Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Ladies of the High Seas

 Sue Garman's Ladies of the Seas is the most incredible applique quilt I think I have ever seen.  The number of patches, and the immense detail of the designs is mind-boggling.  As much as I think I love applique and am relatively good at it, I am humbled when I get a quilt like this.  It scares me to be privileged to quilt it.  It is that good.

 Remember back in January of this year, I did another variation of this quilt.  It had 15 boats and did not have the massive borders.  It still took what seemed to be an eternity.  After posting photos of that, I received 2 requests to quilt the same quilt again.  This is one of them.
 I spent over 13 hours just ditch stitching all of the appliques using a Madiera Monolon nylon thread.  When done correctly, this thread is essentially invisible, especially along the lighter toned fabrics.  Darker colors do give a subtle sheen if you are not completely in the ditch.  On this quilt, as compared to the last one I did, I omitted ditching all of the ship's riggings.  This enables all of the sails to retain their poof.  I like this decision considerably better.
 The borders are massive, and they really don't leave any space to do much that is terribly creative on my part.  It is all about the applique, so I stitched a dense fill that is easy to get into all of the many nooks and crannies.  Background fill stitching is done with a Bottomline thread, which is 60wt.  It matches the background fabric, and leaves only texture behind.
 I used a heavier weight (40wt) thread along the corners of every block, as well as along the triangles and the corner stars.  It is a gold YLI polished poly thread.  It doesnt show in the photos, but in real life the color and weight make it more visible.  It would have been too much thread for the dense fillers though.  I am always secretly seeking ways to create secondary patterns, even in the tight spaces of these blocks.
 Look at these gorgeous borders...Each one is over an hour to ditch, and then another 3 to do the rest of the stitching !
 The boats are so fascinating, as are all the flowers.  I always seek to create quilting that compliments such designs without overwhelming them.  The inside of the wreaths is very much like what I did on the last Ladies quilt.  Obviously I still love this design of simple waves beneath the boat, and the appearance of a sunrise/sunset behind the boat.
 If you are wondering how I do the rays, here is a quick tutorial.  And yes, they are marked.  It is kind of hard to get this effect with all the sails without marking.
I created a template from a file folder with 10 degree rays cut out.  It is placed over the boat, and marked.  I then go back and mark the 5 degree lines too.  It is oh so easy, and very effective.  Just takes some patience and a straight template.
I'll leave you with just photos because this post is taking me forever to write (on account of one child that has had a double-ended intestinal bug since 2am...and we all know dads are useless in the middle of the night).
 This will be shipping home to it's owner in a few short days.
 And the mostly solid-looking backside...lovely texture.

Hope your week is going better than mine :-)


Susie Q said...

I have those patterns "somewhere". It was a block of the month over 10 years ago. If I ever start to applique and get a few done I would want you to do the quilting!!! It is amazing the thought you have given to waves and rays, etc. I enjoyed seeing the front and the back and know the maker will be delighted.

Sheila said...

As always, your quilting is gorgeous. I had a quick question - when you stitched the fill with Bottom Line, what was in the bobbin? I would love to use Bottom Line, but when I've tried in the past I've had a horrible time with it. You, obviously, did not! Thank you. I enjoy your blog and your beautiful quilts.

Vicki W said...

This is spectacular! I think I am getting a cold but that's much better than what your family is going through. Hope everyone is better soon!

Busy Quilting said...

Margaret it is a stunner. You have done the top quilting justice.

Leeanne said...

Another absolute stunner!

QuilTe'n said...

Thank you for sharing photoes and the tutorial. You made it so georgeus. Happy Christmas to you.

sdrussell said...

Another masterpiece. I love it when you take the time to tell us how you quilted and/or marked a quilt. So much inspiration, and ideas that would never have accured to me. Thank you for the candy shows and tips.

Diane said...

Thank you so much for explaining your process in detail. This is truly a masterpiece!
Diane D.

Rebecca Grace said...

This is just gorgeous, Margaret. I love how you quilted the rays behind the boat sails. Hope your little one is feeling better soon. Happy Holidays!

Unknown said...

Will you be quilting another one of these quilts? I am very interested in obtaining one.
Thank you,
Marti M.

Diane said...

Your quilting is exquisite!! So happy to have discovered your FB/blog! Look forward to more photos of your work. Simply breathtaking.