I first saw this quilt when I went to Paducah 2 years ago...The original design has massive and densely appliqued borders. I thought "there's no way in my lifetime I could (or would) ever do all that applique"! It is a phenomenal Sue Garman design. Each block has so much detail...just wait!...
As you know, we have had nothing but snow, snow and more snow. All my photos with flat light, so squint and look closely. Some of the textural details are hard to catch. FYI...this has a single wool batt and is stitched with So Fine 50wt thread in ivory and Madiera Monolon for the ditching. There were 12 bobbins worth...nearly 3 miles of thread.
My client Stephanie (thankfully!!) left off the busy borders, and opted for 7" plain. The fabric she chose is a good quality muslin. She'll probably tell me it a specialty sail cloth or something else. It looks similar to muslin, but is heavier, resembling a sail. It finishes somewhere around 95"x 65" so it is challenging to get all of it into one photo.
My first challenge was to create interesting quilting for that wide open border. The blocks had limited space for immense creativity, but that border is screaming for fun. Quilter's fun. I copied the mariner's star from the corners to the center, but only on the top and bottom borders. The others were shorter and I left them off those. I have wanted to use this undulating feather design for a while now. It does take a little bit of marking to know where the straight section will intersect it, but I was free to mark on the borders. Fabrics on the main quilt were forewarned to potentially bleed so no blue pens there!
The outer area of the border was densely stitched because I wanted that feather to pop. I think I went over it 3 times in fact -- the last 2 times in a slightly more tan thread. I was attempting to give it a subtle color shift. This next picture might show it a bit...it's kind of like scribble with thread.
The star has lovely, crisp points because it is completely ditched in clear nylon!
One of the more challenging aspects of this type of quilt is trying to find good places to put creative designs. There isn't much room in each block. I chose the sashing corner-stones. I treated them as though they were not part of the sashing. My goal was to bring the feathering of the borders into the main body of the quilt, as well as give some variation to the quilting of the middle of the quilt. I didn't want it to look like block, sashing, block, sashing, etc.
Every ship is different. I have hunted for some description of each, but I guess that only comes if you buy the patterns. You'll have to just see them through my photos... This particular ship has some massive rigging, which is all embroidered.
The blocks also supposedly have appropriate floral/fruits that would be indigenous to where the ship came from.