The technique is one of the scores in Sherri's upcoming book, The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Practical Guide for Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously. Her book is coming out next month but you can purchase it early at QuiltCon. See her post here.
|Round Robin Improv quilt|
Someone added the lovely fabric with large dots. This inspired my choice for the red and black sunflowers on the left side as well as the appliqued circles. All the circles are leftovers from Propellers. How lucky is that?
Originally I tried this little wavy zig-zag stitch several others quilters have used. The thread is a softly variegated 18-weight cotton. It seemed to pull the quilt a bit tighter than I expected. The reason shows on the back. The bobbin tension is much too tight.
|Machine quilting with very bad tension. |
The bobbin thread is much too tight,
pulling the top thread through the quilt
and creating eyelashes.
Several samples later with no better results, I changed to 50-weight Metler cotton in grey-blue (#0789.) Random straight lines with a walking foot cover the quilt. I considered following the flare of the patchwork but decided I wanted more uniform widths across the quilt. I started quilting about two-inches apart then came back and filled in. This keeps the quilt better aligned. The "cross angle" didn't look good when the spacing was wider; however, it improved tremendously with closer quilting. It's not as close as matchstick; more like channel quilting.
|Round Robin Improv quilt detail|
- Would you keep the quilt edges like this or straighten them out?
- Would you choose a regular wrapped binding or knife-edge binding that won't show at all on the front?
I like the curve on the edges, so I would keep it rather than trying to straighten it. And I would use the knife edge finish. I like how the curve on the edge echos the curves in the quilt itself. Love the colors, especially the addition of the brighter green.
I would definitely keep the quilt as it is, the centre curved shapes are echoed in the slightly curved edges.
I do like this very much indeed and the straight line quilting seems just right to me.
I like this as it is, so would leave edges curved and opt for knife edge finish. Think your straight line quilting has worked well too; it holds everything together without making it too static. Looking good.
Gorgeous with the stitching and those added circles are just the perfect addition! Love the curved edges of the quilt, but have no opinion about the binding.:)
Ann, I love how your improv quit makes one's eye travel around it, discovering new things.
Next month I'll be doing a modern, but planned quit and hope to do quilting somewhat like you have done here. I often think that straight line quilting lets the rest of the quilt speak for itself. Almost like screen, you don't notice it when you look out the window, unless you focus on it.
I think I would straighten out the quilt edges, but then would you lose to much of the lovely fabric bits?
Thanks for the thoughtful comments, Lara. That's a good thought about straight line quilting. And it was very restful to quilt; no tugging, pulling or worrying. I think I'm going to straighten the edges a little bit, but not perfectly straight. I like the curve at the top and on the sides. But I've decided to wrap the binding. That way it can be used as a baby quilt or something in addition to hanging on the wall. It's always good to hear from you and to read your blog. Best wishes to you and yours.
hmmm the edges look squared off already in the picture. I believe you can only choose binding type by placing a binding fabric in thin strip along the edge and seeing if it helps or hinders your eye. If you don't like any binding color then it needs a facing instead so there is no added edge. I wouldn't be able to tell from these shots... but if you take a shot with a binding audition I could.
Another fabulous almost-finish Ann! I think that the bad tension was a boon, the straight line quilting looks really successful to me. Love the way your appliqué circles dance across the surface too :)
Your round robin improv turned out beautifully, Ann. I enjoyed reading about your decision making process very much. The quilting is a wonderful compliment to the design. I will have to try that next time - leaving a space and coming back to quilt between the lines. I only did that once and found that there were pull lines between the previous and the new quilting. Yours is lovely!
I would go with a neutral (not demanding) traditional binding but I would NOT straighten the edges . . . what a wonderful piece!
I have used that wavy zig zag with varying degrees of success. Seems to work best for me on small pieces (under 24") - and yes, tension makes a great deal of difference. (I use 50 wt top and bobbin)
Thanks, Lorna. My quilting didn't pull when I added lines between. Isn't it odd how different machines work? Starting with wider spacing gave me the option to quit.
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