Monday, 21 May 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival

I've decided to take part in the Blogger's Quilt Festival this year.  I've looked at all the gorgeous quilts in previous years but not posted one of my own.  Thanks, Amy, for arranging this event for the seventh time!

Amy's Creative Side

The quilt I'm showing is one I've just recently finished.  It's called Summer Serenade. It was the final assessment piece for the City & Guilds Level 2 Patchwork & Quilting Certificate course I've been doing through Design Matters (Linda and Laura Kemshall). Edwina Mackinnon is the wonderful tutor I had for the course.

Each step in the making of this quilt had to be explained and sampled, so I ended up with heaps of photos.  The seven posts previous to this one show the making of the quilt step-by-step if anyone is curious.  Anyway, here's some photos.  I had trouble getting a photo of the whole quilt that showed the colours properly.  The colour in the closeup photos is much closer to real life.  I put a pale fabric on the back so the quilting would show up.  The quilting was done on my trusty little Husqvarna Lily.  She's 13 years old and still going strong.

I hope you liked the photos.  Please consider leaving a comment as I would love to hear from you!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

summer serenade part 7 - the finished quilt!

If you've read this far, thank you.  Please consider leaving a comment...

I took photos of the quilt in my studio, in various places and at various times, but had great trouble getting one that showed the true colours or the quilting design.  In the end Murray and I took it outside and tried there.  This is the best of a bad lot.  The closeup photos are much better though, so I hope you enjoy looking at them.

I sent the photos away to my tutor, who replied that she loved the quilt and that the quilting was 'exquisite'!  Needless to say, I was more than a little pleased at her response.  I received my certificate from City & Guilds in the mail yesterday!  Yes!!

summer serenade part 6

I like to use a wool/poly blend batting for quilting.  I like the loft it gives and the fact that it has a bit of body to it.  I pin basted the layers of the quilt together using the same cream fabric on the back as I used on the front.  I was a bit hesitant because it would show every wobble in the quilting stitches but then I thought "just go for it".

The first quilting I did was four long wavy lines in red thread just on the edge of the coloured areas where they border the cream section.  I didn't do the pebbles until later though.  I didn't mark the lines on the fabric.  I made up a freezer paper template.  I didn't want to tear off a piece of freezer paper that long, so cut off a 16" piece then cut that into 4 strips, overlapped the ends and dabbed them with the iron to stick them together.

Next was the flowers.  This is the flower motif I quilted in the coloured areas of the quilt.  I cut the circles for the flower centres out of freezer paper and ironed them to the quilt top.  I quilted around them then removed them before finishing the flower petals.

I enlarged the outline of the flower motif to quilt behind the quiltlets, the same as I did in the play piece.  I drew the outline on greaseproof paper with water-soluble pen then pinned the paper to the quilt top and quilted through the paper.  It's easy to tear off the paper although I had to just scratch over the top of a few little bits that got caught under the stitches.  To mark the cross hatching design I used painters tape.  It's really low-tack tape and doesn't leave any residue.  It can be used several times before it runs out of 'stickability'.

I drew out several different ideas for the background of the cream section then quilted them out on a scrap quilt sandwich, using dark thread just so I could see it a little easier.

While I would have liked to do the mctavishing, it was going to be just too difficult to see.  It might be easier to do mini mctavishing on the longarm machine but I haven't tried it yet.  I did some little swirly quilting and decided to add a few areas of straight lines to add a bit of interest.  The two photos below are before and after adding microstippling to make the checkerboard design in the flower outline.

I decided to do some quilting on the purple quiltlets as they bagged out a bit without it.  I used a single strand of embroidery thread to quilt around the main elements in the flowers and echo quilting in the background.

Next post - the final product!

summer serenade part 5

I had to show samples of the quilting before I started doing any on the actual quilt, so this is my 'play' piece.  I was thinking about doing some of the quilting in gold thread.  I used Raiman rayon thread which quilts up very well on my Husqvarna, with a bottomline pre-filled bobbin.  The cream quilting in the background uses the same bobbin with Signature thread in the top.  The micro stippling was SO time consuming that I didn't do any that would be behind the purple quiltlet.

