Now that quilting is my “job”, I’ve tried a lot of different time and organization strategies to see what works for me and keeps my creative juices flowing and my work/life in a reasonable alignment (what is balance anyway?). Right now, what’s working for me is this rough schedule:
- Monday – Friday mornings: Technical Editing + life needs (laundry, grocery shopping, etc.)
- Monday – Friday afternoons: Quilting Jetgirl related sewing, blog post writing, pattern writing + at least 30 minutes of physical exercise
- Monday – Friday evenings: Homemade dinner, time with my husband, listen to 30-60 minutes of an audiobook to wind down for bed
- Saturday – Work around the house / property (this time will grow and shrink depending on where we are on remodeling)
- Sunday – Family day (FaceTime with my family, Zoom with my in-laws) + prepare for the week ahead
- Right now we fresh squeeze 1 gallon of orange juice from our orchard, make homemade hummus for the week, and prepare lunches for the week
I used to get a lot of sewing time on the weekends, but honestly, it just isn’t fitting into my life there right now. In general, the time I get to spend sewing is currently pretty low. While I have figured out how my husband can work while I sew, it’s not super ideal at the moment. Once we get more of the interior of our cottage remodeled, we will gain an additional foot of space in this area (which is going to be huge). But the remodeling will also eat into my time. So my motto for quilting in 2021 is to be flexible.
That said, I was able to finish piecing the 72″ square lap size version of Pulsar. Two of the fabrics I picked were cross weaves, and I was relieved when I got them fully sewn in; they fray very easily and are a lot more fiddly to work with than a normal solid. I’m also still adapting to what fabric is like in a very humid environment (although truth be told, anything would feel humid after living in a desert!). All in all, I’m really loving how the quilt top came together and excited to start planning out my quilting. Today, I thought I’d share with you my thought process on coming up with a quilting plan.
I snapped a photograph of Pulsar on my design wall and took it into Procreate on my iPad. I have ordered matching 50wt Aurifil thread for each section of the quilt, but to help me decide on the quilting motifs, I kept my sketching lines in Procreate lighter colors. I stared at the photo inside of the Procreate app for a long time thinking about what my goal would be for this quilt. I could see myself submitting the quilt for consideration to QuiltCon next year, so that meant I wasn’t going to go for an all over quilting design. Then I started thinking about the name of the pattern, Pulsar, and I wanted to see if I could come up with anything that helped reinforce that idea in the quilting. With that in mind, I sketched out larger stars moving outward at the edges of each row of chevrons and I was hooked. This was definitely a good starting point, but now what?
Note: I am sure it’s possible to edit out the edge of the desk in Procreate, but I didn’t bother to figure out how to do that.
Because I am going to want these echoed stars to stand out, I decided to fill in the rest of the background with dense back and forth lines. The sketch above shows the lines alternating in each section from running vertically to horizontally. I like that small twist of movement. Doing back and forth lines on a quilt this large via free motion quilting is a bit daunting, though, so right now I’m thinking I’ll stick with walking foot quilting for these lines, which probably means I’ll have a lot of threads to bury if I stick with this idea…
But what do do for the center star and chevrons? I started by doodling pebbles in the center star (which might be more obvious in the first sketch exported from Procreate above), but I didn’t love them and wasn’t sure what do do for the chevrons in that case. Considering how the quilting design at this stage is very linear, I went back to thinking about straight lines in the chevrons. And then, once I imagined the center star as the convergence of 4 chevrons, I was sold. You can see that I also toyed with the idea of adding some free motion quilting into some of the divided sections of the chevrons, but right now I’m leaning toward keeping everything very linear.
Note that none of this is really beautifully to scale. My next goal will be to mark out guide lines on the quilt top using my Hera marker and figuring out the spacing and quilting density for the star echoes and chevrons.