The Free Motion Quilting Project: Emergence Part 9 - Speed verses Effect

Monday, August 6, 2012

Emergence Part 9 - Speed verses Effect

So Emergence has been the girl on my tables all weekend because this quilt just NEEDS TO BE DONE!  I'm really tired of her not looking right, and even more tired of throwing her around the house when she gets in my way.  It seems like every time I turn around she's stretched out on the table or couch or wherever I want to work on something else.  She needs to be finished!

free motion quilting | Leah Day

So this weekend was mostly spent getting her hair created and glued in place.

 free motion quilting | Leah Day 

This is the first time I'm applying complex appliques over quilted fabric and it's not been the easiest experience.  Next time, I'll plan the quilt properly and do this BEFORE she's quilted!

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Already, I like her a lot better because she actually has a face now.  I marked the eyes, nose, and mouth, quilted the outlines, then carefully microstippled around to fill in the background.  The good thing with adding the hair is I messed up a section on her left cheek and simply was able to add a new piece of hair to cover it up.

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Now when it comes to securing this applique mess, I had a lot of different choices and options.  On the one hand, hand appliquing is a natural choice because it will produce the most perfect, seamless results.  The stitching won't show from the back of the quilt and her hair might just appear to have been designed this way from the start.

The downside is speed.  I feel like I have 50 projects all breathing down my neck at the moment, and I honestly really want to be starting Duchess Reigns, not spending the next 3 months hand appliqueing this troublesome quilt!

The alternative option is to machine applique - either zigzag, top stitch, or blanket stitch the edges of the hair to secure them to the quilt.  Of course this means the stitching will go all the way through the quilt and be noticeable on both sides.

The upside in this situation is speed.  I'll be able to machine applique this mess in place in a few hours.

So...speed verses effect.  In this one situation, with multiple handwork projects already piling up around the house, with a limited amount of time to spend fixing this quilt, with all those considerations in place, I've decided to machine applique the hair down.

free motion quilting | Leah Day

On a different quilt, or if I'd planned ahead with this particular quilt, I probably wouldn't be making this choice.  I'm not a huge fan of machine applique, but this quilt needs to be finished and this isn't even the last step for her improvement.

After the hair is secured, I'll be painting her body with metallic paint and that will take several more days of careful, tedious work.  Well, it must be done, so I'd better get to it!

Let's go quilt,

Leah

11 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing that sometimes speed outweighs perfection. I'm that way too and have a difficult time letting go of the need for perfection. And to know someone as uber talented as yourself doesn't always plan ahead and has to make those difficult choices too... Well that's the berries! I love it. Thanks for being willing to share.
    Your quilt is turning out amazing. Hope to see it on a mazagine cover some day!

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  2. Gosh, that's gorgeous! I'd love to see a close-up of the blue & green sections - what thread did you use? It looks spectacular! Are you going to 'show' this quilt???

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  3. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. I think the bold beauty of the red hair far outweighs the machine applique stitching.
    Have a great day.
    Always, Queenie

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  4. She's lookin' great! Can't wait to see her in full paint!!

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  5. OMG that is gorgeous already! speed is always a good factor.

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  6. Awesome, awesome! Sometimes we just have to make it work!How did you do that hair? It doesn't look like you have any raw edges. I know how you feel...the overwhelmed part:)

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  7. It gets even more beautiful everytime you do something new ... this quilt really is 'emerging'.
    Beautiful work Leah.
    Hugs,
    Joy :o)

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  8. Wow! The hair is awesome!! I love machine applique - it's right up there with machine quilting for me :-)

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  9. Hi Leah, Do you still enjoy working on her?
    Are you finishing her because you 'want' to or 'need' to?
    Do you ever stop working on a project (hence it's unfinished) because you just don't like it anymore?
    Thanks!
    Best,
    Jae

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  10. Danielle - It's actually turned edge aplique. The edges were turned exactly the same way I turned them for the name tag - wide seam allowance, paint on starch, then press with a hot dry iron.

    Hey Jane - Good question...Right now I'd say I'm stuck in that mood where I want to see her finished, I want to be happy with this quilt, so I "Have" to get it done right now.

    Yes, there are many times that I stop working on a quilt because I just get disenchanted with it. Most often this feeling is caused by rushing the design process, which always produces a less than satisfactory quilt.

    Still, no matter what the attitude behind it, the thing to look for is how much you enjoy the process. If you're hating the process and wishing you could work on something, anything else, that's a good sign that quilt needs to be put away or thrown away and started again.

    Cheers,

    Leah

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  11. Thanks for responding, Leah.
    The quilt is exquisite!
    Best,
    Jae

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