13 10 2010

The vast majority of people for whom I quilt hand me their quilt in a bag or rolled up and tell me to do whatever I want.  So when I unrolled this quilt I was expecting a Pine Needles quilt (because that was all I had ever quilted for Sharon).  I was pleasantly surprised to find a bargello quilt instead.

The outside border is quilted with large snowflakes and the medium and dark blues of the bargello are quilted with swirls.  The white and light blue are quilted with loops little asterisk type snowflakes and various other larger snowflakes.

I much prefer to tell how to do something rather than just show what I’ve done, in the hope that it will be helpful to someone.  With that in mind I’ve put together a shortl tutorial of how I made the larger snowflakes.

First off, the Marvy Erasable Fabric Marker is my best friend for this type of work.  I order the violet ones by the box from the manufacturer.

My drawings were done on paper, so when you see the green pen that is where I would mark with the erasable marker.  I start with a straight line diameter of the snowflake.

I then mark the center point of that line.

Because snowflakes have 6 sides I wanted my quilted ones to also be six-sided.  I’m going to throw a little geometry in here just for fun.  A complete circle is 360 degrees.  Since I want 6 sides on my snowflake I need to divide 360 by 6 which gives me 60.  So I use the 60 degree line on my ruler to add the remaining legs of the snowflake.  I put the 60 degree line parallel to my original line and find a center point measurement to draw another leg equal to the length of the first.  In this case my snowflake was 3 inches so I have a 1/2 mark lined up with the center to make it easy to draw the correct length.

Just one more guide needed, so I once again line up the 60 degree line.

Now I have an equally spaced six-sided guide for a snowflake, and can start doodling to come up with my design.  When quilting, I sometimes just stitch the doodles and sometimes I mark them.  I doodle the first leg — in  this instance the guide became part of the design.

When I have the first leg, I just repeat it on the remaining five.

There’s one snowflake. I made a concerted effort to not duplicate any snowflake on this quilt, since in nature each flake is unique.  For a little variety I’m including a couple more doodles.  Sometimes the guide stays only a guide, or as I mentioned above, sometimes it becomes part of the finished flake.  I varied the size of snowflakes throughout the quilt.

Again repeat for the remaining 5 sides.

I could stop there or I could add a few lines for another snowflake.

And just one more flake.

The variety is limited only by imagination and how complicated a design one wishes to quilt.