I spent most evenings this week quilting this small quilt.
It is about 40 inches square. Some of you may remember it from a post on APQ last spring. I referred to it as the "kicking and screaming" quilt because it gave me so much trouble. There are still some problems with the top that bug me, but I declared it good enough and put it in the queue to be quilted.
Well, I'm finally quilting it, and it is still giving me trouble. Quilting started smoothly, with outline quilting in the star, a thin rope cable in the yellow inner border, a nice motif to fill the large white corners. I was making quick progress and was looking forward to finally getting it on the wall. That checkerboard border had other ideas. I didn't try a crosshatch pattern through the squares right away because I thought that would accentuate the problem of some of the squares near the corners not being actually square (one of those things that still bother me). I tried stitching in the ditch but it didn't look right with the rest of the quilting. I tried quilting a quarter inch from each side of the border but that didn't look good either. I tried the crosshatching finally, and was quite thrilled as I stitched that it looked really rich. Perfect!
Well, perfect until I took the quilt out of the lap frame to move on to the next bit of border and looked at the whole quilt. Because of the on-point orientation of the checkerboard, my lovely crosshatching turned into a side to side grid, and only the vertical lines really stood out. It really looked odd. If I turned the whole quilt on point it the quilting looked OK again. Back to the drawing board.
As I munched on some Pringles potato chips in frustration, I toyed with the lid of the Pringles can. It was just about the right size... I traced it to make a curve template to draw a loose chain and I think I finally have something that works! My husband has given the first little bit his thumbs up (though of course he is probably tired of hearing me grind my teeth so maybe he's just trying to hurry the process along).
Stay tuned! Hopefully the final outer border will give in more peacefully. I think I know how I want to quilt that part...