It's been fun to participate in the Supernova Quilt Along. Lee's been posting steps every Thursday, and a week ago, we received our last instructions: "It's time to quilt."
Since I'm a sit-down quilter, pin-basting was my first step. Several years ago I learned that when you pin-baste a quilt, you shouldn't line-up your pins or pin in a grid pattern. If you insert pins in a uniform pattern, you're putting tension on one particular area and leaving gaps in other areas. If you pin randomly, all areas have some tension.
To fit the solar/space-like appearance of the pieced quilt design, and in keeping with the "nova" theme, I decided to use my 1/8"-thick set of nested oval templates to trace oval quilting patterns. Also, the curved shapes contrast with the linear piecing - one of the quilting concepts I like to follow. I used a white chalk-o-liner and a wash-out marker to draw ovals and circles.
Using gray Aurifil 50-weight thread on top, and gray Bottom Line in the bobbin, I approached this as a sort of quilt-as-you-go. I'd trace and quilt some parts, stop to reassess, and then trace and quilt some other parts.
Along the outside edges, to complete the "ray" look I was going for, I free-motion quilted straight lines. I didn't use a walking foot because I don't have a walking foot for my Pfaff Grand Quilter.
As I've been quilting, I've wondered whether anyone else - or everyone else - marks their quilts after they've pin-basted. Certainly it makes more sense to mark first, so you can see the design in its entirety, and strategically position the safety pins. But on the other hand, if you're using chalk to mark a quilt, it can dust off in the basting process.
For me, it's difficult to picture the whole quilt design. Rather, I first need to see if my idea is going to work. If it does, I can expand it from there. If it doesn't, I can unquilt... though I'd like to think that sort of thing is happening less and less.
When do you mark your quilting designs? Linda