Quilting in Circles

Yesterday, I was able to finish the quilting for the Over the Moon table runner. It was hard to know what to do with this. Often, I let the fabric or applique or embroidery tell me what to do. In this case, I had large sections of solid colors and some rather nondescript designs. Here's what I did with it.

Ordinarily, I do pebbling in a moon, and I wanted something different this time. I decided to use something I'd seen at the quilt show for the moons. With a smoky monofilament in my bobbin throughout, I started with a silver metallic thread on top.

Eliza and I are doing much better with our tension. It reminds me a little of when we first learned to scuba dive and maintaining buoyancy was so difficult. On our first half dozen or so dives we were up and down either too heavy or too light and maintaining a level depth in the water was very difficult. Once we figured out how to use the air in our lungs to control our buoyancy, rather than depending so much on the air in our buoyancy control vests, we had it down. Easy peasy...like riding a bike. Thus it seems with tension on Eliza. Now that I've figured out how much to make adjustments on the tension knob, I'm having a lot less trouble. Also, I've learned to check the tension often, and especially every time I change thread spools, or rewind the bobbin.

So I started by making five sort of wobbly circles in each of the silvery moons. I wanted to give them a little glow, and I wanted that circle on the back of the quilt, but I didn't want them to be too perfect.

After stitching all the silver moons in that way, I outlined the crane with some silver thread as well.

Then I switched to Essential thread on top, matching the color with the fabric as much as possible. I'll just say right here that I love Essential thread. It is economical, and it comes in every color you could possibly want. I use it for most everything, and it works well in Eliza.

For the moon sections, I simply quilted concentric circles that got wider where there was plenty of space, and narrower in the narrow sections. In the non-moon section below, I did a sort of wiggly whatchamacallit design. (These are technical quilting terms, so try to keep up.)

For these two sections, I did the same thing, but I wanted them to spiral together.

When I reached the seam, I cut thread and rethreaded with the new color, and then tried putting the needle directly back in the same hole where I'd left off.

Of course, I couldn't have done any of this without the help of The Watcher.

Finally, for the yellow end pieces...just some squiggly lines. Yeah, not the most imaginative quilting I've ever done, but it was finished at this point. Finished is better than perfect sometimes.

So it still needs binding. I'm going to use that same blue for the binding. It's the best match for the quilt back.

The light from the living room windows always gives me the best chance to photograph the quilt from the back. It's sometimes hard to get enough contrast to have the quilting show up.

It'll probably be a day or two before I get the binding sewn on. I'm still working on getting the two largest of my four quilt sandwiches finished. I've cooked up a scheme to try to sandwich them with spray baste even though they are too large to fit on my work table. My scheme involves big industrial clamps. Those were ordered last week, and I think they might be delivered today. I'll be sure to show you what I do when I do it, whether it works or not. For now, I'm crossing my fingers.

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11 comments from clever and witty friends:

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

Very nice....are you enjoying your Tiara? Mine is the regular Tiara...love her!!!!

Teresa in Music City said...

That would definitely be a hard one to decide on quilting designs - you did a great job. I love the two opposing moons quilted together!!!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Sometimes the simplest quilting makes the bigger statement - I love it.

Vicki W said...

It turned out great!

Kate said...

Very cool quilting! You always pick the best quilting motifs for your projects.

Brown Family said...

I like your quilting. I am not familiar with Essential thread. I will be checking it out. We are always hunting good thread to quilt with!

Dana Gaffney said...

I like how you did it and agree with Sharon. That's a very timely piece with Pluto and his moon showing up everywhere, that said I would have quilted a heart on one of them :)

Doreen Auger said...

Very nice!!! Those circle insets certainly are dramatic and the stitching is the perfect finish!

quiltzyx said...

I really like the wiggly whatchamacallit design you used! Overall - another terrific job by Barbara & Eliza.

Lynette said...

Gosh, Barbara - I really love how you quilted this. Everything is so organic and makes me think of moon reflections on water.

Claire said...

This visit compliments of Tuesday Archives.:-)