Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Cat's out of the Bag - Jackie & I are cover girls!

I finally have the go ahead to share this quilt, Cactus in Bloom, made by my friend Jackie Kunkel from her collection of Island Batik fabrics which I believe will be available this fall. The pattern is in the next AQ magazine, on the news stands in a couple weeks! In March, I had the pleasure of getting to quilt it for her. I mean, seriously, is this not a great cover quilt?!? (yes, I am biased) I do love when the cover quilts actually show the quilting. 
 Here's the finished quilt...
March feels like a lifetime ago, so naturally I have forgotten what concoction of batting(s) this has. It has at least one layer of wool, possibly a layer of 80/20 also. It is quilted with several threads, all 40wt and in a variety of colors.
 Sometimes when she gives me quilts with lots of open space I choose to ignore the piecing and treat the space as one open area. Not so this time. I actually decided to quilt the braid pattern up every sashing to really bring some texture to the background. Each Cactus Star has lots of 1/4" like echoing to reiterate the pointed piecing. I then added wiggly lines in a contrasting thread up the centers of the colored spikes.
 Blank squares are softened by using a freehand fill, centering a 1" circle for added dimension. The thread coordinates with the fabric, so there is only texture. I did not want to compete with the braided sashings, which are stitched in purple thread.
The aqua inner border has a double ribbon candy. Anybody who has taken my Dense & Dainty class knows that I teach many different designs. Some I intentionally include, knowing that some quilters find them something of a tongue-twister for patterns. For me, ribbon candy is that tongue-twister. I knew this was a great pattern for this location, and it took all my control to get it stitched!! Once I quilted the first pass, I felt that it needed more definition, so I added an echo to it. The finished result has LOTS of texture.

 The outer border was a bit of a conundrum to quilt. The fabric is gorgeous, but it has a lot of print. Choosing quilting to show was challenging (and I'm not positive I fully succeeded either!).
I used a pink-purple variegated Aurifil thread. Now, I just love this 40 wt thread, but it is very pricey so I have to really want to use it if it is selected (translation...very special quilts get the Aurifil!). I wanted to carry the triangles from Jackie's piecing into the quilting. Then to fill them, I thought feathers. I quickly backtracked because this is not traditional. I then selected a non-traditional edgy fishy-spine feather. It's kind of spiky like the quilt.

Jackie always makes perfectly constructed quilts. Never is the quilt not square. Likewise, there will never be a non-flat border. I know her construction standards are excellent, so it is great to quilt her tops. She also tends to challenge me with her design aesthetic, letting me get out of my usually more-traditional realm and into a place where I can be more playful, and sometimes even sort of modern & innovative. I can't wait to see what she sends my way next!

if you read the AQ cover, I too have an article in this edition. This article was written to go into Machine Quilting Unlimited, but they closed production a week before I was to submit it. AQS was more than happy to publish it. I wont show any photos from this article, but I have proofed it, and think that they did a fabulous job with the photos and the layout. Can't wait to see it in print!

If you are interested in getting this magazine, visit!


BB. said...

I can find a lot of inspiration here. Thanks for sending this message.

Susan Lawson said...

Very Cool!