I quilted some more "Relaxed Diane-shiko," the Apple Core design above, this time on some lovely batik fabric that was stuck in a drawer and keeping the drawer from opening or closing. Imagine my delight to find this pretty piece and snip off a small square to practice this design.
This is the 1/2" grid design from my previous post called "Relaxed Diane-shiko," so check that out for the basics, how to quilt it, tips, etc. I promised I would move on from muslin and show you how it looks on real fabric, pretty stuff, that we use in quilts.
I did discover that learning a design on a solid fabric or muslin is best. When you quilt on a print you sometimes can't see your path well, or the design itself can be busy and distracting and prevent you from nailing the method. Once the mind/body connection is made correctly when you quilt it on muslin then move on to a print. I found I was a tiny bit distracted when tendrils of color were appearing as I quilted. This can cause you to lose focus and make mistakes. So can thread color; use one that blends nicely.
However! I tried TWO other samples before this successful one and gave up on them immediately. One was a mystery silk blend in a gorgeous deep teal, and no matter what marker I used I could not see the lines in the machine. Lights on, lights off, extra lights everywhere, whatever I tried the marks were obscured in reflection when the fabric was in the machine and every single marker line morphed into the fabric and was invisible.
Bye bye mystery fabric.
The second sample I used a dark murky purply/rust print that absorbed the lines instantly. Could NOT see them when in the machine. I tried to quilt both samples but one thing I learned and learned very very quickly is if you cannot see the lines you can't quilt this design.
No, you don't quilt on the lines but you absolutely need to see them to make the arcs and hit the intersections.
My advice is always, always, always try out your fabric before you mark it all in your quilt. Audition it. Be tough.
In the past I would have marked an entire border with the grid only to find out I couldn't see the marks while quilting the design. It takes a short time to try out the fabric, and if it doesn't work for this motif, switch gears and use something that requires no marking.
Below, a close-up of the quilting on the batik. I used YLI #100 silk thread in my favorite #241 shade, sort of a burnished gold. It isn't too contrasty, not too dark, so it blends well, yet you can still see the stitches. It enriches the fabric rather than making the quilting look thready. Your errors are not magnified, always a good thing.
Enjoy this design. I like the way you can see both the design and the fabric, just as you can in Diane-shiko.
Yes, it does look fancy but is relatively easy to master. I did try to go too fast again, my impatient nature takes over, especially as I get older, but slow and steady is the secret. Keep those hands moving smoothly too.
Good luck with this. I think it will be beautiful on your quilts.
Keep quilting, your work truly will get better every day.
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