21 Jun


I know, it’s not 6/20/07 anymore (at least not in my part of the world), but it was too dark to get a decent picture of my needle doodle last night. I have a cool flower to thread-draw, but it closed up on me. So I cheated.6/20/07

I followed the lines of a big floral print and then filled in with “bubbles.” I like bubbles, but I must say, they use up a lot of thread. Speaking of which, since I did this from the back, my foreground color was in the bobbin, which promptly ran out before I could finish. I was too lazy to load another bobbin with heavier thread, so I used a medium weight. Doesn’t look great, but I liked the exercise of following the lines for the main motif, and then free-motioning the background. (Sort of opposite of the last one where I free motioned the poppy and then used a grid as the basis for the background texture.) I could totally see marking a quilt with a main motif and then filling in with whatever. I might even be tempted to use a blue washout marker. Those scare me though. I fear that they won’t wash out, or the color will come back. Or both. Nadine assures me that she’s had no problems; and I have an issue of Quilter’s Home that reviews marking tools and recommends one of the pens. I’ll have to get one and play.

Back to the bubbles. What’s the general consensus on this pattern? Do people like to see that you retrace your lines perfectly when you have to go around a circle a second time, or is an overall pleasing pattern enough? I like a bit of variety in the size of the individual circles, but an evenness overall — no clumps of extra big bubbles on one side and clumps of little ones somewhere else. I like most of the bubbles to connect, but I’m not normally a stickler for all of them touching on all edges. Should I be? I suppose tiny bubbles like these can get away with being a little looser, while big (between a quarter and a golf ball size) bubbles would call for more precision. What do you think?

7 thoughts on “6/20/07

  1. the flower quilting is perfect! (and the green fabric looks as if it’s awesome)
    love the bubbles quilting – i don’t think everything needs to be perfectly round or connecting, but bigger bubbles will draw more attention, so i think you’re right about the thing with sizes and space…
    of course i never could find something wrong about your quilting, it’s awesome, and i’d be happy if mine was just half as nice!

  2. Interesting, your thoughts about the bubbles. Basically it’s your own choice, it always should be. But to make the right decision for the right piece you might want to make some samples of the variations you thought of (and go further! Push yourself over the edge) Try out different effects. Try out different fabrics, materials, different threads. Give it a try, it’s the basics of learning and progression – making samples. When you have finished them look at them and let them speak at you.

  3. I agree with Mirjam that making samples will show you what appeals to you. As far as calling them bubbles, why not call them pebbles which aren’t all perfectly round. I like the second time around to be a little off at times to look more like a hand pen and ink drawing instead of “quilting police” perfection. I usually don’t leave any spaces between mine and with pebbles, the one to fill in between others doesn’t have to be a perfect circle. The allover effect will still be that they are all circles.

  4. I love bubble-pebbles and use them frequently. Never perfect, usually no spaces between, sometimes second time around, sometimes not and vary in size from 1/8″ to 3/4″, mostly in between those… There’s something calming and almost meditation like in making these…

  5. I love the pebbles/bubbles — I think you’re right, that scale makes all the difference. With the smaller bubbles you can get away with things being a bit loosy goosy — but with larger bubbles you would need to make things a bit more even just because they would draw the eye more. I like the flower that follows the fabric pattern as well. I can see this looking stunning on a whole piece.

  6. Great comments here. I use a similar motif all the time — mine are stones or pebbles and rarely precise circles. I don’t try to match up the second time around because I really like the intentionally messy look.

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