Kyoto Gardens is quilted! We’ve been eating out on the deck quite a bit this week as I had the sewing machine set up on the kitchen table to quilt. Happily the weather cooperated so I didn’t have to put everything away at every meal and lose too much momentum. I was determined to get this done finally!
I’ll be adding a scrappy blue binding to finish it but since it is a bit warm still to want a quilt sitting in my lap as I stitch the binding to the back, I’m not feeling a great sense of urgency. In another month or so it will cool down enough in he evenings and I’ll get to it then.
I’m pleased with how the quilting turned out. I spent a lot of time pondering how to quilt this, thinking it really needed some free motion quilting, then feeling a little disappointed when I conceded I wouldn’t manage that to my satisfaction. I finally gave myself a good talking to and decided to “think outside the ditch”. Even though I was quilting with the walking foot didn’t mean I was limited to stitching in the ditch.
At first I thought it would be much too awkward to wrestle the bulk of the quilt through the throat of the machine to pivot every time I reached a point. I was right. However, I figured out I could just end the stitching line and move along to another line heading in more or less the same direction so I didn’t have to pivot. Then I stitched the next set of lines in another direction and so on until I had all the star points quilted without too much pivoting.
I didn’t cut my thread between lines so I didn’t have to stop and pull up the bottom thread every time I started and stopped. I just switched to a really small stitch at the beginning and end of each segment then pulled the unbroken thread along to the next start point. I just had to go snip the little thread “bridges” after I finished.
On the edges I was able to pivot at the tip of the triangles and still keep the bulk of the quilt out of the throat. I originally planned just one echo for the triangles, but it didn’t look quite right so I took a deep breath and added another. It came out like I had wanted in the first place.
Rounding the corner in the inner border had me stumped for a bit. The sides and the bottom/top borders are not the same width. I lost count of how many awful ideas I drew before I came up with the very simple idea of extending that blue border around the corner. I think that worked quite well. I’ll have to file that away for future use.
Last night’s challenge was to figure out how many lines to quilt behind the blue squares and what to quilt in the squares. I had though more lines but that was a bit overpowering. I like this better. It looks like the squares are mounted on a double rail.
In the squares I had thought of concentric squares but in the end opted for these diamonds that let me sew long continuous lines (with small pivots) instead of having to start and stop so much. I chose them for the practicality but in the end I think they suit the quilt better than my first idea would have.
For anyone coming in late on this quilt project, the pattern is Kyoto Gardens from “Stellar Quilts” by Judy Martin. I adapted the borders to better suit my style. I think I’m going to name my version “Clear Skies”. I’ll let that sit for a while and see if it sticks.