Today I'm finishing up Torrent of Fear, a goddess quilt I started back in January. I'm super happy with this quilt because it's been such a quick finish, and seems to be a perfect balance of texture, color, and design.
Unfortunately even though it's been a quick quilt, it hasn't been quite quick enough. Over two areas I got a bit bogged down. The first was the decision to add thick gray yarn over the hair and clouds.
For this, I had to learn how to spin art yarn, and I had to find the right colored fleece to make the yarn! Kind of a weird delay, but now that I know how to spin, I can't seem to stop!
Once the yarn was on the hair, securing it became a bit of a problem. I was considering the idea of layering some Sulky water soluble stabilizer over the top and quilting over it all, but was unsure if it would wash out over the wool yarn or just get gummy and nasty.
A quick facebook post about the issue resolved my fears. Many quilters recommended using water soluble stabilizer and I'm happy to say it worked great! I hand basted it over the surface of the hair, then quilted the area with 1/4" wide stippling from the BACK. This was much easier from the back because I couldn't see the yarn lines and obsess too much about how it looked.
Another delay has been deciding what to quilt over the rain section. This section was quite tricky because the blue fabric strips were all running vertically, which made most designs just look weird over the surface. Added to the fabric was the thick yarn in the hair and clouds, which was quite frankly a &*^@$ to stitch close to.
Several times I stitched a design, only to look at it and rip it right back out. Stitch and rip. Stitch and rip. It gets tedious after awhile!
Eventually I realized that this area was limiting my ability to finish the entire quilt. I was focusing on it so hard, I couldn't see the other areas that needed quilting, like the hair, background gray section, and black border.
I think this is a good lesson for most problems: when you focus on something too much, it becomes all you can think about. When you move on to something else, that problem usually sorts itself out.
So I moved on to the gray section and even started filling the black section and suddenly an idea popped into my head: why not hand quilt the rain section with thick metallic thread?
And that's what worked! In truth this isn't hand quilting this section because the metallic Razzle Dazzle thread isn't going through all 3 layers of the quilt. I'm stitching it down into the quilt, through the batting, then back up to the quilt top. So technically this is embroidery?
Whatever it's called, it's perfect! It makes me think of raindrops and I love the little bit of glitz the metallic thread adds to the surface.
So now all that's left is binding, hanging sleeve, and a tag on the back!
Overall I'm extremely pleased. To go from quilting super elaborate, ultra time consuming, ridiculous fills over Emergence to this much more open, much faster, much more enjoyable quilting is a very nice change.
I just hope as I keep moving with this new style that it's not a detrimental change to the series. I don't want it to end up that you see the group of all the girls together and when you get to this quilt you think "And here's where Leah's style fell off a cliff..."
But the truth is, I'm happier with this quilt and more enthusiastic about finishing it than I have been with either Hot Cast or Emergence. While it might not look as impressive, it's certainly been a much more enjoyable experience, and that is the most important thing.
Now it's high time I shut up and finished up this little quilt!