I finally decided to settle down and quilt my beloved Bailey quilt. I finished the top in January. You can read about its construction in previous blog posts.
I have been thinking and thinking about how to quilt it.
I was pretty sure I wanted the direction of her fur to be my guide.
I was looking for the courage to start.
Then, a package arrived in the mail. A book!
A book about people and portraits compiled by Martha Sielman.
It couldn't have been better timing.
This book is fabulous and browsing though all the beautiful quilts, I got the courage I needed to start.
I came up with a plan. I printed the quilt on a piece of 8 1/2"x11" paper. I slipped it into a plastic page protector and roughly drew my vision - following the lines of her fur.
I started doing the quilting one section at a time, starting with her nose and radiating outward. And of course I had to adjust as I progressed because paper isn't cloth. As I finished a section, I poured through my machine quilting books looking for inspiration for the next section.
Machine quilting is not my forte. I do enjoy it and I like the puzzle aspect of it. I do not mark my quilts for free motion quilting because then I don't think it's spontaneous - which is what I like. To be spontaneous, the design needs to flow from within. To achieve this, I find a design that speaks to me and then I start drawing with a pencil on a piece of paper. The design often morphs and changes while drawing into something that I am comfortable with. Then I know I am ready to stitch it and then sometimes it changes again. The flow is what's important.
Ta Da! Here it is. Done.
I am very happy. It is finished and bound with a sleeve and a label, ready to hang.
Here are some close-ups of my quilting - not too close though.