Turns out, I really love this quilt. I love the batiks, and the purples and greens. They are 100% me and then some. I started this center block last August in a Karen Kay Buckley class on hand applique. Her class was fantastic. I can't say enough about her patterns (but they are hard and time consuming). If you follow through with the applique of one of her's, you'll definitely see the improvement in your technique by the end of it. She has patterns for a quilt with 6-9 leafy wreaths with different flowers and an absolute TON of grapes. I knew after doing the center that I wanted to do more, but I wanted to make it my own design. The vines are needle-turn appliqued from 3/8" bias cut strips, and then are stuffed with a piece of yarn. Can you say, "Very narrow!".
So I added the appliqued ribbon and cathedral window. And more grape vining with the orange flowers that intertwine, hence the origin of the quilt's name. The quilting is traditional and symmetrical, whimsical and fun. I put hidden quilted flowers in the border and no shortage of feathers. I wanted texture, everywhere. There is curved cross-hatching -- something I have grown to love. I made it look more basket-woven this time. Did I mention that there are nearly 150 appliqued circles that are all under half inch in diameter??
For those of you that longarm, this quilt has a layer of Hobbs 80/20 with a layer of Hobbs wool atop that. The thread is Superior SoFine on the top and Bottomline in the bobbin. The filler for the rays in the quilt's center is done with the Bottomline as well. The cathedral windows are stitched with a plum-rose variagated Rainbows thread. Although the pictures don't show the subtleness of the thread colors, the feathers in the center are stitched in lavender thread so that they'd show a bit more. The rest of the threads match the fabrics - mostly Hoffman 1895 batiks.
Though you probably can't tell, the quilt is also adorned with nearly 1000 Swarovski crystals. It glistens under the show lights. I tried really hard to give the quilt a great backing as well. I was tremendously bummed to find that I had missed centering the diamond by about 3/4". It's fortunately not really obvious! When this happened, I kind of suspected it would have a short show-quilt life. But receiving a blue ribbon has made me rethink that. It will be visiting the Georgia Quilt Show in October next, for those of you in that area.
It's 42" square. Could be a perfect size to hang in my dining room. If only...
HE doesn't love it here (like the new dining room was designed for anything else in this spot??!). Thinks it is too large. I think he's crazy. Real Crazy. Even crazier than the fabric-crazy, quilting obsessed wife he has. The wholecoth quilt I have been marking this week may go in this spot instead. Time will tell. It may well be on the show path for a while anyways :-)