Monday, February 24, 2014

Spinning Pinwheels Quilt

Rosanna's Spinning Pinwheels (pattern by Deb Tucker) quilt presented some real challenges in trying to figure out a design that would enhance the quilt without making it more busy.  The colors of the blocks are so bold and bright but the patterns of the fabric were small and mostly tone on tone. Contrast that to the border fabric that incorporated many of those colors in a big bright floral pattern. The client loves custom modern and traditional custom quilting and this quilt seemed to call out for both.So I vacillated back and forth as I laid out the designs on my computer. I can't even begin to explain the process of deciding on the designs because it changed so often.  So let it suffice to say that  final decisions are often made once the quilt in on the frame and a trial stitching is made to test the busyness of the pattern/thread/fabric combination against the piecing of the quilt.  Then it is a gut call.  So grateful to Rosanna for being wiling to validate and collaborate in a timely manner. I know I must seem a little OCD at times in trying to make it perfect.

Final decisions:  modern elements of the spinning star blocks come together with traditional cross hatching.  I am hoping that with time and experience the designing process becomes easier and faster for me. The actual stitching time was approximately 45 hours.  The design and re-stitching process when something didn't look good took many more.
I considered putting the oval fill behind the dahlia flower but both the client and I decided that it wasn't neccesary and the larger flower brought the perspective of the large floral border into the quilting.

The 17 different spaces needing to be sized individually in each block made the quilting slow and tedious, but the time spent made the finished project worth all the time spent.

The oval fill patterns and the large dahlia flower patterns were created by Nancy Haacke of Wasatch Quilting. The original blocks on point patterns were by Anne Bright and edited in Art and Stitch to be able to stitch a series of three at a time. The Cross hatching patterns are by Sharon Perry. The chevron pattern within the pinwheels is a Pro Stitcher Pattern.  Can you see why this took so long to decide on the design?  
I was so happy to be able to pull of the cross hatching meeting in the corners. The first cross hatched border wasn't difficult to line up because I was starting from a fresh straight line. But the subsequent  borders were difficult because of the fluidity of the fabric and thread. The miscellaneous areas of density in the quilting create different amounts of draw in the fabric. So there was a fair amount of unpicking involved in getting this to match up.  When I would realize it wasn't matching up I would stop the machine. Adjust things, and try to create a New Star Point in the ProStitcher. That doesn't work for this type of crosshatching pattern. So I would have to unpick and start again.

The finished quilt. 
 The client loved it.  I loved it and everyone who has commented on facebook postings has loved it.  So glad to see the whole thing come together in a beautiful way.  Thank you Rosanna for allowing me the time, freedom of creativity and resources to enhance your bold, bright and beautifully pieced quilt top.  And for the collaboration when I get stuck in the design process.  Together I feel we are creating masterpieces!!!

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