I started incorporating some techniques from Stupendous Stitching in my quilt, and I am thrilled with the results so far. The actual method starts with couching, but I decided to skip that because this quilt will be used and the couching might not be as durable. I also used the decorative stitches directly on my sandwiched quilt rather than on a stabilized top. So, all in all, this is quite a limited use of the approach and might not be recognized by the creator of it at all!
Limited though it may be, I am happy with the effect of the decorative stitching. When I first came across Karen K. Stone’s quilts, I was so impressed by their richness of color and pattern. I was thinking of her Cinco de Mayo quilt or the Lady Liberty quilt when I chose fabrics for this one. I feel the decorative stitches in the inner border echo the colorful blocks without distracting too much from the quilt overall.
The quilting itself is rather boring..it’s fun choosing your next stitch and color, but then you basically wait while your machine slowly stitches its way down the line. If the stitch requires a lot of backtracking or filling in, you may have to wait a looooong time, doing a bit of steering and making sure the quilt does not get caught up on something. You can see I did not always do so well on those two tasks!
Once I have done the entire inner border, I will add additional straight quilting stitches and fill in gaps, and move on to the outer border. I will still use decorative stitches, but I think I will integrate them with more free motion quilting, to avoid using up my entire thread collection in one fell swoop. My plan is to do something very simple in the central rattlesnake area, maybe just straight lines in grey or black thread to add texture and make the rattlesnake portion pop.