Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Blue Collection

First...Thanks for the comments at last post.  I do like hearing reaffirming comments about my initial layout.  I think I will likely go back to this one.  Stick with your first instincts.

Second...I have received comments that I'd like to answer personally.  Please make sure that you are not "blogger no-reply".  If I cannot email you back, I won't.

This is about the hardest and best applique quilt I have done in a very long time.  It is Maggie Walker's The Blue Collection.  It came out over a decade ago...I can only imagine it took my client nearly that long to stitch those on.  The appliques are all needle-turned edge, and are done about as well as I would have done them.  Being the applique snob you all know I am, that is pretty dang good.
This quilt is about 58"x60" or so.  I stopped counting when there were nearly 70 leaves for me to outline and vein.  It is totally insane in a good way.

This quilt has a single wool batt.  This helps the appliques to keep a puffy look after quilting.  It will help them to retain this puff as time goes on, when a cotton batting would tend to compress.  Initially when I got the quilt from the client, she really did not want any stitching on the appliques.  I had to convince her that they really need to be quilted on, even if just a little.  A difference in stitching density that severe would make this hang wonky.  Besides, the quilt is about the appliques, and they need to be part of the design of the stitching. I chose to keep the applique stitching simple, and to the point.  The pots are only quilted on to (hopefully) convey the depth or shape of the item.
 I outline stitched each and every applique with a Madiera Monolon thread.  This keeps the edge of the shape nice and crisp.  It's a tough challenge with fabrics of high contrast though.  The clear thread disappears completely on the yellow background, but shows slightly as a "sheen" on the deep colors.  It is something you have to deal with if you don't want to stitch part of the appliques with blue, or smoke clear thread -- which I don't.  Other threads used include a pale yellow So-Fine thread and a couple shades of blue Omni thread.  It is all about the texture, and not wanting to take anything away from the appliques themselves.
 The leafy border above is something crazy.  There are about 40 of those very hard to applique leaves.  In a perfect world, or a quilt with a much higher budget, I would have done some echo quilting on these.  Since they would have required a stop and start for each one, I left this part out of the scope.  There was a little detailing on the larger blue flowers in the corners though.
 Each pot or vase or bowl received simple detailing to give it dimension.  Mostly, this consisted of some curved contours.  The filler at the center of the quilt (above) is something new for me.  I have seen something similar done, and really love how it swooshes and swishes and gives this pieces a nice dimension.
 Mostly, the quilt is cotton, but there are a few nice touches of dupioni silk like these oranges.  As a note, because of the blue fabrics, which I am pretty sure will bleed, and the silks, I didn't mark anything except a few curved contour lines that could be rubbed off with a damp piece of cotton.  The last think I needed was to have a bleeder.
 ...more pots
 I think that this flower pot conveys great texture and dimension.  It is spot on!
 It is all such a pretty pattern and design.  I just hope that the owner likes it as much as I do.
One last blurry look up the tree...
I took all these photos with my phone on a rainy day a week ago, fully expecting to retake them before the quilt was sent home.  Well, it is enroute to Florida, and I never retook any pictures.  Life goes on :-)


Bev said...

I wish I could express my admiration of your quilting (and your client's applique and piecing skills) in a way that would do justice to your talent. Sadly, all I can say is WOW! Great job! Thanks for sharing that gorgeous quilt! Cheery wave from Bev

Leeanne said...

What a stunning quilt. you have really made this quilt come alive!

Vicki W said...

It's spectacular!

Maggie said...

My GOSH your work is outstanding, Margaret! The design, intricacy, the execution! I don't have the words to tell you how much I enjoy each and every one of your posts.
Maggie in Arizona


your work is amazing!!!

Helen Rosenberger said...

The quilt is beautiful in itself,but all the details of your quilting really made it come alive! I am in aw with your quilting abilities! Love all the great details outlined in this blog! Keep on Quilting! Helen

Michele said...

Gorgeous! Both you, and Donna did a spectacular job. I would use you to quilt one of my applique quilts, and I can't pay a higher compliment than that. Well Done

LynCC said...

Margaret, you hit this one SUPERBLY! The work on the pots really accentuates their shapes and dimensionality - surely she loves what you've done, as they would have looked lumpy and lifeless with no quilting on them. Remarkable quilting, as always.

Penny Boden said...

This is on my wish list.