Elettaria's quilts (elettariaquilts) wrote,
Elettaria's quilts

Shell quilt - time to think about quilting

I've had this quilt sitting around for about nine months because I haven't had the faintest idea what to do with it. I suspected that it was best suited to free-motion machine quilting, and as I can't use a sewing machine that wasn't something I could just pick up overnight. However, my hand quilting has improved a lot since then, my stitches are smaller, I'm less afraid of seam allowances, and most importantly, I've learned more about quilting patterns. I remembered that there's a competition coming up which it's ideally suited to, as the theme is "Beside the Sea", and having just checked, the deadline is early July. Plenty of time, even if I quilt it quite densely, and at 22" x 26" I can afford to.

So here is my first idea, based on chatting with someone who brought up spirals. You can't go wrong with a good spiral!

Shell quilt - quilting pattern 1

And here is the original pieced top. If you fancy sketching yourself, try saving this photo to your computer, printing it out, scribbling over it in pencil, and then scanning it in or photographing it to show me.

Shell quilt top

What do you think, folkses? It's the first actual idea I've had. The wavy lines may be a bit on the dense side, they're about 1/3" apart as far as I can guess, though that's something I can fiddle with. I'm having difficulty working the curve around the spiral when it comes to the next line, but again, practice will probably help. Current idea is to alternate light and blue thread for the sea, one line of quilting per colour, and then move into cream and copper brown thread on the beach, where the wavy lines handily give a similar effect to wet sand.

For the shell - well, first of all remember that the centre of that shell is crazy small curved piecing, bits as little as 1/4" x 1/2", and even with stab stitch I do not want to be getting into that sort of thing unless I really have to. I'd quilt in the ditch around the main spiral, and then start quilting a curved line down the middle of each shell segment (which are all made of two pieces each, but that was only to make the piecing easier), starting, er, well probably not at the very smallest pieces in the middle, but I'd see what was manageable. For the top part of the shell, gentle curved lines continuing that idea, and then waves/spirals where the sea is lapping over the edge and I have those blue/beige triangles. I haven't drawn anything over the two small beige triangles at the bottom of that section, perhaps I should? I'm also trying to work out colours. Copper brown, perhaps, and then light or medium blue alternating with cream for the lapping sea bits?

Border - apart from where the sea gets into it, haven't the foggiest idea. Nor do I know what to do with those three blue triangles in the bottom right. There are three beige fabrics used for the border, by the way: one saltwash semi-plain, one paisley, and one with a design of small blue flowers.

Any ideas, guys? Modesty aside, I think I did a bloody good job on the piecing, and I don't want to let it down at the quilting stage.

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