Today's the day: Time to finish your quilt!
Unfortunately, we've now reached the part of the quilt-along in which I feel least qualified to be giving out advice. Because the actual quilting? Is so not my specialty. I just don't like it all that much. The more quilting I do, the more tolerable it gets, but I'm still not at the point where I'm like, "Oh, yay, I get to spend an afternoon wrestling this quilt into the machine to be stitched!" Also, I have yet to master free-motion quilting. I'm all about the straight lines, but that's more out of necessity than preference!
However. It's my quilt-along, so I guess I have to say something here, right? Just be advised that at this point in the QAL, it's entirely possible I have no idea what I'm talking about, and proceed with caution. : )
I've had a hard time deciding how to quilt this, and I still am not 100% decided. After all, a carefully-chosen quilting style could take this design in a whole different direction. That's especially true of straight-line quilting. So I pulled out my computer and doctored up a photo of my quilt top in order to test-drive a few patterns. Let's take a look at some options, shall we?
Basic echo quilting. Personally, I don't care for stitch-in-the-ditch. I don't particularly like how it looks, and I find it very difficult to do well. It requires way too much concentration for me, and the needle always wants to pop out of the ditch somewhere. But echo quilting (quilting 1/4" or more away from the seams) is a perfect alternative to stitch-in-the-ditch. And while this style of quilting is quite basic, I really love it. It adds to the twinkly, starry feeling of the Supernova design.
Diagonal lines straight across. This is a very modern look, with much tighter quilting. But it still lets the design of the piecing shine through. If you want to avoid stich-in-the-ditch on this design, you'll need to do some advance planning to figure out exactly where to put your lines, and how far apart to quilt them.
Diagonal lines converging. I love the quilting on this pillow by KarrieLyne of Freckled Whimsy. That pillow was my inspiration here. I think this style of quilting works very well with the Supernova piecing, and I'm strongly leaning toward this one for my own quilt.
Echo quilting plus. This design basically attempts to fill in all the negative space with quilting. This strikes me as the "glutton for punishment" option, because turning the quilt that many times would probably drive me to drink (more than I already do). But I do like how this looks, so I thought I'd throw it out there, in case somebody is ambitious enough to take it on.
Elizabeth and Katie have already finished off their Supernovas that way. Elizabeth had a great post the other day outlining her tips for free-motion stippling, so check it out if you're new to FMQ.
KISSed Quilts. Incredible! It does such fascinating things to the Supernova design! This quilting is obviously way beyond my abilities, but if you've got mad skills like Marlene, go for it!
So without further ado, this is where you can link up your finished quilts. I can't wait to see every single one of them! You can link up a blog post or a Flickr photo of your completed quilt. Everyone who links up a completed quilt by noon Central time on May 12 will be entered into my drawing for a FQ bundle of Castle Peeps. (A completed quilt, in my book, means one that is ready to use—so it must be quilted and bound.) However, I will leave the linky open permanently, even after May 12, so you can link up a completed quilt any time, even if it's months (years?) from now. I hope people will continue to participate in the quilt-along even after it is technically done!
I can't wait to see how you all choose to quilt your Supernovas. And I want to thank all of you for quilting along with me! This has been not only enjoyable for me, but it's such a rush seeing my design completed in so many different and interesting ways. In a quilt-along, everybody seems to bring something different to the table, and that's just so much fun. I feel like I know a little more about each of you, thanks to your Supernovas. How wonderful.
Edited to add: Looking for an alternative way to baste your quilt? Becky's got a great save-your-knees approach to basting—check it out!