A Quilter's Shangri-la
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!
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