It has been a bit since I last posted, but a lot has happened. We have moved yet again (rental sold), my machine broke twice, but my latest quilt has been finished and sent off to MQX East in New Hampshire!
It was a very long road to get the quilt accomplished. I was trying to up my workmanship, but I think it just didn’t get there in my opinion. The quilt was far too bulky for my machine and it let me know in no uncertain terms that it was unhappy with me. All the breaking thread and issues added at least another 40 hours of labour to the project! As it stands, it needs to go back in for service as it is wheezing like an asthmatic trapped in in a jar of mould. I realise that I do have a really nice machine, it just isn’t cut out for the abuse I was dishing out. At this point, I will stick to my metre square size limit and no more double batting (even though it looks sooooo nice and puffy). Here are some of my sad photos of ripping out and evil sewing machine bits…
I definitely needed more thread. I used about ⅓ of a cone each of 40wt and 50wt black (Superior Threads Magnifico and SoFine) thread, 1 spool of 60wt black (Superior Threads Bottom Line), and 1 ½ cones of 100wt black (Superior Threads MicroQuilter and Wonderfil Invisifil) threads. Which is an insane amount of thread.
For the paint, I used Jacquard Textile paint. They are really pretty good especially for the super bright tones I was going for. Ink even though it is bright as well, somehow has a more muted appearance and I really wanted this quilt to shine. I used a sweet ton of water and extender to get the paint to do my bidding! Thank you to Kerry Glen of Tulis Textiles for getting the paint and extender to me! I find it really useful to blend my colours and shadows as I go using this product. Whereas I would go back and shade later with inks. I also really feel that painting after the quilting is the way to go with textile paint…it tends to make holes that don’t close if you paint first quilt later. I make loads of errors quilting, so paint later is better in this case.
I really like the end result though. It is bright and cheery. So here is the story behind it all…
I have always wanted to make a more traditional whole cloth style quilt. If you look at the amazing pieces that get submitted to quilt shows, most whole cloths have common denominators. They are usually have symmetrical motifs, many seem to be “quartered”, and of course they have beautiful fills. That is a really basic observation, but the premise I went with. Seriously, whole cloth quilts are amazing and there are too many talented quilters to mention.
Ok, here are a few of my favourite whole cloth quilt artists! Diane Gaudynski‘s “A Visit to Provance” was the start down the primrose path… Cindy Needham was another one that made me realise, I didn’t have to piece perfectly to be a quilter! Hollis Chatelain made me realise I could paint and then quilt or vice versa. Lisa Calle, Bethanne Graves Nemesh, and the list goes on and on of quilting heroes.
So I had been thinking for quite some time about this quilt. The design as you read in a previous post took quite a while to sift through the pictures on hand and in my archives. Then how to lay it out to get the quarter thing to translate. One of my biggest obstacles was trying to get my motifs to stay similar… My arty nature dictates that nothing should be exactly the same and symmetry is kind of key in a traditional whole cloth.
Ok, this is getting to be too long, so I will post a continuation of this in my next post! And you shouldn’t have to wait months for it… maybe a couple of days.