As a last post about this project, I wanted to talk about ways and means. There are several ways to go about creating this sashiko design. I'll describe the way that worked for me.
Many of us are familiar with the marvelous machine quilting of Diane Gaudinski. She creates this look with a continuous line which undulates above and below the intersection going in one direction and then fills the gaps going back the other way.
Diane uses this pattern to great effect as a background filler on unpieced fabric. She creates the intersections by drawing a grid. I find her continuous line method works for me on smaller scale grids but I struggle to maintain a continuous line when the scale gets bigger.
So for this project I tried a hopping scallop instead. At each intersection I would hop up, catching the intersection of the X and curve back down. Then comes the best part, I pause. This gives me time to catch my breath, steady my nerves and take aim for the next leap. My progress across the top would look something like this.
No matter how small the neck on my machine, I'm always going to have room for this maneuver. I began going in the direction on the diagram; left to right. But because I'm working from the back of the machine, I had trouble seeing what I was doing. So I swapped sides and came right to left, this gave me much better visibility. It took my kids ages to make this diagram so I'm just going to let you imagine the change of direction.
On the way back, I did a quarter hop, paused and then continued the half circle hop to the end of the row. The blue line in the diagram below shows this process. This staggered scallop reminds me of cake decorating.
I worked my way through the top; scalloping over, coming back under. Then scalloping under and coming back over. Ironically, it's taken much longer to write about the quilting than to do it. By clicking on any of the photos, you'll get a good close up view of the stitching.