Monday, September 11, 2017

Let the Custom Quilting Marathon Begin!

This is my kids' 3rd official week of school, but the first two were weeks of only 3 and 4 days, respectively.  Never the less, the sight of them heading off to the school signals my cue to begin loading and quilting the backlog of custom quilts. I am down two of these, both going home to the same client. In another month or so I will feel caught up, hopefully!

This is a 98" Niemeyer Bird of Paradise quilt.  It was beautifully appliqued.  I wish I could do such a nice tiny machine zig-zag like she did. As you can see, the quilt is way too large to lay in my hallway to get a photo, but then, most of us have seen this quilt and are familiar with it anyways.
Most areas are ditch quilted with clear nylon - to the tune of nearly 9 hours of ditching. It's not fun or exciting, but it does stabilize the quilt, making crisp points. After ditching, I can move wherever on the quilt with a single color of thread until it is time for a different color. 
 Lighter areas (this is actually lavender) are the place for more "showy" quilting designs like feathers. I can quilt feathers in my sleep, so these are a nice choice.  Plus, they give the design movement.
 Quilting does not show as well on the darker fabrics, and it was not reasonable to use a contrasting thread just to make the stitching show. This quilt has enough busy with the many colors and patterns.
 Most of the threads match the fabrics, except where I wanted just a touch of the turquoise or hot pink to be brought out. From 10 feet away it is not obvious, but up close, it shows. Quilting is about giving something to see at different distances -
 Eight spiky flowers...

The second quilt is the Circle of Life by somebody. LOL - middle age brain fart.
This is smaller, near 70" square.  Yes, you are looking at a black 80/20 batting.  This is so there won't be any little white pokeys visible on her pure black backing fabric.
If you are thinking that black quilts are hard to quilt, you are right. The color just sucks the visibility right out of the room!  I actually ditched this one with the black thread.  Clear threads come in truly clear and a "smoke", which is greyish.  The clear is nice and invisible on fabrics lighter than orange or green, but on deep tones can look a bit shiny.  The smoke is invisible on colors darker than red or purple, but shows on all lighter colors.  You can see where I am going with this...It is a catch 22 scenario.  A lose-lose proposition. Neither option for monofilament will work well.  Black, however, can be nested right next to the black fabrics and be reasonably natural looking, AND it allows designs to be quilted that are intended to be stitched in black thread too.

The large black background borders were feathered in dark purple.  It is subtle, but it shows. Again, this quilt needs little "in your face" quilting, just some texture to enhance the beautiful piecing.
  Another look at the black...
 The center is pretty, but I kept the quilting simple with continuous curves, quilted in black.
  Detailed quilting in color was done on the setting squares -- in 8 different colors.
 Hopefully the owner will love this as much as I do. Her piecing and applique are spectacular; I just wanted to elevate that with appropriate quilting.
I have two more light-customs in my queue, a magazine sample quilt, and then I will be able to take a week to load and work on one of my show quilts (the one that started all the machine issues with silk thread). I will be in Springfield, IL between September 26 and 30 at MQX Midwest, so if you are there, drop by and say hi!


Erin McMann said...

That would be Circle of Life by jacquiline de jonge . Beautiful job!

Erin McMann said...

It's Circle of Life by jacquiline de jonge

Beautiful job!

Unknown said...

Absolutely breathtaking ----
both of them!!!

kupton52 said...

Gorgeous job quilting these 2 spectcular quilts. Your splendid quilting really does elevate these near perfect quilts to an even higher level. I am always in awe of your work. Blessings...