|Loving the XL Throat Space on the 750 QE|
As you can see in the photo above, I was able to use my walking foot to stitch in the ditch inside each block frame, pivoting and turning the quilt ninety degrees at the corners. I was able to scrunch up the entire length of the quilt in the throat space when I was quilting around the outer blocks.
So now I'm finally able to do the free-motion quilting in the blocks. I'm outlining the flower, leaf, and branch shapes in the children's artwork first, then filling in the background with different fill patterns to give the artwork some dimension. At one point I considered adding some machine trapunto behind some of the shapes in the artwork to make them really pop out, but then I had a reality check when I looked at the calendar and remembered that my deadline is May 1st for this project.
I started out using some 40 weight variegated YLI machine quilting thread in the needle with 50/2 Aurifil in the bobbin. I want to stick with the gray bobbin thread because I really don't have time to be constantly changing the bobbin, even though I am changing colors in the needle thread to complement each student's art work. The 40 weight thread looks okay for some designs, but it's not my favorite and I wasn't wild about how the stitches looked on the back of the quilt with the 40/3 top thread and 50/2 bottom thread combination. So I switched to a smaller needle and got out my 60/2 cotton embroidery threads, which work better for quilting designs that involve backtracking anyway.
My stippling is getting better, but I am not in love with how that feather thing came out at the top of this block. Ah, well. At least it kind of echoes the veining on the adjacent leaf. Somewhat.
So far I have quilted 5 of the 22 blocks. We have a busy weekend planned, and I have several meetings and appointments early next week that cannot be rescheduled, so I may need to ask for an extension. The actual Night of the Arts event when the class projects will be auctioned off is not until May 15th.
Of course, the more I'm typing, the less I'm quilting! I'm linking up to Design Wall Monday at Judy's Patchwork Times.
UPDATED 4/29/2014: I'm linking up to Esther's WIPs on Wednesday, too -- because I'm still quilting away like a mad woman and I don't have time to post new pictures yet!