My client Carol has sent me 4 quilts now, that she wants full custom quilting on. One is headed for a show next month, so I have only posted a few sneak peeks. In a month, I will show more. This one is 29" square (yup, pretty small). It is made from Kaffe Fassett, Phillip Mabry, and other similar busy modern prints, along with some batiks for added color. She's pieced all of the drunkard's path blocks by hand in a way that I have never yet seen a quilter do so well. When clients say that their quilt is hand-pieced, it sometimes raises my eyebrow, but not her's. They're beautiful. They lay flat, every seam where it belongs, etc. This one isn't even blocked yet, but it lays near-perfect.
If's frequently a challenge when a quilt comes in that does not have space for me to do decorative quilting. To compound that, this quilt doesn't have a visible focal point within the piecing either. It is a repetitive pattern in very busy print. My job's difficulty is escalated! I tried to rise to the occasion.
I used a combination of curvy borders and dense fillers to define an on-point frame. There is another one done at the center of the quilt, which defines the center for the viewer's eye. When I first saw this quilt, I though it reminded me of the tropical sunshine. Carol is from Panama (the one in central America, not Florida!) so she knows about sunshine. For that reason, I quilted suns in some of the circles. It keeps the quilting fun and light-hearted. Other areas of the quilting are extremely structured, so the suns are a nice juxtaposition.
The outer border is a stripe, but not a regular stripe. I was hesitant to do the parallel lines, but decided to do it anyways because I felt they'd tie into the lines I'd used elsewhere better than anything else. At the center of each border, I placed another sun. It helps to tie the border into the quilting of the body of the quilt.
The quilt is double batted: Hobbs 80/20 with Tuscany wool over that.
I used a lavender Glide thread on the top and Superior Bottomline in the bobbin. Why lavender? Well, it's almost a crapshoot with these very playful and colorful quilts which color thread really works best. In the end, I chose a thread that blended well on all of the fabrics. I could have gone with an orange on the outer border, but opted to keep the thread color consistent (and added orange bobbins to the list of my Superior order!...pst...I didn't have a bobbin color I preferred either!).
This fun little mini looks phenomenal and I hope she loves it as much as I do. I just took her other quilt off the frame today and will show it to you later this week. It's another wildly fun piece.