, squares, circles etc...not flowers, leaves etc.)  A shape that I think would be good for this quilt is a heart...I have found two patterns with swirls and heart they are: 

Normally at this point, I would send these to the customer to see what they wanted to do...but since I get to do whatever I want to do on this one..I get to pick. 

Another thing that I have to consider when I am picking the pattern is what thread am I going to use.  On this quilt I think the colors to consider are a patriotic, white and blue.

You also have to take into account the color of the backing...the backing on this one is solid white if you use a dark red or blue then it will be a big contrast and might put off the customer.  The contrast is a matter of personality of the customer.  Mary and I discussed red thread, for another quilt of hers, so I think she would like the red thread.  However, the backing of that quilt is a very busy patterned fabric that is red, white and blue and the backing of this quilt is pure white.  White is always a good idea for a traditional quilt and most people are used to white (and neutrals - tan, beige, black etc.) and it makes them happy with the end product. 

Due to the heart patterns, the blue is out!  So, it is between the white and red.  I really love the first pattern with the red thread.  So, I am going to take a break and let it settle...  I sit in front of  the quilt and look at the patterns and try to visualize.  Then, I go on the computer and look at the patterns online and see if there are any hearts that I like better.  There are some hearts that look like feathers instead of hearts with swirls...since she and I talked about swoopy swirly, I am going with the hearts and swirls.  I have decided on the first pattern with the red thread.  I will post a picture when I get it done and you can tell me what you think.  Then, when I give it back to the customer - I will let you know what the customer thought. 

Woke up this morning and turned it all on its head...decided on another pattern feather hearts called Holly's Hearts and decided to go with White thread.  Here's a pic...stitching it now.

Lovin' it!  Will post more pics when I get it done : D.