Thread Painting: After outlining the design to stabilize the sandwich, I then do the thread painting of the designs using my hands to stretch the sandwich flat as it goes under the needle. This is the stage where the details of the design really come to life.
Importance of Specimens: One of the little cones turned sideways was confusing, the specimen helped clarify lines. Check out the size comparison of the specimen to my design.
Echo Quilting: Once the outlining and the thread painting are completed, I begin the echo quilting. The echo quilting on Hawaiian quilts has always fascinated me, so I riff off them with machine quilting to emphasize the negative spaces (the spaces around the designs) on my quilts. I love the rhythm and texture that builds up.
Chocolate: The first round of quilting is the most difficult and time consuming as that is when many of the details are filled which requires lots of turning of the sandwich and short lines of stitching. I line up the next round of quilting with the presser foot so that the previous line just shows inside the foot. After about 3-4 rounds, the quilting gets easier with smoother curved quilting lines and begins to go faster. The first several quilting rounds are tedious and a piece of chocolate helps me gather strength for the next round. I finish the quilting by going back into the small isolated areas of background and quilt them. Again, chocolate comes to the rescue. The quilt seems totally different when the quilting is done. This is why I quilt rather than paint.
Blogger Jill asked why I use heavy weight fabric on the back. Jill, it reduces the likelihood that I will have any tucks in the backing fabric. Good question.
Blogger Valerie – hope this answered some questions about quilting.
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-- Nancy Cook