Friday, September 30, 2011

Quake Quilt progress, front bottom

Sometimes I think procrastinating on projects is simply my mind's way of saying it needs more time to problem solve. More time to sleep on the matter, so that I can do this project without melting down in despair mid-stitch.

I know I've admitted my anxieties previously, and I hope you know that you have done well with the encouragements. But, I have to say that some of the reasons for the anxieties was that the way I had planned on doing this quilt was that I couldn't figure out how to effectively do the wave pattern I wanted without falling on my face. The primary issues being the layering, the curved edges, the sheer numbers (80+),  the small size, and my short patience coupled with a heavy sewing foot. These things were going to take a while, I'm not known to do things carefully. I'm a cavalier of craft.

Just waiting for a satin stitch.

Ultimately, I chose the following approach: sew strings of half circles together, sew them down on a muslin backdrop in rows that overlap, and then raw edge applique row by row, one on top of the other only without stabilizing paper and using a satin stitch instead of a blind hem. I thought about tucking in the edges and doing a proper applique or an English paper piecing method, but the volume of work involved seemed nonsensical. And paper hungry, I think. 

I'm currently in the applique process, and without the paper or other stabilizer and trying to use the satin stitch slowly, I can certainly see the fruits of my cavalier labor: some bunching around the edges of each half circle and inconsistent stitching, mainly. But I would like to think that by the end of the 80+ curved edges, I may find myself a little more competent. (By the way, I've found this link quite helpful.)

Another matter that arose was that the dark wave portion of the quilt was not the same size as the lighter sky portion. I needed more on the bottom but didn't want have the fabric or time to do more circles. So I did a "wonky triangle" block with scraps. It was great, in that it used all of the "too small to be used for anything else" scraps from the other parts of the quilt.  It may not be the most precisely measured piece, but I do like my some improv. Besides, there's enough errors with the quilt overall that I no longer worry about its imperfections. Here's the result, which I found I was happy with, both in size and appearance.

The only thing was that it seemed to mess with the curvy, watery feel I was aiming for in the wave section. So, I made a wave:

the water insert
Sewn along a wavy line, then cut away.

second half sewn on 1.5" below the first seam

Et, voila! (Not the best picture, but I had the camera well over my head. Sorry!)
While I'm finishing the applique portion with the semi-circles, I'm trying to formulate my plan for the catfish. I think I will try it with some applique meets reverse applique. It's the only way I can figure I can do the whiskers properly. Any suggestions?

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