Friday, January 8, 2010

More Apple Core

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.


Hannele said...

Absolutely beautiful sample. I'm collecting strength and patience to try the pattern, it is so tempting. And you make it sound not too difficult either - considering the facts in this posting :)

Laura said...

I am definitely going to have to try this design! Thanks for posting such detailed directions.

Diane Gaudynski said...

Really, dive in and give it a try. It takes some concentration, but stop, think and see where you are going and which side of the line to make the arc and you'll be fine. Look ahead of the needle....!

This design would be wonderful in all styles - I can picture it around traditional applique instead of a grid. Centers of feathered wreaths. Quilted within a basket (mark the grid on point). On clothing. An entire narrow border, say 3" or so. Part of landscapes, architectural details, or even an area in large contour echo quilting to give it some definition and contrast.

I like the use of an organized design like this to set off something organic and flowing. Think trellis with flowers, or a brick wall covered with tumbling blooms, vines and leaves.

It's great to have a new design in your repertoire. Go for it.

Julia said...

Thank you Diane, I love it...I'm going to try it on a swap nine patch quilt that I've just put together..

Joan from Michigan's Upper Peninsula said...

Diane: Thank you for the thorough instructions in your other post regarding the "Apple Core" design. I experimented with it immediately. It took some thought so as not to end up with wavey lines, but after some concentration I was able to execute a perfect design.

Diane Gaudynski said...

Wow, terrific! Yes, it takes some thought but after you figure it out it isn't hard at all. And it goes fairly fast and completely quilts an area, no need for background quilting. This kind of design is great for the outer border or portion of the outer border as it stabilizes the edges so well. Stay-stitch the raw edges first though.

Joan said...

Do you stay stitch the raw edges of every quilt prior to quilting them?

Diane Gaudynski said...

Joan, no I don't. I leave the raw edges raw (!) until I quilt any large design motifs in the outer border, e.g., a cable, vine of feathers, etc. Then I stay stitch the raw edges with my free motion foot and larger stitches to keep them in place while I do any background quilting designs, even stippling.

However, when I do an entire border in something like Apple Core or Diane-shiko, I might do a few lines of it from the inner border to the outer border to push out and flatten everything nicely, then stay stitch the edges and finish the entire Apple Core design.

If you do quilt to the staystitching and find excess fabric accumulating and a pleat developing it doesn't matter as it is the outer edge, just let it happen, or take out the stitching. This is all entirely your choice and every quilt might dictate a different method.

If you do not stay stitch the raw edges and find problems developing, stop and do it.

Experience is a good thing when it comes to how to deal with outer borders. That is why I always say you must not practice, but make real quilts to learn how to quilt.

Joan said...

I appreciate your great advice Diane. I'll do as you say. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Diane, this is such an innovative concept. Thank you for sharing with us.

Ivory Spring said...


I posted about finding your apple core quilting motif at the least expected place:

Thought you might enjoy the humor in it! :)