Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Silk Whole Cloth quilt Progress

With 2-1/2 weeks of school left for my kids, I am happily sitting in a good place on my purple whole cloth quilt.   Every spring, I try to get the quilting on one of my show quilts at least started.  Generally I begin this process in April, but this year it was a bit later.  This is the 3rd time I have put this quilt onto the machine.  To quilt it continuously, without removing it, would require a minimum of 4 weeks, and I don't have that kind of time.  I have some clients patiently waiting for quilt, and the majority of these will be quilted in the next few weeks.

When working on my own stuff, I am notorious for over-thinking designs and stitching patterns, and then consequently, wasting all kinds of time ripping out stitches.  The past 3 days, I have been stitching the outer border.  It's 3-4" wide, and has a line pattern like what I show here.  I am barely lukewarm about the fills I used, but that is well beyond what I wish to rip out.  I used these because I used them in another place in the quilt, so it seemed logical.  Repeat, resize, reuse - we all know this motto of good design.  
 So I kept thinking that I wanted the deeper tone of this dark purple thread to show more.  It is in the center of the quilt's medallion, and shows nicely.  That stitching, though, is denser.  So, I tested up a sample with densely filling the center of the 3 1/4" stripes to see if I liked it.  Turns out I do like it, and it gives the border both more color and more texture.  It is in keeping with my "quilt it to hell and back" rule.  Or, why take the easy road if there is a hard one.  You know what I mean!
 Believe it or not, it only took about an hour or so to add the denser stitching.  It transformed this...
 to this...
 Definitely, it is more to my liking.  I'm not sure if the binding will remain straight, as the quilting is showing, or if some fancy-dancy curved binding will ensue.  OK, yes I do know.

I've been itching to use this herringbone pattern on a quilt for a while now.  In retrospect, I should have written "I've been clawing out my eyes because I used this herringbone pattern"!  It is stitched on a 1/4" grid, which must be very carefully marked.  Did you know that if you are stitching on a 1/4" grid, it is very hard to see anything underneath a 1/2" hopping foot?!  Sheesh (taken from my oldest son, who uses this "sheesh" on me routinely), who knew?!  The first of these patterns took nearly 3 hours, but the other 3 were barely an hour.  Good thing or there might have only been one.   I really like using patterns that relate to the design of the quilt, and this one is like that garden path.
(As an aside, those "wheat things" that I used to fill the spaces of the outer border seemed "garden-like" initially, but does anybody else look at that outer border and see heiroglyphics?!  Please don't answer.)

I'll leave you with a couple more peeks.  Here's the center...I added a little stitching around the periphery of the tulips to hopefully make them pop a bit (I know there's one area not done - I have a small tuck on the back to remove first).
This is a very close-up pic.  All major motifs (scrolls and feathers, most flowers) are stitched using a 40wt pink Glide thread.  The color is Passion to be exact!  I have 3 different 100 wt silk threads that are being used for the backgrounds.  This is in a matching deep pink.  It shows a nice contrast of the positive relief and the negative background colors.
The section just outside of the one shown above has this very dense matchstick pattern that rays outward, and has 45degree lines at about 12 per inch stitched.  The angle adjusts in each ray to maintain them at 45 degrees.  It looks freaking awesome!  It is stitched in a deep purple 100wt silk.  It doesn't really look purple, but shows deeper.  The section to the far left in the following photo is done with a lavender silk - the closest match to the fabric.  It mostly blends away.  
The dragonflies are stitched in a lavender metallic thread from Wonderfil, and will likely get some paint to accent them before the fat lady sings.

And lastly...(below) the outer borders, one stitched in tight pink lines and the outermost in the deeper purple.  The contrast is evident in person, but maybe not so much so in the photographs.

...And my very pink backside.  As much as I swear that using a freakishly busy print will make my job easier, I can't ignore the little voices in my head that love the look of a solid back.  Besides, I'd have a helluva a hard time finding the mistakes that need fixing if I had a print!
 Someday soon, I will post full shots, but not yet :-)


Leeanne said...

Sheesh.........your pink backside! That sounded funny! Gosh what a stunning piece.

Sewing Up A Storm said...

Ok this is premature for sure..............but I see some ribbons and accolades for this for sure.

Jackie said...

OMG, that is the most beautiful quilt I've ever seen!!!

Jackie said...

OMG, that is the most beautiful quilt I've ever seen!!!

Unknown said...

Absolutely stunning!! What a beautiful work of art!

Susan Lawson said...

ahhh, breathtaking!

Becky (My Fabric Obsession) said...

My mind is blown again! The whole thing is beautiful and amazing. But I can't even figure out how you did the herringbone. Lovely!

Bunny said...

Amazing work.... Breathtaking gorgeous such talent. Bravo lots of ribbons for your work I am sure.