This entry is a continuation of my previous post. If you didn’t read the previous entry you may find it helpful to understand what I’m doing:http://www.sewthankfulblog.com/?p=313
I haven’t completely finished my latest practice piece yet, but I can show you how it’s coming so far.
After I completed quilting the panto design over the entire surface of the top fabric, I began shadow quilting from the front using a darker shade (hence, a “shadow”) of Glide Thread.
The goal of my “shadow” quilting was to practice quilting from the front of the machine without having to think about what kind of design to practice.
Since I had already quilted the panto design from the back of the machine (good practice in itself!), my design was in already in place and no marking was required. Yes, I know I could think up a design, but my time is limited so I need to make the most of it and maximize practice time and materials whenever possible.
Using this method, I was able to get a feel for following the line of the design as well as the relationship of the hopping foot to the line of stitching. I was also able to experiment with improvised quilting where desired…i.e., if I felt an area of the panto was too open, I could practice stretching out the size of my freehand quilting using the “shadow” thread in order to fill the area better.
Once I finished each pass with the “shadow” thread, I changed threads (top and bobbin) and applied the contrasting “over” quilting thread. For my highly contrasting thread, I chose a bright yellow. See the edge of the “over quilting” in the previous pass (right side) in this picture:
Here’s a close-up:
Summary: This method of quilting the panto design from the back, then shadow quilting with a darker (blending) thread, then over quilting with a highly contrasting thread has been a fantastic learning experience for me. In many ways it is like quilting 3 quilts on one. This technique really is working to improve my feel for the machine and hand/eye/body/brain coordination. I love the effect and the “pop” that the over quilting achieves when I look at the quilting overall. To me, it has a sense of motion and the yellow makes it burst in joy. This piece is NOT a show quilt. It is a PRACTICE piece–but I’ll proudly put it on my bed and over the years I’ll fondly reflect on the lessons I’ve learned making it.