Bright Sisters: Ready to Sandwich

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about this work in progress, what with the move and everything else — but here’s the update: the top is pieced (and in need of a good pressing, after being folded and boxed up) and I’ve got the quilting design sketched out! Here’s the finished top, wrinkles and all:

finished color-block quilt top
Bright Sisters (pattern by Carl Hentsch of 3 Dog Design)

I had to put it on the floor and stand on a chair to photograph it and then correct the keystoning in Photoshop, so the proportions aren’t quite right; but you get the general idea. I’m so pleased with how it came out. I learned a TON about accurate cutting and piecing while doing this top.

I gave a lot of thought to how I want to quilt it. Naturally, I didn’t pick anything easy. I’m planning to use threads that match the top, so I’ll have to change thread a lot. I also want to highlight some of the secondary shapes with the quilting, and showcase a variety of quilting patterns. No all-over meandering here!

To plan it out, I placed a photo of the quilt top into a drawing program on my iPad (WorkVisual, in case you’re curious). I turned down the opacity of the layer to make the quilt top fade back a little, and made a fresh layer on top for practicing. Then I just started drawing!

I referred to Angela Walters’ books Shape By Shape and Shape By Shape, Collection 2 as I experimented. They were very helpful, especially as I tried to see some of the larger shapes created by the different patches. I also watched the Midnight Quilt Show episode that features this quilt over and over… and over… and over, pausing it at the end to analyze her choices for different areas of the quilt.

After lots of trial and error, erasing and re-drawing, I ended up with the final design:

photo of an iPad showing a photo of a quilt top with a quilting design drawn over it
The full design, as drawn on my iPad

I love the density and the variety of designs, and I’m pleased with the way it plays with the secondary designs like the large squares and the starbursts. Here’s a detail of one corner:

screenshot of quilt design drawn over a photo of the quilt top
Detail of quilting design drawing

It was tricky enough to draw… but now can I quilt it on my domestic sit-down machine? We shall see! I may adapt some parts of it as I go, but I have high hopes. First, though, I’ll have to sandwich and baste it. After I give it a good pressing, of course. Stay tuned!

The previous post in this series was Bright Sisters: Making the first block. Next up: sandwiching, basting, and quilting!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Sonja Stone says:

    I’m so excited!!!

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