This gives you an idea of how I approach quilts with regards to my quilting plan. In case anyone is curious, I sketch in Photoshop directly onto my tablet laptop using a stylist pen.
Step 1: Take a picture of the quilt and import into Photoshop for drawing.
Here is the quilt shown minus any quilting lines:
Step 2: Sketch or draw various quilting ideas right on your digital image of the quilt. For Photoshop or PS Elements users, I create a new layer for each area of the quilt. If you later want to alter it, you may now easily do so by working on a layer.
And here is my rough sketch of the quilting plan:
Note: this sketch is used for reference only.
Step 3: Quilt your plan!
I start quilting at the top and work my way down the quilt, advancing as I go. When you load a quilt, you only see a small portion or slice of it at any time to work on, so you need to know what you quilt on border one, so you may replicate it down at the bottom of the quilt.
This quilt will have no markings, it is faster for me to do freehand. The only tool I will use is a heart shape pattern board for the center heart shape.
The borders on this quilt has some slight fullness issues, so I couldn’t quilt what I really wanted to in the borders. I knew I wanted to quilt some texture in the body of the quilt, but I also wanted to bring some structure to the borders to change it up a bit. I’ve decided to instead quilt the borders using my freehand border quilting- which I know can “quilt out” any extra fullness easily.
Bargello quilts, by their inherent design, have no well defined areas. Instead there is a blending of fabric from space to space. I am using Continuous curve quilting to break up the darker areas and define areas where I will change the quilting. If the quilt had less fullness, then I might decide to quilt in faux borders or lines and visually break up the spaces with the quilting lines.
My goal with the quilting is to “enhance” the quilt, taking advantage of the focal point of the quilt- which to me is the heart shape and center of the bargello heart. By the way, to all the non-machine quilters reading this, the light areas in this quilt is where the quilting lines will most show when I am finished.
I change thread when I quilt, I will use one color for the borders and dark areas in this quilt, a medium tone thread for the medium value areas, and then a lighter thread for those light spots. I do this because I am enhancing the quilt and not trying to change the color or hue on the quilt top. By using similar thread value to the colors used in the quilt, this will allow the quilt top to shine.
My biggest advice to newer quilters is to find what works for you, then go with it!
Happy quilting from Carla
PS: Today I got about half way finished in my quilting. Here is the center: