You know how I said I wanted to develop a quilting design based on the paisley in the border/sashing fabric of the fat-quarter quilt? Well, look at what I ran across compliments of Angela Walters of quiltingismytherapy.com. She has developed a paisley feather design that while more dense and elaborate than I'd envisioned, is giving me a starting point for developing my own paisley design.
I've watched several of her videos now and am impressed with both her technique advice and quilting philosophy which reminds me more of my long-time machine quilting mentor Diane Gaudynski than anyone else I can think of. As the standard teachers of my formative quilting years begin to retire, it is reassuring to see their valuable lessons being carried forward by a new crop of enthusiastic teachers.
I still need to spend some time with pencil and paper, seeing if what's in my head will work. I want to use a method learned in a class by Jan Wildman many years ago that is essentially an edge to edge approach that gives all-over coverage without looking like a pentagram or just mindless meander. So the trick will be to meld these two ideas together - Angela's paisley feather which swoops and fills with Jan's idea of rows of repeat designs.
Many suggest this drawing out of the quilting design or at bare minimum using your finger to trace over a pattern to familiarize your mind with it before actually starting to quilt. This makes sense - there's a lot to be said for muscle memory. As I reviewed my handout from Jan's class, I ran across another helpful hint I'd forgotten about, one that actually might be more helpful to those of us using our domestic machines. She suggests rather than practicing on a quilt sandwich, just practice on a piece of paper. No thread, no cloth, but the action will be the same as when you sit down with the actual quilt. Because drawing with a pencil is a totally different coordination of hand and eye than what happens at the machine where the "pencil" suddenly becomes the stationary object (your needle) and the "paper" moves under it to create the design.