So then the problem becomes, "Do I really need to mark?" As usual the answer is, "It depends!" I wanted all the answers packed into neat compartments that would be tailored to every occasion. Yeh, right!!! However, I now recognize the situations where I need to mark and where I am comfortable doing truly free-form, free motion quilting. You will too as you move along and gain experience, and each one of us has different needs and capabilities.
I am currently doing the pumpkin seed design in a 1/2 inch grid. This is a nice size, but there is not much room for error if it is to look nice, so I am taking the time to mark every line with a disappearing ink pen, which has a relatively sharp tip. I find it a lot easier in a tight space to have lines to follow. My ink drawing is free-hand and not perfect, but I am more confident with a pen or pencil than with the needle in these small spaces. My stitching isn't perfect either, but I like to think the imperfections are fewer and less noticeable when I mark in this situation.
|Marking with air-disappearing pen|
TIP: Many experienced quilters say that your quilting does not have to be computer perfect. In fact I have often read that it is better, more organic, more real if it is not so exact. There is nothing wrong in striving for perfection, but don't be too hard on yourself when you fall a little short. You will improve with every quilt. After all you are only human, and sometimes you might have to rip (shhhhh!) and that's OK too.
Here is the stitched result. It gives such a pretty, almost architectural texture that will not distract from the main event, which will be the Phoenix bird. The black lines of the grid are done with a black micron (permanent) pen and are part of the intended background "painting."
|Pumpkin seed design quilted|
Sew a happy seam this week.