Thursday, October 02, 2014

Falling Leaves

This quilt was finished over a week ago.  It is nearly home by now to it's Washington owner and client Sherrie.  This is a kit she purchased while in Paducah.  It's all hand-dyes, and in person is so much prettier.  Somehow, the yellow comes across overly sunny in the photos.  Since the leaves outside my window are sadly turning already, I figure it is an appropriate quilt to show.  Sorry guys, it is not that the colors are not pretty, but I am a summer person, loving the heat and truly hating to be cold.  Snow is not my thing.
Designing for this type quilt is very challenging.  It forces my brain to think about different layouts, where you would have a visual focal point, and how to make the eye move about the quilt.  Block quilts are much simpler from that regard, as well as from the standpoint of creating secondary designs.  Coincidentally, the client asked for secondary patterns, referencing my Zen Garden quilt (shown at the bottom), but in all honesty, it's not feasible for this type layout.  I had to find other ways and places to put design into the quilt.

The most obvious place is this honking wide border!  It is doubly effective that it is a pale shade too, because that will show the design easily.  I have combined a detailed cathedral window into the border, placing 1/2" cross-hatch and raying lines into the spaces.  Feathers fill the smaller triangles. Now I know that this border has little to nothing to do with falling leaves, but I believe that the unstructured nature of this quilt can handle a very structured border.  It helps to ground it.
nevermind those ugly (and clean toes!)

The body of this quilt is huge.  The overall size is 82"x102".  It is impeccably pieced, but color is the only connecting feature.  For my design, I have created cascading, and swirling feathers (which are actually made up of leaves).   These feathers are very much like what I used on my Shenandoah Falling show quilt.  In fact, this is similar to a huge version of that, in a way.  The blank space around these has some free-placed leaves, and LOTS of fillers.
 I made 2 leaf templates out of a used cereal box - one is an oak, and the other a pseudo maple. They were traced with chalk.  Nothing had been prewashed, so I was not about to have bleeding.  My water-soluble pens were out.  The cascading leaves and free-placed leaves were stitched in a Rainbows thread.  It was quite the pain in the neck to use, as it sometimes is, but this was a perfect variegated thread color(s) to use.  I outlined the leaf twice to make it more visible.
There is a string of large-ish pebbles from the stems of these free-placed leaves to help them to show. I envisioned this exaggerating the look of falling.

This quilt has just one wool batt.  Background quilting is done in three shades of 50wt So Fine thread. I chose a duller, non-shiny thread so as to only see the texture.  Each of the three colors of fill, has its own filler too.  The gold thread does this free-feather fill.
 The aqua/teal thread does a leafy filler (all sections have these occasional sections of parallel lines thrown in, just because).
 The fuscia thread has this organic flame-spiral thingy that came from a Judy Woodworth class some years back.  All filler designs fill nicely into cracks and seem to fit the theme of the quilt.
 Stitching this detailed border around all these leaves was as hard as it looks!...and time consuming.

I thank you all for your nice comments about the progress on my next show quilt.  It is still on the machine, with another 4 days allotted in my schedule.  I am seriously hoping to get to the bottom by then!  Better get to work!...

In the meantime, I will leave you with a couple images sent to me from the AQS Des Moines show, running right now.  My quilts have done very well, again.  Big Bertha is sporting what may be my favorite ribbon of all time - lime green!  It is for best Machine Quilting, also for this business I am in, a treat to receive.  It is like they chose that ribbon just for this quilt!
And here's the side of Zen Garden, which received best Wall Quilt, with yet another lovely seemingly color-coordinated ribbon.
Both quilts will be coming home for a couple months.  They have been gone since July, entrusted to AQS to keep safe.  Zen cannot go to any more AQS shows, but Bertha has one in January.  Hard to fathom that these two dames will be soon in retirement.  There are 3 weeks until I leave for Houston.  Would love to meet up with folks if you are there too - let me know.


Jane said...

Your work is amazing!! congratulations on the ribbons, and I am sure they made sure they matched no matter what the award :) just a fluke:) love your new quilt too.

Michele said...

It really is beautiful and the quilting made it more so.

Dora, the Quilter said...

I will look for Bertha at the Albuquerque AQS show! I so love your work!

Diane E W said...

Love how you quilted that border and adding the leaves in the quilting. Congrads on your ribbons. Have always loved Big Bertha.

Diane E W said...

Love how you quilted that border and adding the leaves in the quilting. Congrads on your ribbons. Have always loved Big Bertha.