This little baby quilt, however, was very vocal about how it wanted to be quilted. It wanted all-over swirls. I thought up all sorts of straight line walking-foot options, but nothing stuck. The quilt was very clear: SWIRLS if you don’t mind. Well, I do mind, but OK already.
I googled free-motion swirl tutorials, watched a few and finally got my a-ha! moment when I stumbled on this one from APQ, with Angela Walters explaining. The reminder that it is OK to stop (with the needle down of course!) and think about where to go next and how to get there was just what I needed. The swirl design she demonstrated isn’t all curves. There are points where you finish one swirl and start on the next, so stopping doesn’t involve the risk of spoiling a smooth curve, which always happens to me when I stop mid-curve.
Deep breath. Feed dogs down. Another deep breath.
This very first bit I quilted, in the pink, is the best on the whole quilt. I never quite got it that pretty again, but overall it looks pretty good. I stopped a lot. And ranted about breaking thread. And quilted myself into corners a few times despite my planning. But it’s done and I’m really happy with how it turned out.
Ms. Owl was stitched in the ditch around all her parts with a triple frame in the background.
I used Invisafil thread. I really like the way it blends with all the fabrics so that what you notice is the quilted texture, not the thread. When the thread kept breaking (well, shredding, actually) I switched to Aurifil but didn’t like the way the thread stood out on the colors, so I picked it out and went back to the Invisafil.
Here’s the back, in fun alphabet prints:
I even remembered to put the labels on when I put on the binding. One label has the quilt info, and the other has signatures from all the folks pitching in to give this gift. The quilt will be delivered tonight. I hope baby Isabel enjoys it!
And now to go try and get better pictures of it before I don’t have access to it anymore!