It's done! (Okay, it's been done for a few weeks now, but still...) I first posted this finished quilt top here, way back in March. It had been sitting, finished, for months while I worked up the courage to quilt it. See, the problem was that I knew this quilt needed something curvy, something free-motion-y, to finish it. You may recall my first attempt at free-motion quilting with Gloria. Not. Good. That is what made me so nervous about quilting this one (and why I opted for straight-line quilting on this quilt). However, between that first attempt and this one, I shelled out $$ for the Sew Steady table and the spring/hopping free-motion foot for Gloria. I don't know if either one of these changes--or both together, along with some adjustments to my machine's settings--made the most difference, and I don't care! I took the Friday before Memorial Day off work, got up early, spray-basted the quilt, then sucked it up and started quilting.
I just want to say that, despite our differences up to this point, I am in LOVE with Gloria's quilting! It's phenomenal; I can't even remember how I was able to quilt such large projects on my Brother! I am now a curlicue free-motion quilting machine! As you can see above, I opted to just do an up-and-down curlicue straight across the quilt, with the row centers being about 5" apart (I think--I can't remember. I know that I did use a chalk liner to mark the baseline for reference, so my rows didn't move at an angle as well).
Here's a shot of the back so you can see the quilting a little bit better (there are more pictures on my Flickr page, too). I kind of like how the non-quilted parts pop, too. It's just another layer of interest in this quilt. For the back I used a Kona solid (I think it's Coal, but could be wrong) and pieced in a row of disappearing nine-patch squares made from the leftover fabrics from the front. The quilt finishes at about 48" x 60", so I needed a little extra width on my backing fabric and thought that would be a fun touch. The quilting was done using my standard Mettler gray piecing thread--not quilting thread. I was concerned about how the fmq would go, so I opted not to use a heavier quilting thread, just in case it was jerky and I hated it.
I really like everything about this quilt. The fabrics are gorgeous. The thread I used for quilting lays down on the top really well and doesn't distract from the lovely voile, but provides just enough contrast with the backing solid to really show off those curvy lines up close. The slight wonkiness of the quilting is perfect. Just the experience of quilting this was lovely. Rob can vouch for it--I was full of giddy excitement the entire weekend because the quilting turned out so well! Trust me, there will be plenty more fmq projects coming up!