Saturday, March 28, 2015

Shock Waves - Just the Back :)

In my last post I showed you the corner of the back of my latest quilt, Shock Waves. It is now finished, washed and blocked :) I'm only showing pictures of the back as the front is a pattern that I tested and I won't be able to do a full reveal until my day on the hop - April 7th is my day, make sure to come back and check out the front of the quilt! Yes, I am giving this pattern a HUGE thumbs up! :) It is extremely well written and the resulting quilt is amazing! Come back on April 7th, I just know you are going to agree!

OK, on to pictures. After the pictures, I'm going to share what I learned while quilting this quilt. The lessons were many and since the final reveal will be more about the pattern than the quilting, I thought this would be the perfect time to share them with you. But first, the pictures!!

My husband had a huge role in the quilting design for this quilt. He saw shock waves in the piecing and began searching for inspiration for me to translate to the quilting. I was the lucky recipient of lots of information regarding flow studies, jet propulsion, engineering, theories and the like (lots of head nodding and smiling like I understood every not one word. . .). I told you, he really got into it!! I started with the middle motif for the quilt. It is called Sacred Geometry. If you do an images search for this, you will see some very cool images. I picked this one to use as my motif. 

My first lesson. Light tables are all kinds of awesome when transferring an image you want to use as a motif to your quilt! I bought one after Cindy Needham's class. I just knew it would come in handy and it did! Drawing the motif onto the quilt took very little time or effort. This has opened up a whole new world of possible quilting designs!

Second lesson, I marked the design with an air erasable purple marker late one night and then went to bed. . . it was gone in the morning!! Alrighty then! Apparently the time it takes to disappear depends on temperature and humidity. I'm in the desert, no humidity. I'm just guessing that is the reason it disappeared so fast. Lesson, I will only use these pens for marking on the fly. . . mark, quilt. Marks gone.

The third lesson had to do with curved rulers - there is a LOT of straight and curved ruler work in this quilt. Anyway, when using the curved ruler, it was much easier for me to control when I used the inside curve of the ruler! I had much less ruler movement as I found I was able to stabilize the ruler better from the outside curve. My consecutive curves got a LOT more consistent, and that makes me smile :)

I'm not sure when this one hit me, but it was pretty soon after I started quilting - a heavily pieced back is going to cause some issues when quilting this dense. . . you are thinking, well duh! LOL There were several places where the seams on the back came together exactly where multiple seams on the front came together. One is not going to be aware of what is coming up on the back . . . because it takes a little lot more to get that through the needle, I had some, ok, ok a lot, of inconsistent stitches in those areas. Some real small, some real big and when I was using the ruler and this happened, there was NO way I could keep the line straight. . . . And no, for the most part I did not rip them out. SO, in the future if the plan is to quilt densely (and let's be honest, this is probably going to be the plan for the foreseeable future lol), the back needs to have a lot fewer seams - or at a minimum, no seam intersections.

I tried trupunto for the first time!! I have to say, it worked out well :) I put an extra layer of batting in both the big triangle and the smaller triangle right under it. I didn't have any water soluble thread so I used a poly thread with the biggest stitch my machine would make. It actually worked out well. I removed the thread right before I quilted the triangle. Both threads came out easily and because I stitched it right after removing it, I did not experience any shifting. . . I might have gotten lucky! 

This is the first time that the quilting designs just kind of flowed . . . I didn't have specific ideas of what I was going to use as fillers before I started. It probably had to do with the conversations I had with my husband before starting quilting but the designs kind of just flowed as I quilted. That was kind of cool! Hmmm, there is something to be said about having a theme when quilting by the seat of your pants ;)

And finally, sometimes random takes some planning :) My husband picked the outside border quilting design from Christina Cameli's book Step by Step Free Motion Quilting (love this book!). It is called Port Holes. I wanted to have varying sizes and I knew if I wanted larger circles and had any hope of them being even remotely circular shaped, I would have to mark it. I used one of those circle templates that has multiple sized circles on it. I think they are used for architectural drawing. Anyway, I pulled out my air erasable marking pen and filled in the circles from the corner to the center, quilted, marked, quilted repeat repeat - you get the idea :) This worked out well and the resulting texture is nothing short of amazing. Did it take longer? Yes. Was it worth it? I totally think so :)

One more tip, I am not fond of burying threads and I'll admit I do just clip them on occasion (Yes, more than I'd like to admit). I watched this video - changed my life!! I might be the last one to the party on this but holy wow people! If you did know this, why didn't you tell me??? LOL

When I was sewing on the binding, my machine stopped stitching. . . like needle going up and down, feed dogs and walking foot functioning properly and stitches are not happening. . . Seriously?? Panic ensued. I called the shop, Joan assured me that I could come in the next morning and finish the quilt on one of the machines. That morning I went in and saw the repair guy, begged him to fix my machine. . . he was swamped. There were TONS of machines sitting around him :( I explained the issue and he said it sounded like I had knocked the timing out. . . moi??? ;) He said he would have it back to me the next day (today). Then, I ran to the other store where Joan works and sewed on the binding :D And. . .  Good news! Ken delivered on his promise and I have my machine back!! And it works! YAY :D 

Working on the Oakshott top. . . will be sharing the finished flimsy soon :) Will start quilting the rose linen tomorrow or Monday. Seriously stoked!! :) I'll be posting lots of updates on that one :)

Linking up with I Quilt over at Pretty Bobbins and DWM over at Patchwork Times. Check out what is happening with all of the creative people linking up!

Until next time, keep on quilting!!
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  1. The back is just stunning! The quilting is so fantastic, I can't wait for the big reveal! I live in the desert too and have the same problem with the air erasable markers. I only mark if I'm planning to quilt or sew the area within an hour. Sacred geometry is so fun to quilt--I have used the flower of life design several times. I have had the same experience with pieced backs, and that is probably why I have gone mostly to widebacks in the last year or so. I have when a bunch of stacked seams wreck havoc on my otherwise smooth quilting! The porthole quilting is so neat! I tried out big pebbles on mine and hated them (even more than the little pebbles because they were so hard to keep consistent). Marking them was a good idea, they turned out awesome!

  2. The quilting is so stunning, Judy! I really love how excited your husband got about input for ideas on this. I am in a dry desert area, too, and the marker I use seems to hang around longer than for you and Renee. There, I just cursed myself. When I am going to need it to not fade it is going to! ha! I totally agree with the pieced backings and have been shying away from them myself. Broadcloth and single seam backings have been my bread and butter for a while. I will still piece an occasional backing and to remind myself why I don't... I am so glad your machine is back and working well! Whew! Looking forward to seeing more from you soon. :)

  3. Such beautiful quilting Judy. Your observations on pieced backing are useful I have rarely pieced the backing, except when the quilt was wider than the WOF and I needed a second panel. But that's all it was, and just one seam which I pressed open. On the one occasion that I inserted some leftover blocks I was hand quilting, and was that hard going! With enormous stitches too!

  4. Well seeing the front will be wonderful but your back could be the front! Gorgeous. I loved reading the different techniques you used and chuckled on the air erase--consider it a initiation! Another to be careful when is--trapunto-ing, is Vanish thread (water soluble)--MARK YOUR BOBBIN--just saying my friend! I looking forward to the reveal on the 7th!

  5. Wow you quilted it to death-I love it, hehe! Lookin' forward to seeing the front. I use a spiral eye needle to bury mine, works great. I tie a knot first, Sue Heinz is the one I learned this from-she has a you tube on it.

  6. I can't stop gazing at, and studying, not to mention drooling over this quilt! There is just so much in it. I agree with Helen that the back could very well be the front. I'd never heard of Sacred Geometry before this quilt, will be investigating. As for pieced backs, my current quilt is doing just that to me, but sometimes it is worth it to have wonderful surprises on the back. Not too much longer to wait for the surprise of seeing the front of yours! I'm interested to know what thread you used...and how many MILES of it!

  7. This is stunning, Judy! ( I know that word's been used before, but it's the only one I have). I think this is my favourite quilting of yours to date. I can't imagine how long that must have taken. I aspire to achieve the flow! Those are my kind of colours too. I have threads waiting to be buried and this method looks cool!

  8. Your quilting is just awesome! Wowza!

  9. Gorgeous! I love your super dense quilting.

  10. Can I be you when I grow up? That is just seriously fantastic quilting. The purple marker lesson - Too funny - and probably REALLY frustrating lol - Can't wait for your reveal!!!

  11. Okay, first I had to chuckle because you loved the pattern so much. For someone who doesn't normally like following patterns that says a lot. I am counting down the days until I can see tge front. And secondly, wow! Your quilting is so inspiring. I mentioned you in my FMQ class again. You are proof that it doesn't take years to learn quilting, just a lot of dedication and willingness to try new things.

    I loved reading everything you learned with the quilting. While your backing looks amazing, I can see why it would create problems. I appreciate the reminder.

  12. Hey, how come you never sent me a pic of the back?!? BTW y'all, the front really POPS! with the way she did the quilting.

  13. Your quilting is so beautiful. I can't wait to see the front! To bury my threads I just leave the thread tails long enough to thread a bigger eyed needle, stick the needle in where I need it to be but not show, work the needle between the layers and pull. I even do this with very short tails, but I stick the needle in first almost up to the needle's eye, thread the needle and pull the needle thru. I will have to post pictures next time I do this. Do I knot my thread first? No. With the millions of stitches in the quilt, I don't figure that that stitch is ever going to be the stitch that comes undone.

  14. Exquisite. This is an award winning quilt, I just know it.

  15. Great quilting Judy! The thread burying video was....different. I use a self threading needle. Not sure that video you posted is really quicker? Surely you've been using a self threading needle! I do love the sacred geometry and have used it myself for motifs. Really well done. I can't wait to see how much you deviated from the original pattern...Heeheehee

  16. Holy crap, Judy!!!!! If this is "just" the back, what is the front going to look like??? Wow, wow, WOW!!!
    Congratulations on making it through, despite your "lessons". LOL!
    Oh, and the bubbles in the border? TOTALLY worth the effort.


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