Last finish of 2016!
Presenting Sparkling Trail, purple batik version! I finished it with 7 hours to spare to call it a 2016 finish. I made the quilt top in fall 2015, planning to finish it by New Year's, and I really didn't want to tick over into 2017 with it unfinished again!
I struggled with how to quilt this. I ripped out quilting, let it sit again, had someone else baste it for me in an attempt to move it forward (because I was highly unmotivated to baste it again - basting once per quilt is plenty, than you very much) and then let it sit a bit more while I waited for it to start talking. It was quiet for an awfully long time but it finally started talking the day after Christmas. Guess what I've been doing most of the week?
You're going to laugh. I told my coworkers it was going to be simple, quick, light straight line stitching just to get it done. That really was the plan until the quilt found its voice. Maybe it considered that a threat and decided it should start expressing an opinion...
So as I was ditch stitching and outline stitching in the stars, I planned to quilt a simple straight line echo of the "trail" in the background. However, by the time I finished that, the quilt was suggesting that lines in a different direction behind the stars would really set off the planned echo. That seemed a fair idea, so I quilted all those horizontal lines 1" apart behind the stars. May I say that's where the "quick" part of my plan went out the door?
By the time I finished the straight line background, the quilt was suggesting perhaps it needed more curves to balance out all the sharp angles. Swirls, perhaps. I was a bit worried about that, since swirls is what I hated and ripped out the first time around. Still, I chose a looser, hooked swirl (thank you Angela Walters, for the wonderful instructions in your books) and tried it on a small patch. This fit the quilt much better than my first attempt almost a year ago, so I went ahead and filled in the remaining background with hooked swirls.
Once that was done, the stars looked too puffy. They needed something to even out the quilting density betwen them and the background. I leafed through Angela Walter's Shape-by-Shape book and settled on this hooked swirl/apostrophe thing. She just called it "Diamond 8", and hers are much more curvy than mine, but I didn't do too badly. The last few were definitely nicer than the first few I quilted!
The border at least was very quick to quilt. I chose the "Boomerang" design from Melissa Marginet's book "Walking Foot Quilting Designs". This lovely little book found its way under my Christmas tree and I was happy to put it to good use so soon.
I wish the picture of the full quilt showed the quilting better. I might have to try again some morning to catch morning light. In the meantime, this will do. Either way, I can call the quilt done.
Except, oops, I forgot the label..
Linking up to Linky Tuesday on January 10th because I missed last week's!