The most asked question at my recent workshop? How do you know what to quilt? Unless you are wanting to use stencils or are doing a very traditional piece, you will likely be asking yourself that question. In most cases the quilt will tell you what to do, study it, listen to it. In this post I am going to give you some examples and explain why I chose to quilt the piece this way. Earthbound was the first quilt that I really let go and did all sorts of different things across the entire quilt. First I broke it into sections........tree, sky, hills, water, earth and so on. When I began I really had no idea of what I would do. I carefully considered each area and stitched to capture the effect or "movement" I wanted. I also wanted to carry the design out into the border.
So if you look closely you will see that I simply continued that "curly Q" effect in the lower sky and out into the border. Gave the hills some movement by changing the direction of the stitches. See how the tree branches seem to be growing right through the inner border. These roots stand out because the stitching is fairly dense all around them. I used several different stitches to get the feel of layers of earth and rock. Examine the waves, I just followed the curves to emphasize the movement. It may be hard to see but I even stitched tiny scales on the fish.
In Siren's song, I wanted that underwater feel. I did some waving lines and some tight elongated stippling here and there, wanting to have the feeling of the elements being surrounded by gently moving water. I wanted the hair to look as though it was floating and maybe just slightly tangled, so again I changed direction of the stitching often. There really was no decision to be made when quilting the border, that wonderful print told me exactly what to do, I just stitched around those rock like shapes.
So next time you just are not quite sure what to quilt................Listen carefully, it will tell you.