Tuesday, March 04, 2014

More MAQF...Autumn's Surrender

 Here's my other new 2014 show quilt, which is somewhere between snowy Virginia and here.  This got the 3rd place in the Traditional Category from MAQF.  Hopefully it arrives soon because it needs to be at MQX in a mere 2-3 weeks.  Autumn's Surrender is intended to depict the icy convergence from the glorious colors of fall to the crystalline and icy feeling of winter -  Symbolized mostly by the fabric colors, and the fact that the quilted light blue silk is very icy in its appearance.
This is 58" square, and is made from all silk Radiance.  The silk is a little finicky to work with, but it sure does quilt beautifully.  When I bought it, I found it for a steal of a deal, but they were 1/2 yd bundles.  It equated to about $5 per yard, so I got one in a brown/gold/green shading and another in the blues.  I wasn't really sure where the colors were going, in all honesty!  Fortunately, the softer blues kind of marbled all together so I was able to use several of the shades at the middle of the quilt effectively.  I chose to interface all my silk with a Pellon bi-stretch lite (which is more costly than the silk was), but it controls the shifty-ness of the silk.  On the downside, though, it does thicken the joints somewhat, making pointy joints tough. Several of the blocks used to make up this quilt were paper-pieced, but when I went to connect them together, it was impossible to get 8 seams to lay down.  My solution was to applique diamonds on top of the joint, and then to cut away the bulk beneath.  It's great when part of the solution to fix something becomes an integral part of the design as well.
The entire quilt was stitched using 100wt silk thread.  I used a number of shades from ivory to blue to brown and green.  Except in a few places, the thread was matched to the fabric.  It was a fun quilt to design quilting for too.  I sketched out most of these sections on tracing paper so I could audition the plan with the fabrics showing through.  Unfortunately, this plan means there was a good amount of tracing motifs onto the quilt.
 I love when you can bring elements of the piecing, like the diamonds, into the quilting.  This really makes the entire design feel more cohesive.
 I spent over 100 hours on the quilting.   The quilt has a 1/2" wide silk binding, which was a complete pain in the neck.  Normally I put bindings on-the-bias, but I had to rip this off and redo it on straight grain (which naturally meant getting more fabric!).  The binding is also interfaced, which gave the quilt a nice amount of extra body at the edges.  I also hand beaded the edge with both seed beads and buggles -- fun crazy endeavor that took nearly 25 hours to finish!  I also added a narrow (see below) rust colored velvet ribbon along the interface of the octagon.  It had a purpose, but I loved how it turned out.  There are little rust dots covering the ends (see top photo).
The back is probably my favorite.  The fabric is a tan cotton sateen, and it shows EVERYTHING...good, bad or otherwise.  I wasn't sure at first when I saw all the dark brown thread back there, but heck, it is what it is.  And most of it looks pretty OK to me.
 If you are lucky enough to be going to MQX in Manchester, NH next month, then you'll be able to see this in person.  It will also be going to the Vermont Quilt Festival in June.
 I so love how the silk quilts that I have two more silk quilts in the works -- one is a wholecloth which I hope to be stitching before my kids are out for summer vacation, and a second that will be a 40" wall hanging.

Have a great week!


Patti said...

I love these detailed pictures, because I love to study your work. So much to marvel at! The back looks like a wholecloth masterpiece as well.

Bev said...

I look at your quilting and then at my quilting and it looks like Rembrandt and a first grader! Your quilting is breathtaking! I just love seeing it! You are a master! XO Bev




What Comes Next? said...


Miriam said...

Stunning Margaret!

Congratulations on third place!

Maggie said...

"looks pretty okay" to you? My GOSH woman! This is magnificent!!! Incredible! Thank you soooo much for sharing.
Maggie in Arizona

LynnEl Springer said...

Your quilt and quilting are amazing! Seriously amazing! Love it! You can see how patient you are - and how it makes the quilt a winner! 3rd place doesn't do it justice!

LynnEl in Illinois

Vicki W said...

I was so happy to be able to see this in person. It's spectacular!

Jane said...

Ok, this amazingly gorgeous!! Wow.

Michele said...

That is stunning!
What a beautiful quilt and I really enjoyed your explanation of your process.

Valerie the Pumpkin Patch Quilter said...

It is stunning Margaret - as always - and I don't know how you managed that silk binding. I am itching to try silk but that had to have taken a few months off your life. ;)

Michele said...

It is beyond fabulous and I can't wait to see it in person at MQX.

Pat Converse said...

Your work is absolutely gorgeous. Looking at the pics makes me wish I lived closer so I could see them in person. One of the things I think is so great is that each of your quilts is like having two totally different quilts in one . . . The backs are as beautiful as the fronts! Great posts too. You are an inspiration to us all!

pnconverse at hotmail dot com5

Millie said...

Margaret, I just got back from the Manchester MQS show and saw this quilt in person. It is a KNOCKOUT of EPIC PROPORTIONS. It is AWESOME. A true masterpiece. I love it.