Saturday, January 03, 2015

From the Bride's Trousseau

My memory is pretty fuzzy in that I cannot remember if I have posted pictures of this quilt now that it is finished.  I think I may have just shown some in-progress pictures many months ago.  It is official, my ivory silk wholecloth is finished, and is currently awaiting judging at AQS Albuquerque in another week.  It has some pearl and emerald crystals added that are most likely not in the photos too -- hence the name I gave it.  It just reminded me of something a bride would have.  Perhaps I have just made too many quilts to come up with an objective name!
The sketches for this quilt started years ago.  In fact, looking back to the summer of 2011, I made a silk wholecloth which I never finished from a "decendent" of this design.  It has been tweaked significantly since then, and my skills have clearly changed as well, allowing some more complicated changes.  My poor brain isn't content without some complexity, though, and that is why I envisioned color from the beginning.  How I planned to get color was through the thread.  Little did I realize how challenging this would be with the silk 100 thread!  Live-n-learn.

It finished at about 52" square.  Yes, there is a seam down the center of the silk Radiance.  For the most part, it doesn't show unless it is wet. The next picture may even be of the back -- which is also off white, but it is a sateen.  All the thread shows, even if it is not right!  No prints to hide anything. That's probably the name I should have taken "Nowhere to Hide" <>
My brain thinks very much symmetrically, so this style quilt works for me.  It just also needs the piecing to keep some balance.  That does beckon the question why I have another wholecloth half-designed to quilt later this year!

I did find that if the stippling was dense enough (like some serious yardage of stippling) that the color became visible.  I also found that if tension was not perfect it is too easy to cross into that "point of no return" also! More life lessons.  The tension has moments of imperfection, but whether the design creativity overshines a few imperfections is for a judge to determine.
The picture above shows one of my favorite fillers --  the filled clamshells.  It is a variation on clamshells (which I used on last year's silk quilt).  I start with a square 1/2" grid and go from there.  I like to use fills that you don't see repeated within the industry often.  The 1/4" grid was another moment of crazy.  Those lines were challenging to get as straight as they are!
Here's another closer look...This is actually before I added some detail quilting along the lower scallops.  I found that as pretty as the colored thread was, it looked sloppy at times because I had not outline stitched the area first in the color.  My solution was for some sections was to outline in a very heavy 30wt silk thread.  It is a bit pricy - like $5 for a 50yd spool (and I went through 6 or 7 of these). The tieing off and burying wastes a good bit.  The heavier weight thread created a nice boundary for the frames of the quilt.
 Battings used...good question.  There/s 80/20 and a layer of wool.   I have a trashcan of wool scraps from all my projects that I zig-zag together, so I am not sure which particular one was used here. What I can say is that on another quilt I am finishing currently, I wanted to try the Pellon wool...and I hate it.  I appears to have bearded through the darker fabric like a poly would.  This wool here is either QD or Hobbs though.
 The little teardrops are placed in the dense green stipple just for movement and interest.  Too much of anything just gets boring, especially stippling.

This next picture shows the heavier outline thread nicely.  I considered using a Glide or other shiny 40wt thread, but the sheen was too much and it wasn't thick enough.  The silk is perfect, and the sheen looks natural.  This quilt just happened to be small enough that stitching this stuff on my Janome wasn't too hard (OK, Ms Janome does have an 11" throat too ).
 Two more pics for the road...
This was an early picture taken...just to see this crazy small pebbling.  I should have a dime in the photo for size.
 Enjoy!...Cross your fingers for a good outcome at Albuquerque, and I will keep you posted on other shows it is attending as they come closer.


12 comments:

sophie said...

I will go looking for this one in Albuquerque so I can get an up close and personal look. It's amazing.

Vicki W said...

It's beautiful! I hope it will be in Lancaster so I can see it in person.

Peggy Carstens said...

Very nicely done! Good luck at Albuquerque.

Michelle said...

thanks for all the closeup photos Margaret. It looks wonderful. I could see the subtle colors, so while it might not look like you imagined, it does work.

What Comes Next? said...

This is stunning Margaret! I'm sure it will do well in the shows. Your work is always so inspirational!

Leeanne said...

Wow and more WOW!!! This is a winner for sure? The detail is perfect, so much happening. I wish you the best!

Cathy Hetzel said...

This quilt is amazing.....Good luck in Albuquerque...

quiltmusings said...

I am at a loss for words. That is absolutely, unbelievably stunning. I love how the thread color changes the color of the fabric. You must have gone through an unbelievable amount of thread with that density! Truly, an amazing quilt.

Sharon said...

What a beautiful job of quilting. I really like the clamshells. How do you jump between projects? Do you have more than one long arm?

Michele said...

It really is gorgeous and I hope to see it in person at MQX this year.

Becky (My Fabric Obsession) said...

Stunning, amazing, inspiring! Fabulous as always! And did I read in your last post that you've only been longarming for 5yrs??

Teresa Silva said...

This is just stunning! Amazing work. Thanks for sharing.