Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Quilting Black-on-Black, Part II

After trying several ways of marking...or not marking...on black fabric, I bought White Marking Pen from Clover (is there a fat one???). It is like a ballpoint pen.
There are many warnings to read the instructions before using, but not much new...four statements: one a sales pitch, one CAUTION (try it first, of course), one about how it works, and one about how to get it out.
The strange thing with this product is the "ink" goes on clear and then turns a fairly visible white. So if you were drawing free-hand, that could be a problem.....the same problem I was having with free-motion stitching black thread on black fabric!
Here's a sample of how it looks as a line, and then I scribbled a LOT on, to see if it would come out:

This is about as in-focus as I can make my own eyes right now!
The way to get the mark off is by washing or ironing, and I am pleased to say both worked on my sample scrap. So I marked right on my quilt:

When you need a template, there's no place like the kitchen! My dinner plates are immortalized in many quilts. This is a melemine plate from the dollar store!
I decided to stay with the process of marking out large areas/ shapes, and then filling those in by eye.

A very nice cresent Moon, though my eyesight for making even lines is laughable.
Still, at this point, it is 10 days until the quilt show Turn-In, and I still have another basted quilt waiting!

It seems counter-intuitive to IRON on your quilt, but I did it just to see how the lines would come out.
They came out...it flattened the area. But I usually give the quilt a ride in the drier for a bit to freshen & fluff before it goes anywhere.

When I am pushing & shoving & rearranging a big quilt through my machine, I remind myself that it's that process making the quilt soft. It is very much softer and nice after the quilting is done (unless you have stippled it within an inch of its life and stiffened up the whole thing).
Washing has the same effect, and I have been doing that more often, but this one I don't want to wash before the show...mainly a time constraint.
I might change my mind, though, as the washing and drying gives it the puffiness we like to see (and fills in the little odd spots we hope the judge will miss!)

Why do we also like the flatness when a quilt is just done? We think we are able to appriciate all that quilting we just finished! But 9 times out of 10, the puffiness is more pleasing.

I did continue on and quilt all the flower blocks with a totally free-stitched bumpy flower petal effect.
At least, I hope that's the effect! It's definitely bumpy.
It was nice to just be quilting pink thread top & bottom, knowing there would be no odd color thread showing on each side.
I stopped worrying about on the back...I am sure the judge will mention it. She will be correct to do so, but I would be highly suprized to read a comment that says anything I don't already know about this quilt!

Except for a black thread glob here and there, the back looks pretty good.

So, here I am down to the wire, and the thing is that the quilt still needs more quilting!
Some quilts are demanding that way. This one has been like that from the beginning, which is how it got as much as it has now! But it doesn't really have any quilting in the black background around the blocks, and it should.

I determined that I can add the sleeve without any trouble, so that's going on next. Maybe (ha, ha) if I have time, I'll go back and try to do some more quilting (who AM I kidding???).
But for now, this will have to do.

My belief is that quilters, once they are beyond beginner level, do about the best they can at any given time. Anything that is not quite right is because they decided not to do it originally, or didn't go back and fix it.
I know the right way to do almost everything, but I seriously lack the patience to perform like a champion quilter. And that, of course, IS the difference.

Those Big Award Winners don't necessarily know more than others, but they buckle down and don't let anything get get past them but their 100% best work...and so they deserve all the awards they get.
Meanwhile, as always, I am off to my next project!


Anonymous said...

Nice quilting, Sunnie! I will enjoy this quilt the more at Quiltfest for your letting us get to know it a bit, beforehand.

Meanwhile, I've been cutting strips from my stash to replenish my "scrap" basket before retreat: I intend to resume work on my "Mile an Hour" quilt while I'm there. I now know who the recipient of that quilt will be, so it's even more fun to work on.

Ms. E.

Elizabeth said...

Wow. I feel like there's something more I should say, but that's all I've got. While I thought I was okay for having been quilting about 15 months. I'm a baby! LOL! I guess I needed to see something like yours commenting openly the way you did about it, to really stretch me and my quilting.

Pat said...

One of my favorite things in life is to take a newly-washed-finished quilt out of the dryer. I love to see all of that puffiness that wasn't there before. The stitching lines disappear and all you see are the places you didn't quilt.