When a quilt tells you how it wants to be quilted, do you listen or do you go with your original plan?
Let's back up a bit here. You remember I'm making this big batik panel. The original purpose was to make placemats for practicing new to me FMQ skills. Because I cut way too many strips, the panel turned out much bigger than anticipated.
Placemats changed to pillow covers for on my patio chaises, with the pillow covers still to be used for FMQ practice. Here are the four pillow panels, each about 21 x 32" here. They'll end up standard bed pillow size.
The plan was to sandwich these and use them for FMQ practice. The size of the panels is easy to handle on my domestic sewing machine, and whatever bobbles occur in my quilting, they'll hardly show anyway and it won't matter.
But these panels are telling me how they want to be quilted. Should I listen or proceed with plan A?
The panels are crying out for wavy channel quilting. Using a walking foot I can easily create channels about 3/4" wide in parallel wavy rows across the strips.
But that means no FMQ practice on these. And one of my buddies that's going on retreat next week is pushing me to improve my FMQ skills and wants to coach me while we're there.
So back to my original question: When a quilt tells you how it wants to be quilted, do you listen or do you go with your original plan?
I consulted with friends yesterday and they agree they pay attention when a quilt tells them how it wants to be quilted. But they also reminded me that all four of these panels don't have to be alike. What I've decided to do is quilt two of the panels with wavy lines walking foot quilting and use the other two panels for FMQ practice. The pillows will have an A side and a B side but they'll be similar. I get to see how well the wavy channel concept works and I get to practice FMQ. Win-win.
PS - my friends helped select the thread, too. We chose a Valdani variegated thread called Moose Lodge from my thread stash. Perfect!