Tuesday, August 28, 2012

How the heck do I quilt this?

I have been quilting just under 3 years.  I have learned a lot in that time, but I still have  so far to go.  Piecing and appliqué skills are coming along nicely.  Figuring out the best backing is fine as is pin basting.  My quilting stitches are improving to the point I am not embarrassed anymore.  But when it comes to figuring out what motifs and fillers to use, I usually stall.  Sometimes for months.  It's rare that by the time I get the top finished, I know how I want to quilt it.  I am thinking of the quilting the entire time I am creating the top.  Often with dread.

I currently have a top that recently sort of happened and I have no clue how to quilt it.  My daughter brought me back some fabric from Rwanda.  It’s a gorgeous colorful swirly fabric with a 10 inch repeat that begged for me to make kaleidoscope style hexagons.  I have always wanted to try these.  The background is a gold that goes well with the fabric and brings it all together.  The rosettes themselves will be easy to quilt – the swirls themselves will establish where I stitch.  However, the gold area will be defined by the quilting.  I want something that continues the tribal flavor of the fabric, stands out but doesn’t compete.  ACK! 

Top made with fabric from Rwanda.  It's about 48"by 60"

Anyway, if anyone has some suggestions or can send me links to images of something to consider, I would be ever most grateful.  I’ll eventually figure something out, hopefully during this decade yet!


Laura Stermer said...

Hi! Your quilt caught my attention on the FMQ UFO Sundays blog. I did a quick search for African tribal, and there were tons of photos. I looked at tribal tattoos, but that didn't inspire as much as the clip art on the following link. Maybe some of these simple line designs, combined together will fit the bill??


Laura L2DSDesigns

Anonymous said...

Hello, I also saw your link up for UFO Sunday. This one is a puzzler. You might play with the idea of echo quilting in the yellow areas. Echo around not just the star and hexes, but additional tribal shapes that you place in the four larger yellow spaces. Leah has a great idea about printing your picture and using a pen to draw practice patterns.

Moni said...

Karen, I usually do the draw on a picture thing, but am unsure what even to start with on this one.

Laura, I think you suggestion looks great for the border and will definitely try it. Still looking for ideas in the body.

Thanks for the input!

Danielle Hudson said...

I think a great design that's not hard to do, has a tribal feel, and would be easy to fill in the yellow negative space is Leah Day's Railroad tracks. Here's the link. scroll down to her video on how to do this. Hope it helps!http://www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com/2012/05/may-2012-fmq-challenge-tutorial-by-leah.html

Leah Day said...

Hey Monica - it sounds a bit like your attitude might be playing a big role in your indecision with this quilt. Have you tried journaling about it? I find writing 3 solid pages of text about an issue can usually clear it up, or at least shed some light on what to do or where to go next.

Always remember when you feel that dread feeling that there really is no wrong way to quilt a quilt. The more you do this, the more you just choose and go with it, the more confidence you will build about picking designs.

Good luck!


Rachel said...

I think something with curves would really play off the design of your quilt and the fabrics - curves intersecting the points of the star and hexagons.

A bit like how the curved quilting complements the straight lines in these quilts: http://www.flickr.com/photos/26873567@N03/7600857776/in/photostream http://www.flickr.com/photos/26873567@N03/5025727910/in/photostream

Sooli said...

I love your use of colour in this quilt. It looks terrific. I would definitely use echo quilting around your centre star there. Perhaps repeating right out until it nearly touches the hexagons and the points of the stars come right out in between the hexagons on the sides and corners. Then perhaps pick one of Leah's stippling designs which is spiky and then fill in the remaining area with that. Or perhaps you repeat that triangular shape in the centre of your star and put one in each corner and echo around those?

Pat said...

I think I might outline you shapes and some of the larger shapes in the fabric. Then in the yellow part I would choose a soft filler design, such as a plain stipple. That way your wonderful fabric is showcased. Good luck. Anything you choose will look wonderful.

Lee Ann said...

Hi...very nice work. Look at your hexagons...here are your quilting designs! You created them yourself and didn't even know it. There are such great lines and designs right there. Can't wait to see the finished quilting. Best of luck!