Monday, 21 September 2015

Car Warmer

This is Noreen's lovely batik quilt, and I'm pretty sure that the name of the pattern is Car Warmer.    The pattern came from Rumpled Quilt Skins in Okotoks.

I want to talk about the thread and quilting design choices I made.   If you're not so interested in that, have a look at the lovely photos and you don't have to read :)

 I am lucky enough to be part of a fantastic Longarm Quilters group here in Calgary, and at our last meeting, one of the quilters was asking for advice on choosing designs, and so it is with her (and other quilters with similar questions) in mind that I write this post.  She had brought a top to show us, where she hadn't liked the quilting design and picked it out.  We could see from the needle holes in the top, that it had been an OK design for the quilt---and what I didn't think of until after was that perhaps it was the thread choice that was wrong.

So, I'll start with my thread choice on this quilt.

Both of these spools of omni looked good on the quilt and across a good fabric selection.  I started stitching with the darker of the two, because how can you go wrong with a color like Milk Chocolate?   Using your actual thread choice to baste gives a great idea of if you'll like that thread or not, I've changed threads after basting before.....but I liked the way it looked on the border fabric.

And then I tested my tensions---and had a look at the backside, and didn't care for this thread on the backing.  I think a quilt needs to look good on both sides--and so I decided to change to the lighter Maple--also yummy, also looking great across the top, and now looking good on the backing as well.  These next two photos show both threads---the basting line across the top and side is the Milk Chocolate, the stitching is the Maple.
 and on the backing you can see the difference--both threads are stitched in the same area, but the darker thread looks harsh on the back and would be very dominant, rather than adding texture.
So, I changed to the Maple thread (these threads are both Omni).

 I can usually find a thread that looks good across a whole quilt, very rarely there is one fabric on a quilt that just won't play with the same thread as the rest, and so I quilt the rest of the quilt and then come back with a different color thread and catch that one fabric where ever it shows up.   So, don't be afraid to do that either, if you have to.

Now, it was time to decide the design.   The first bit of information to consider is who is the quilt for, and how will it be used?  I was told that Noreen was going to use this quilt for her bed.  OK then, it might be worth doing a light custom quilting here, to highlight and accentuate the accurate piecing.

I spent a few minutes with my plexi-glass board, drawing and trying to sketch out a continuous light custom design, but I didn't find anything I was happy with.    So, then I moved on to consider edge to edge designs.   I haven't met Noreen yet, (her DIL drops off and picks up her quilts) so I don't know much about her, aside from the fact that she has VERY cute grandchildren.    So, what does the quilt say to me??  (or, I look at the fabrics and piecing).  There's nothing floral in these fabrics.  Neither the fabrics nor the piecing are traditional quilting.   The quilt doesn't call for feathers (some quilts really do just ask me to be feathered, this one did not).   The piecing is all very straight and angular, so perhaps some curves, but those points!!  I liked them.  And thus, I chose what I call my 'greenstone fishing hook' (because it reminds me of Maori Greenstone (Jade) fish hook pendants).  Curvy and pointy both.

I hope Noreen likes it.  Her DIL certainly did, and was talking about keeping it.  So, Noreen, if you didn't get your quilt back, I might have a good idea of where it is :P


  1. thanks for sharing your thought process on choosing threads. Love this edge to edge you choose.

  2. Great post. Love the design and the colour thread you chose does look great on the back. I am sure Noreen will love it.