Friday, May 11, 2018

A Veteran's Quilt Finish & Panto Problems

Ready for Delivery

There are two things to talk about today. One is obviously a finished quilt already in the hands of its new owner, but the second is a big failure that forced me to grow. 

Here's my self-made pantograph of feathers all ready to go. You can read more about it at A Veteran's Quilt & Making Pantographs. I proceeded to load the quilt, and started the panto happy as could be until I took a good look at the quilting after just a few feathers. I have seen pantographs made very similar to this so I know it should work. I'm not totally new to longarming or using a pantograph so I should be able to follow it fairly closely, but...It just looked bad. It looked like I was a super sloppy quilter when I couldn't see what I was doing. I had to sit down I was so disappointed.

What went wrong? Well, I would say I need more open space between everything. Creating tolerances this close means I'm going to have overlaps and lots of loopies that made me cringe. Stop. Big sigh. Chin up. Suck it up and change direction. How could I make this work? I wanted feathers on this quilt. Nice feathers. I'd have to figure out the pantograph design issue another time.

Plan B: Make a Stencil

I took a section of the panto which contained the entire design. My whole panto was based on this section over and over end to end. I put a jeans needle in my domestic sewing machine without thread, and ran the paper through the machine up and down the spine of the feather frond to create small holes. It wasn't very technical. I just wanted to make a stencil this way.

Then using the foam paintbrush in the stencil photo with loose marking chalk, I dabbed and brushed along the stencil holes to create my imaginary feather spine. In places where it disappeared over the white fabric, I used a blue marker to indicate the line.

Can I say how intimidated I was starting this line after 
already ripping out the pantograph stitching?

My little mantra was, "You can do this. You can do this."

I don't think I've ever done feathers on a quilt besides a very early attempt years ago, but I have watched hours and hours of Jamie Wallen do them on his dvds. Over and over and over until I thought I was cross-eyed. So first I would do the bottom of the feather, then go back to the beginning and lay in the top. This help me establish scale better than moving row by exact row. I hope that makes sense to you.

I kept checking the back of the quilt for serious problems. I still had some spacing and looping between the individual feathers, but I could see it in real time while I was doing it. Somehow that wasn't as bad as after the fact with the panto.

Gosh, I'm fairly well fluffed about this quilting, but I will tell you I had a few issues getting started in each row. That will be something to work on next time.

I love knowing what thread color other people use so will tell you this is a medium tan Omni from Superior Threads. 

Hint: Always, always pull out the thread from the cone, and lay it across your quilt when auditioning thread. You can't tell squat from laying the spool on the top!

Like many of you, I prefer a nice, narrow binding. 

Itty-bitty stars in a navy finished this off nicely.

But How Does It Feel?

Another consideration I've been paying attention to with my quilting is how a certain pattern feels when the quilt is complete. I was very surprised that even though I used a lot of thread in this quilt it remained soft and cuddly. I left some additional spacing between the rows in my original plan, and I think that helped.

60" x 80"
Fairfield Cotton/Poly 80/20 Batting

Yes, it got a personalized label with names and dates sewn on before it was picked up. And when I flipped it over to show 'Dave' the quilting, he said, "Oh, that's a real quilt!" And I think his dog is going to like it, too. It all just made my day.

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.

Linking up with~


grammajudyb said...

Wow, it looks great. I have Zero, Zilch, Nada experience long arm quilting or even much domestic machine quilting for that matter, but it is amazing IMHO. Does the quilt pattern have a name? Is it yours or someone else's. I could do a QOV like that!!

Alison V. said...

This is so gorgeous and I love the feathers on this quilt! They are just perfect in my opinion!

time4stitchn said...

I am so impressed with your creative solution to making your own feathers.
I dearly love feathers on quilts and want to learn how to make them. I even have enrolled in the class for Craftsy. But yours are so fluid and enlarged. What great control you have. Congratulations on the finish.

The Joyful Quilter said...

Wow!! If that's quilting with challenges, I can't imagine what it must look like when things go right. Those feathers look PERFECT from where I'm sitting!!!

Janice Holton said...

I LOVE your feathers! Very interesting following the process of how you got there. I really enjoyed your post.

KaHolly said...

Whew! You persevered and your results looked pretty perfect to me! I have yet to be brave enough to put a feather on a quilt that counts. I’m sure he was over the moon! Well done!

Stitchin At Home said...

Your feathers look great! I love feathers and use them on most of my quilts.

Kate said...

The feathers turned out beautifully! Congrats on finding a way when the first one didn't work out.

Lisa Boyer said...

Oy...feathers. They defeat me. I have been longarming for years, have doodled notebooks full of feathers for a decade, and mine are still horrid. BUT when I show them to people on a quilt, they think my feathers are beautiful. What is it about feathers that make our internal critics sit up and sneer? Don't know. But thanks for sharing because yours are beautiful--nice to know someone else has the same feather issues!

Sandy Panagos said...

A learning experience is always a good thing especially when you get results like that. Well done!

O'Quilts said...

One more great job by the Doxie Girl...xo

Anja @ Anja Quilts said...

Well done! They look amazing.

Barb Neiwert said...

You are too self critical! You've created a beautiful quilt! One thing to avoid what you are calling the overlapping, especially when using a panto, is to space each individual feather a littler further away from one another so that the drawing of each feathr doesn't touch. This gives you a wee bit more room to maneuver when your needle doesn't hit your mark exactly! When you are freehanding it, you can eye the exact spot you want to travel, but with the panto, it's difficult to backtrack perfectly.

Susan said...

These feathers look pretty darn good to me! I think working from the front, where you could see where you were going worked much better, and you got them evenly spaced. Well done!!