Last week, I posted the memory quilt top that I've been working on and I asked for some quilting advice. I got a few responses, but I'm still on the fence. (No pun intended.) (That quilt design is called "fence rail." Hahaha -- quilt-y humor!)
At any rate... Sister Diane suggested that I try stitching in the ditch. (By the way, Sister Diane is a Craft Goddess and I am so honored that she reads our little blog -- she's the genius behind the CraftyPod podcast. If you've never listened to it, you must!)
I actually really liked this idea, but the more that I read about hand quilting in the ditch, the more discouraged I became. I've done it on a machine, but everyone says it's a nightmare to do by hand. Then I actually tried it on a sample and almost died. Too much going on in the seams for this little beginner quilter. So that's out. Sigh.
On my flickr photo, quilting pro 2ndAveStudio had some lovely suggestions -- hearts and words and a memorial wreath! Wow! But I don't have nearly her skill level of quilting. It's just not within my realm of expertise. Sigh.
While talking it over with my friend Iyabo (also a quilter), she suggested a meandering pattern and I just love what she said: "I'm not sure if I'd do hearts yet if you haven't done it before. Something that doesn't have to actually resemble a recognizable shape is probably a better idea." That totally cracked me up! She's got a good point there!
However... here are the first two hearts I tried (this is still on the sample piece) and I think they're pretty sweet, if I do say so myself:
(Ignore the goober at the very bottom tip of the left one. I was still working on knots then.)
I really like the way those came out -- much nicer than my straight lines! But I'm still stuck on how to arrange them on the quilt top. A heart in every block? Perhaps flipping every other one over, like in my sample? Or is that too... basic? Country? Hrm... not sure.
I'm still taking input (and I hope that Sister Diane and 2ndAveStudio are not offended by my public rejection of their ideas -- I really loved their ideas, but I don't think my skills are quite there for either of those techniques yet) so if anyone wants to chime in with ideas, let me have 'em!