I almost always skip that step when I shouldn’t because making a prototype seems inefficient to me and because, well, I’m impatient. Why create a small version of a project when I’m gung-ho about making the real deal?
Recently, however, I got the notion to make a throw quilt in a simple patchwork of alternating white and colored fabrics and then finish it off with orange-peel quilting. (This was @chelseafr’s fault. After I saw this project of hers, I was smitten.) Since I had never tried orange-peel quilting, I chose to follow in Alice’s footsteps and make a kidsize quilt for charity first, using some long-overlooked pastel scraps.
I cut my pastel scraps into 3-inch squares. When I ran out of pastels, I moved on to darker-value solids. I ended up using six colors: hot pink, pale pink, pale orange, yellow, lavender, and purple (it’s hard to differentiate the pale pink from the pale orange in my pictures). Then I played with the squares on my dining room table until I came up with this arrangement. I love how the darker colors anchor the top left and bottom right corners, and the configuration of the pastels has a pretty ombre-like effect.
|Mother Nature’s recent behavior has not been conducive to good photo shoots. So fed up with all the snow and wind, I opened up my front door, plunked this quilt on top of the snow, and started taking pictures!|
|Then I convinced my husband to stand in the 20-degree cold and help!|
To tackle the quilting, I consulted Jacquie Gering’s new book, Walk. I sewed my base grid on point, in the white squares, and then marked dots to guide my creation of the edge-to-edge S-curves. As I quilted my project over multiple sessions, however, I noticed that the shape of my orange peels evolved. They started out nice and skinny but grew chunkier as I got further into the quilting. About halfway through, I stopped marking my guide dots, made a peel-shaped template, and marked the quilting lines in their entirety.
|When I focus on the peels here, I’m pleased with the quilting, but when I look for the overlapping circles amid the peels, I realize I need more practice.|
It seemed like a cop-out, but I like my quilting experiences to be as relaxing as possible. I want to enjoy the process, and it’s easier for me to follow lines than rely on my muscle memory to achieve consistently shaped quilting. I do what I have to do to get the results I want—even if it means taking the time to do all that marking!
|I have another yard of that floral print, featured on the back, in my stash. Maybe there’s another practice quilt in my near future!|
I’m glad I decided to make this quilt. I really like it, and I’m sure I’ll employ my newfound confidence with orange peels again. Creating this quilt convinced me, however, not to make the throw size I originally had in mind. Between the alternating white-and-solid patchwork and the orange-peel quilting, the quilt has a distinctly feminine feel, which is pretty but not right for the throw I want to make.
I have a question for my fellow straight-line quilters out there ... Have you tried any curves in your quilting? How much did you mark, and was there a reference you found particularly helpful? And if curves are new to you, I have to tell you that this experience has transformed how I think of quilting on my domestic machine. Maybe it could do that for you, too!
Linking up to Main Crush Monday, Scraptastic Tuesday, Let’s Bee Social, Needle and Thread Thursday, and Finish It Up Friday ...