It has taken me FOREVER to do all of the in the ditch and appliqué outlining on Ladies of the Sea ( pattern by Sue Garman). I am finally to the fun part of the quilting. I love to do stipple stitching behind the appliqué blocks. I used a wool batting and it makes the appliqués "poof" out. Stippling is mindless quilting for me.
I also like to put hidden shapes in the stippling that have to do with the quilt, usually humming birds and dragonflies, snails, and other garden findings are in my appliqué quilts. But, Ladies of the Sea opened a whole new hidden object world :)
Starfish, pellicans, sea turtles, mermaids, dolphins are all in the quilt. After I completed the outlining quilting I trace the objects I want hidden in the stippling on tracing paper.
I scatter them over the blocks that will have background stipple quilting.
I quilt right through the tracing paper and then tear off the paper.
Then I start stippling around the appliqués and my hidden shapes. I even quilted my name in a block and the year.
So background block quilting has gone very smoothly and quickly...and then I started the borders.
They were a nightmare! No picture, it was too ugly. I wanted every half inch gridded lines around the border. I used 1.5 inch painters tape and quilted lines every 1.5 inch all around all four borders and then I started filling in the quilt lines in between. It was awful. Because of the heavily appliquéd border there were just way to many starts and stops, my machine tension was pretty spot on, but when you ran your hand over the borders it felt prickly over the starts and stops where I had cut the quilting threads. After finishing one and a half sides of the every 1/2 inch quilting I hated it and decided to tear it all out. This has taken me 2 months to do. I had to be so slow and careful not to put a hole in this quilt. After I finished all the tear out I just let it sit a while (actually it was thrown in the corner of the quilt room). This past week I finished the borders with my old stand by, stippling. I do not really think entirely stippled quilts are very pretty, but it seemed like my only option. I am up to the binding, which because of the half square triangle border I am sure will take me a while so that I do not cut off any triangle corners. The end is near, completion pictures in a week or so.