I placed it against the sample of the coloured fabrics.  I thought that it didn't really need the gold thread as I wanted the quilting to be more of a background than a feature, so I decided to do the quilting on the actual quilt with cream thread instead of the gold.

I tried out some ideas for the cream background next - micro stippling and mctavishing (the swirly design).  I LOVE the look of the mctavishing but it was very hard to see the cream thread on the cream fabric.  I finished it on this little piece though.

There were some leftover coloured strips of fabric left over from where the main quilt so I stitched a couple of borders around the 'play' piece and made it into this little quilt.  I really like the way it turned out in spite of the fact that I had to add the borders quilt-as-you-go style, because the backing fabric was cut the same size as the cream bit on the front.  It was a bit of a pain to do but turned out okay if you don't look at the back very closely!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

summer serenade part 4

Looks like I missed a few photos here.  I cut strips from each of the fabrics, using five (I think) different measurements.  The light purple was the widest as this would be on the outside edge of the quilt as would be trimmed back later.  The cream was also fairly wide as this would also be trimmd back.  The mid purple that is next to the cream was narrow so that it just framed the cream.  The gold, orange and red were all the same width and the two darker purples combined were about the same as the red.

I pieced them together then crosscut them into the striped units you can see below.  To make the wave I moved each unit up or down a quarter of an inch.  I made two mirror image bargello pieces.  I trimmed the cream edge so that it was straight and joined another plain cream piece inbetween the two bargello bits.  It measured roughly 60" x 32" at this stage.

summer serenade part 3

In my initial quilt sketch there were seven little quiltlets but when it came time to actually start making the quilt, it seemed to only want five otherwise it looked way too crowded.

I wanted the quilting and the embroidery on the quiltlets to basically follow the same flower design so that the quiltlets would be integrated into the background.  I sketched the full flower for the quilting and variations of a partial flower for the embroidery.

I spent some time one day putting down a few ideas for the quilting.  I like the look of this design but changed it a bit from this sketch.  I found it quite valuable to just sit down with pencil and paper and rough out a few ideas - basically just doodling.

This was the trial of the embroidery on the quiltlets.  I grabbed this piece of dark purple fabric out of the scrap box but the fabric I actually used was not as dark as this one.  I was quite happy with the design so went ahead and made all of them plus an extra one just in case.

Here they are - don't they look good?

Mulling over some more quilting ideas, I drew up some of them on greaseproof paper.  I liked the look of this one so decided to go with it.

Expanding on the quilting design a bit.  When we had our bathroom renovated, I kept the glass out of the shower cubicle to use in my studio.  Not only is it great to put on top of my trestle table to paint fabric on, but it is BRILLIANT to lay on top of quilt tops and draw quilting designs with white board markers which just wipe off when I've finished with them!

summer serenade part 2

The next step was choosing the fabrics I wanted to use.  I knew that I wanted to use purple, red and gold (more about those colour choices in a later post).  Most of these fabrics came out of the stash.  I just played around with the arrangement until I found one that looked right to me.

Ahh, this is the one - a light centre section with a darker 'frame' and then the other colours sort of graduating out to the edge. Luckily I liked the lighter purple paisley design on the edge as that's the fabric I had the biggest piece of.

I cut a few strips of similar fabrics to stitch together so that I could do a sample of the quilting.  So glad I did!  I found that no matter what colour thread I used, none of the quilting showed up against the orange-y fabric.  The design of the fabric was way too busy and the quilting just faded into the background.   So I changed that fabric for a tone-on-tone with a similar value.  It worked much better.

summer serenade part 1

Summer Serenade is the name of the quilt I've recently finished.  It was the final assessment piece for the City & Guilds Level 2 Patchwork & Quilting Certificate course I've been doing through Design Matters (Linda and Laura Kemshall).  Edwina Mackinnon is the wonderful tutor I had for the course.

Each step in the making of this quilt had to be explained and sampled.  These photos show my initial ideas.  I changed them a little during the making of the quilt but really didn't deviate that much.  I tried to take some photos to show the process but forgot quite a few I think!