After a couple of questions in the comments of my last post, I thought I would show my unsophisticated method of hand quilting the swirling sky of my "All Around the Town" quilt. Some of the pictures may seem a little dark, but I have a hard time getting close-ups of hand quilting to show if I use too much flash.
The picture above shows a blank space before I marked "a piece of spaghetti." The picture below shows the same area with a VERY LIGHTLY penciled curly strand.
Then I go back and fill in the space with some echo quilting, which I don't mark.
Similarly, here is the space right below that one.
I guess I have an overall idea in my head of how I want things to look, but I only pencil one little strand at a time. Because I draw the doodle so faintly, if I draw too many noodles, the friction of manipulating the hoop around as I quilt can make the faint lines disappear. After all, a pencil is just like a really compact chalk...little pieces of deposited graphite (pencil lead) can be easily rubbed away by accident (unless you bear down too hard, and then NOTHING seems to remove the pencil lines - LOL!).
Here's the area, now mostly filled in.
(I'm still in love with my new thimble...)
I quilted my daughter Riley's name on the little blue flag...I wonder if she will find it...
These little spaghetti strands are like little tubes. It's not really what I originally had in mind. I doodled a little on a piece of paper before I started, but then I had to consider what would work around all the applique.This is not really what I ended up with this time. I like a lot of hand quilting, but get bored with stippling and cross-hatching as the only tools in my hand quilting toolbox. Fortunately, with hand quilting, a doodled strand can just stop - I can get into the middle of a little design and not have to worry about how I'm going to get out. I can just "knot off" or "travel" to start in another area. In other words, I can paint myself into a corner with no big deal. I love it...
(To "travel" is to move around between the backing and the top, down in the batting area - kind of like a submarine, moving around below the water's surface, and then popping up somewhere else.)
I quilted some defining details on the angel. Here's a closer look.
I think this angel is related to Lady Liberty - they both shop at the same hat shop. I should have fussy cut the face fabric...she looks like she has a big zit (acne) on her forehead.
I like this particular Sue Garmon tree...it was fun to fill it with hearts (I love trees!).
This is one of my favorite chalk marking tools. I think it is made by Dritz. It comes with white and colored skinny chalk sticks and a sharpener, which, as you see, I was too lazy to use last night (I was in "the zone" and didn't want to get up...).
Here's an "aerial" view of what I got done last night. Some of you have commented that I work fast, and I guess I do. Sometimes when I look at these close-up pictures, I wish I had slowed down a little when I see my stitches look a little funky, but then I just rationalize it all by telling myself that I AM making small stitches and a WHOLE LOT of them. I don't let it get me down!
You'll think I'm crazy when I say this, but I'm not completely happy with the background quilting. I have the same self-critical problem that some of you have when I am hand quilting...we all get so stuck when we are focusing on one little six inch area of our quilts. We forget the big picture and how all the elements will play together - the fabric choices, the applique and/or piecing, the quilting, the overall pattern - it all makes a delicious soup in the end, and hopefully I won't notice that the carrot chunks aren't the right size.
Happy Quilting Day!!