I was able to get the Space Arcade quilt top pieced early this week, which meant I then spent time thinking about the quilting plan. To begin, I took a high resolution illustration of the quilt top into Procreate and started doodling out some ideas.
A few notes about the exported timelapse from Procreate that is linked to below…
- I should have used a darker / more contrasting color for the quilting line doodles.
- If you are having a hard time seeing the process, no worries, I’ll describe it better below.
I started out with one idea but didn’t like where it was headed. When I struck on an idea that created a connectivity between the pieced elements that I really liked, I started adding more dense lines to really see how it would look. Let’s take a better look at the idea exported as a still image.
To save time when I’m doodling out ideas, I will only mark a few lines (like you can see on the left hand side of the image above) and when I am more confident in an idea, I’ll start to go in and add more density. And because the Space Arcade design is symmetric, I focused on really filling in the upper right hand quadrant.
Once I felt good about the initial doodle, I went back into my design software, Inkscape, and made a more representative sketch of the quilting plan. This allows me to evaluate the quilting density. The majority of the quilting will be completed with my walking foot using a 1″ spacing. The denser lines will be created via free motion quilting and a dense back and forth line motif.
With my quilting plan established, I layered the pieced quilt top on top of batting and used my Hera Marker, quilting rulers, and homemade quarter circle templates to create the reference quilting lines across the quilt top. Note that I did NOT do the marking on top of my rug; I recommend layering the quilt top on top of the batting you will use and marking against a hard surface like the floor or a table top. I just shifted the quilt out of the way once I was done marking. You can also spy the dark blue solid that I will be using for the backing on my ironing board in the photo above.
While I was marking the quilt, I realized that I could create two oval racetrack type shapes in the middle of the quilt, which was something I hadn’t explored when I was creating the initial quilting plan. I liked the way those continuous long lines tied in with the central quilting path long vertical lines. It was fun to see another option while I was marking the quilt top and I’m always happy when the quilt tells me what it wants.
Yesterday I got the quilt basted, setting me up to have some quilting fun in the coming weeks (if you are interested, I have a Quilt Basting Tips and Tricks post).
I do not plan to start quilting this right away, though. The final Project Quilting prompt comes out on Sunday, and I’d like to say I participated in the full season, so I’m going to wait until after that project to start quilting Space Arcade. I’m thinking of using 50wt Aurifil 2600 (Dove) for the quilting, but I reserve the right to change my mind and color match to the 3 different fabrics in the quilt top instead. I just don’t have a LOT of thread that color matches to the background color, so really, I have to decide whether I’m willing to play thread chicken or not!