Points that don't meet - and colours that might not look just right might frustrate us - but as more and more squares sit side by side - the small "misses' dissappear into a much larger more beautiful collage.
Once a quilt top is completed, it of course needs to be quilted together with a batting and backing. But before I load a quilt on the longarm frame - I hang it up or lay it on the floor or a bed and take a photo of the quilt top - so that I can see the "story" it tells. Looking too closely at a quilt is like not seeing the forest for the trees. A photo really does give you the big picture. A quilt will reveal to you about how it should be quilted if you take a bit of time to look at it as a whole.
As I start to think about the best way to highlight the pattern of the quilt, I load it on the frame and look a little closer at the blocks. And then I just start. I do not use a computer program but instead do what is called "free motion quilting". Quilt blocks speak with colour and pattern design. Some call for contemporary lines or geometric patterns while others call for swirls or feathers or a whimsical collection of many small patterns. Stitching sometimes may cover the entire block - or there may be several small patterns in parts of blocks to make a more integrated design. And I cannot count the number of times that once a quilt is done and I look at the back of the quilt where its easier to see the quilting I have done - there are happy coincidences - patterns that are now all together - that look absolutely stunning.
But the happiest moment in quilting for me - is when I finish the quilting and start to remove it from the frame. Once the tension is released on the quilt - the quilting and the pattern comes together in a happy surprise. I know that this quilt will have a long life and be loved by someone. But for me - this is my happy place!
A sewing fanatic or "crazee" quilter has certain rules..... one being - DO NOT TOUCH MY SCISSORS! We cringe, gasp and lunge towards the offending party when we see them cutting electrical wire, paper, cardboard - or horror of horrors - opening the bacon wrapper! Hence, we have several pair scattered, hidden and sometimes even even hanging around our neck.
Yes. Until yesterday. Confusion. Frustration. Despair. Where oh where are you my sweet little snippers - come to mama you two pointed wee devil you! Hovering over my latest quilt on my 12 foot quilt rack I searched valiantly for the wandering weapons of thread destruction!
With two threads in hand - still attached to the quilt, I felt up and down the entire quilt rack. Back and forth I ran my hand across the quilt top. Scanning the floor around my feet, I leaned and twisted this way and that - refusing of course to let go of the threads - lest I forget where they were or the bobbin thread pulls back down to the underside to later create a dreaded, threaded bird's nest!
I lifted my left leg and leaned this way and that, twisted to the right, and shoved my hands in my pant pocket foraging for them. In the meantime, the threads gripped between my thumb and forefinger began to slip as I continued to contorted my body this way and that. Really? How could I misplace them? I had them only a moment ago! The velcro swatches on my longarm quilting machine placed there (by me of course) to hold stich ripper and scissors were strangely vacant. Oh how smart I thought I was to put those there to hold my frequently used tools!
Giving up and letting the threads go, I began rummaging through every drawer near my sewing machine and finding none, finally went upstairs to get the scissors from the bathroom I keep in there to periodically trim my bangs. Too busy quilting to visit the hairdresser I guess.
Scissors in hand, I returned to the the quilt where I trimmed the threads and began quilting again - focusing on the feathered pattern I was creating. Running my hand close to the needle I felt a strange shape sandwiched between the batting and top flimsy. Yes, you guessed it. I had sewn my scissors into the quilt. There they were - securely nested between 2 feathers. Laughter or tears?
And so now the search began for the stitch ripper.......