Thursday, 17 May 2018

Painted Ladies

Katherine made this Painted Ladies quilt as a gift for her Mother.  The pattern company is called Eye Candy Quilts.  What a great name!! 

The pattern is inspired by some famous houses in San Fransisco called the Painted Ladies.

 Katherine used great textural fabrics (seriously, I could pet this quilt all day long), and we added lots of straight lines, architectural details, and feathers in the sky.   

I had fun!
 Wool batting shows the texture nicely.

 And if you can ignore the furniture around the edges, here's the full quilt. 

Look at the great label Katherine incorporated into her backing....a narrow strip she's written on pieced right in.  Love it!   It's even got my name!  As well as the name of the quilt, the recipient, the occasion, the maker and a date and location.    I try hard not to have to piece my backings, but next time I do, I will remember this. 

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Peacock Panel

I went to write this post the other day, and got distracted by the fact that I hadn't yet updated the date on the bottom of the blog---which resulted in playing with new themes (formatting and background), and messing everything up, and then finding something that would work for me temporarily, and then changing it a little today--and through all of this I have not remembered how to change that date at the bottom (it was so easy 16 months ago, sheesh).      So, if things have been looking a little crazy around the blog lately....

So, on to the good stuff.

This Gorgeous panel was made by Deb, and I just love how this looks.  She took this panel and added 6 borders to it.   I asked Deb if I could post a step by step of this, and she said yes.  In no way do I want to dismiss her skills as a quilter.  I've quilted for her before, and they've all been beautifully pieced.  This is just a hallmark of what can happen with panels and borders and borders and borders.

I knew when I measured the top before loading that there were going to be issues.  The panel itself wasn't square.  This isn't unusual.  They often are not, and the piecer might not even realize this, just trimming the panel according to the edges that are given.   And then with 6 borders, the quilt has the potential to get even more out of alignment, as borders can easily stretch and if they're not measured properly can make things even more off.  This panel was 1 1/2" off in width from top to bottom.  On a wall hanging this would be noticeable and should be fixed if at all possible.  It started with the panel being off, and the blue border also seemed to be an offender.

So, I started with the narrowest measurement (39 1/2" wide), and the narrowest panel size (22 1/2") and the narrowest black border measurement (32 1/4").  The excess seemed to be in different places across the top--so it cannot all be attributed to one border or the panel itself and easily repaired by removing and resewing borders.
I basted the whole quilt using those three measurements, basting right beside the black border and the inside edge of the panel to keep those straight.  Then I ditched the black border and the panel.  Next step was roughly outlining the flowers and fill in the black--curls or stipple, whatever I had room for.  I had to do a few lines across a few flowers--but mostly the flowers were allowed to poof and its OK if they're 3D because its a wall hanging :)  I was pleased to only have one visible "pinch" of fabric in that area.
 Then, around the peacock feathers and flowers at the bottom, again filling in the black.  And, so I didn't have to change threads more than necessary, I then moved to the outer border and stitched a ribbon candy there-- all that border needed was a little regular texture, and because all the squaring etc took a long time, I no longer had budget to follow the original plan of piano keys in that border.
 Next, back to the peacock, where I switched to Glide Aquamarine thread--removed the basting stitches, and around his body and then free flowing quilting out into the feathers, following the curving lines of the feathers as best I could.  I was THRILLED with how the peacock turned out!!  One tiny little pinch of fabric near his head, and that was they only indication of how much fullness there had been there.
The remaining challenge was the blue borders....I couldn't treat it all as one border because I had to get those gold borders square.  So, threads changed to Glide Bright Blue, and I ditched the gold borders, using my rotary ruler to make sure they were square before stitching.  (I did all the ditching without rulers--Love my Innova)   I had hoped for a little less fullness in the blue border, so I could ribbon candy there too, but I was a little worried about working in all the fullness in a quite narrow border with ribbon candy--figured I would get lots of pinches, and didn't want to use piano key because the fullness was in both directions, so chose that old standard fullness eater of a meander.  NOT what I would have chosen had there not been the fullness, but beggars cannot be choosers.  I didn't want to try and use starch because I wasn't sure if the panel or the fabrics might bleed into the gold, and also because, as a wallhanging, I'm sure it likely won't be washed.    Again, a few fabric bubbles and pinches, but not noticeable from more than 8" away.
 above: before ditching
 above: after ditching

 and with the blue border stitched in a meander

When all is said and done, I consider I won.  The quilt is square side to side (39", so lost 1/2" in the quilting) and top to bottom it is off by 1/4".  It was much harder to keep that straight as there were no lines through the middle of the piece to line up on, so I can live with 1/4".    I think it would have also been better if I had added a second batting, that would also have helped soak up excess.
 He's such a lovely, proud fellow, full of life.  Deb is entering this quilt in the 23rd Annual Festival of Quilts at Heritage Park May 26-27 if you're there, you can keep an eye out for him.