Monday, January 20, 2014

Neimeyer's Bali Wedding Star

I just finished up a very large client custom quilt.  It is the 104" version of the Bali Wedding Star.  It is made up of 64 rings and nearly as many other stars.  I can only imagine how very long this quilt takes to paper piece.  I endeavor to piece and applique large and complicated quilts, but this one just amazes me.  It is certainly not my style.  I get bored with piecing the top way too easily to be expected to make so very many of the same thing, one after another.  Kudos to my client!  She's done a really nice job of the paper-piecing.  The points are mostly very well matched.  The areas where the rings and points come together are naturally a point of bulky discontent for a quilter, but once I discovered them, I knew to expect them.  That is half the battle.  It is the unexpected pops of bulk that are harder.

This client told me up front that she loves feathers.  The quilt has some space for decorative fillers, but no huge expanses.  She relayed pictures of one other quilter that has quilted this quilt, but I knew I'd design something different.  My beliefs on that matter are firm and strong.  I want the quilts clients to get from me to be original and designs that I feel are fitting and appropriate for their quilts.  If a client feels strongly about having another person's designs copied, they oughta just go to that quilter.  I heard Jamie Wallen say that in a class last year and at first it kind of hit me as shocking and crass.  The more I thought about it, I am right there with him.  Clients come to me because of what I can give them, my original work.

So, I set to work to create a feather spray that fit the geometry (which, as shown above, is kind of awkward).  These triangular holes flip-flop directions too, so I let the center of the teardrops feather in opposite directions so that it infuses some swirl to the piece.  Movement is a key component to a quilt, and it is even more important on a quilt that is just a repeat of the same design over and over again.  One other criteria I had was that the quilt needed relatively simple shapes (ie, no complex swirls) because I did not know if these many dark colors of batik had been prewashed.  I know first-hand that several of these Hoffman 1895's have bled for me, and if not prewashed, they might have bled when I needed to remove the markings.  Too many incidents with bleeding make me chicken to go out on a limb.
 It is a really pretty combination of nearly every color imaginable.  I'm sure I'd be plenty confused putting all the rings together in the right order!
I knew I wanted to do the straight line ruler work in the melons.  A quilt like this needs a change of tempo.  It is so curvy, especially with all the feathers.  The parallel lines bring out the stars.   Because I wanted these to be stitched continuously as I did the CC-ing of the rings, I chose the same Khaki (ok, it is gold!) Glide thread.  As a result, the entire back of the quilt has a pale bobbin thread showing, thereby leaving just texture.  To mix it up just a little, I did the little 4-patches at the center of the stars with a variegated purple thread.  I just wanted a different bobbin on part of the back, even if it is only a small bit.
 The back is really pretty- loads of texture.
This quilt has a wool batt - Quilter's Dream I believe.  Every ring and star has been ditched with monofilament thread.  Other threads are either Khaki Glide or the variegated Aurifil 40wt poly, which I just adore!! This quilt was on my frame for a whopping 8 days.  That is longer than most quilts, but it was large. Here's the breakdown... I used three-quarters of a mile of thread.  The ditch quilting took 35% of the project, the feather sprays took 19%, the cc-ing of the rings and oval line work took 40%, and the last bit of purple thread in each 4patch took 6%!  I never expected the rings to take THAT went on and on and on!!  The quilt has been mailed home on this holiday.

I am onto quilting three more that will go home to Iowa next week.  No rest for the weary...Have a great week.

BTW, anybody know where to find size #3 pearl cotton?...Went to Joann's today in search, but came home empty-handed.


Kathrin said...

What a wonderful quilt you made! So beautiful, and a great quilting, such a gold idea for feathers!
I love it!

Ulla's Quilt World said...

So lovely! :)
Greetings from Finland!
Hugs, Ulla

Vicki W said...

You are right about those straight lines. They really set off the piecing. Beautiful!

Maggie said...

Margaret. Does your mind ever rest? Your creativity is amazing! And, then to execute your designs! To perfection! Again, thank you for sharing!

Valdani may have your pearl cotton. I didn't take the time to check first.

Maggie in Arizona

Cheryl M. said...

try Nordic needle. they have all the sizes of pearl cotton and very good service.
Cheryl M.

Cheryl M. said...

try Nordic needle.

Cheryl M. said...

try Nordic needle
Cheryl M.

Emily Breclaw said...

Absolutely spectacular job!! I'm working on my third wedding star quilt, and have hand-quilted the first two. The extra dimension your beautiful quilting adds is just astonishing. Love it!

Rebecca Grace said...

Margaret, this is gorgeous! I love the way you flipped the feather orientation -- it balances perfectly. I purchased the pattern only for the "bed runner" version of this quilt, but I have been too chicken to take it out of the package yet. I think the whole idea of a bed runner is pretty dorky, but the measurements work out right for a table runner spanning the length of my dining room table, so that's where mine will go SOMEDAY when I screw up the courage to make the darned thing!

Connie said...

That is really beautiful work

Ulla's Quilt World said...

So stunning! Fantastic! :)
Hugs, Ulla

Michele said...

It is just absolutely gorgeous and I so love hearing about why you chose the designs that you did in the various areas. I can't wait to see more of your fantastic work.

Emily G said...

WOW! your work is so gorgeous! Totally inspiring! It's really fun to read about your design process too!