Friday, February 06, 2015

Much Awaited Reveal of the Ladies of the Sea

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's kind of like scribble with thread.
The star has lovely, crisp points because it is completely ditched in clear nylon!

 Here is the stitched star, just to copy the pieced motif into the quilting.

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 backgrounds of all 15 boats are identical.  The rays was a last minute decision - I knew it would look fabulous, like looking at a sunrise, but at the expense of time.  Going in all those rigging cracks took a while.
The blocks also supposedly have appropriate floral/fruits that would be indigenous to where the ship came from.
 Being from the Navy family, her anchor is great.  Too bad I don't know where the boat is from!
I am not a fan of the dimensional flowers...they were a bit of a headache to work around.  Too bad the designers don't realize this.

 I am thinking that this must be one of Columbus's boats...seems fitting.
This is one of the simpler ones.  The stitching done on the masts to make it look like bamboo is amazing.  There were a couple done like this.
 Now onto a little bit of backside eye-candy...
 In case you are wondering, I opted not to quilt on any of the appliques.  They are all ditched, but I wanted them to retain their loft since the quilt itself was heavily quilted.  The other factor in this decision was that I did not want green and brown threads messing up this beautiful view.  The unobstructed texture is perfect.

And with that...its time for  me to go be Mom and make dinner.  Coming in a couple days...Jackie's Neimeyer quilt which came off the frame today.


Vicki W said...

Spectacular! Stephanie must be thrilled!

magicmoonmusings said...

That's a beautiful pattern with very skilled appliqué and your quilting looks amazingly gorgeous. But unless this pattern is specifically marketed as being exclusively for long arm quilting (which I highly doubt - this looks like a traditional Baltimore type for hand quilting), then it's pretentious to say that designers shouldn't include traditional elements such as dimensional flowers.

Anonymous said...

That is so impressive. I brilliant joining of all aspects of quilting. Absolutely inspirational.

Leeanne said...

Holy shipwreck!!!!!This is stunning!

Unknown said...

This is just simply and classically gorgeous! I love everything you did to it. The appliqué is exquisite! Can't wait to see your post on my quilt next!

Quiltdivajulie said...


Tavie said...

I am beyond thrilled as Margaret's quilting is the best I've ever seen and it is on my quilt! Now I am going to take a class from Pearl Pereira and Nancy Amidon so I can finally learn how to do really good appliqué (should have done that before I started this quilt)!!! Stephanie

Susie Q said...

being from Galveston, Texas I remember that the Elissa one of the ships. Three masts 1877 ship that was rebuilt and sails from Pier 21 in Galveston.

NOW your quilting, your quilting of this is beyond great! You did a super job. THANK YOU for showing us.

Lynette said...

And this post has been open on my browser for several days! heh! I keep getting pulled away from my downtime at the laptop, and I keep poring over this without commenting yet. Love the scribble work with the slightly darker threads on top of previous work to highlight the feathers - which are fantastic with the roping effect around the frame. I particularly love how you re-quilted the compass star into the border to reinforce the nautical theme. The feathers around the cornerstones are a very nice touch to get that effect you wanted of breaking up the block/sash rhythm, but I'm intrigued at how they take on a shell-like image in this context! The rays and the rigging!!! (I'm assuming you stopped/started at each embroidery line? It looks that way. Or were you able to stitch across them without detering from the line's look?) 3D pieces - I love them - which means I have to suck it up and put in the work around them while I'm quilting or pay up to the pro for the extra work on it if I send it out. hehe!! So sorry to leave an entire book in your comments. Told you I've been entranced by this all week. :D

gi quilt said...

The work on this quilt is phenomenal! I love your attention to detail, just like the owner/appliquer's. Thanks for sharing.