Starlight Wishes, grown up version, has been a top for several months now. A year ago this month all it needed was final borders to be a completed quilt top. Becoming a completed, quilted quilt has taken longer because I just didn't know how to quilt it and it was being awfully quiet about its own preferences.
It finally started talking!
It wanted baptist fans. I didn't jump right in. All those curves were a bit daunting, particularly for my rather orderly brain that likes to see nice even spacing and regular curves. My freemotion skills were just not going to result in baptist fans that I would be happy with.
But wait, the second day of Westalee ruler classes offered by Quilting Connection here in Ames in June included baptist fans. It's like the quilt knew! I signed up. You've seen my practice on the Cyclone quilt. It is in timeout while I brace myself to add borders to a partially quilted piece. Anyway, Starlight Wishes cut in line earlier this week.
Here is the ruler I'm using: one of the Circles on Quilts rulers for domestic sewing machines by Westalee Designs.
I'll be honest, I'm still getting a few wobbles here and there from fabric tugging in directions I don't want it to under the needle, but overall I am getting very good results. I'm also learning how to repeatedly rearrange the bulk of the quilt so things go more smoothly. There is a little bit of freemotion backtracking required to stitch from one arc to the next in the baptist fans design, but I'm getting more accurate with practice.
I was worried about that backtracking, because I decided to use matching top and bobbin threads to avoid seeing little dots of bobbin thread on the top. I tried adjusting tension to not see them, but when I finally got it right for the top, I had pesky eyelashes on the back of the quilt. Never mind. Matching thread it is! However, I really wanted cream thread on the top, and that does not blend at all on the navy blue back!
It's turning out much better than I feared on the back. It's a little shakier in the center of the quilt, where I am dealing with more bunched up quilt in the machine's throat space, but overall, I can live with it.
I think I have quilted almost half of the center, one row at a time, with breaks to do other things in between rows. Maybe by the end of next week I will be ready to bind the quilt, then I'll start working on rewriting the pattern with additional sizes.
How about a close-up of the front?
All that scrumptious quilted texture! I think the quilt chose well!