As mentioned previously, I’m quilting my large “scrappy trips” top in sections. Here they are basted and ready to go: six sections, each with a different backing fabric. The 64-block top is currently four 12-block (36″x48″) sections (two on each side) with two 8-block (24″x48″) sections in the middle. This means more section seams to deal with later … upside is I don’t need 8 or 9 yards of a single backing fabric, as each section can be backed with a single width of fabric a scant yard and half long. (Besides, you know me: why use one print, when MORE is so much better!)
I’ve been doing walking-foot passes for about a week now, an hour or so each morning. Not the speediest progress ever, but I don’t have the luxury of sewing all day, and it’s coming along steadily. First round is with the walking foot, following the diagonal “trips”, starting with a single straight line in dark thread through all the darkest diagonals. Then adding a bordered serpentine motif in between the darks, using various medium and light threads, and varying the spacing.
This is about as much walking foot work as I plan to do. The open spaces you see here will be filled in with some kind of loopy free-motion quilting — more open than dense –as the next round.
So far, quilting the smaller sections is going well, although it’s like doing assembly-line work on five or six baby quilts in a row… lots of square-footage to cover and lots of different pieces to keep track of and lots of double- and-triple-checking “where does that line continue when it gets to this next section?” before committing to the next stitch.
These long lines of diagonal motifs are not the best match for un-sashed sectional quilting, because it gets my brain in a twist and is creating a zillion thread ends to deal with that could have been avoided with better advance planning. But I’d committed to the sections before deciding how to quilt and then didn’t want to scale back to a simple cross-hatch. If I were more experienced, I’d have made fewer sections, maybe just three long vertical ones, but the sectional approach here was intended from the get-go as a learning experience, so realizing that I’m not going about it the most effective or efficient way isn’t a surprise or even a problem. It’s just part of the process.
Stay tuned for an update as I embark on the free-motion quilting, and a report on assembling the separately quilted sections together. Expectation is that it will be a little fiddly and require a certain amount of patience, but not be terribly difficult. I’ll take more pics when I get to that, and let you know how it goes.
I’m eager to get this quilt finished and on my bed, so it’s my chosen February “Lovely Year of Finishes” project.