SAQA Donation Quilt-187 Bald Men in the Rain
It’s that time of year to create my annual donation quilt to one of SAQA‘s major fundraisers, the Benefit Auction. Artist members are encouraged to create 12″ square quilts that will be auctioned off starting Sept 16. This is an excellent time to get fabulous art to add to your collection. View the quilts here-there are already many gorgeous quilts and not all of them have been posted yet.
My finished quilt-tada:
This is a sateeen whole cloth quilt with wool batting and silk thread. The title comes from the number of visible “dots”. To me they look like an aerial view of bald men sitting in an arena of sorts. The title was approved by dear Hubby who is, by the way, follicle challenged. The center stitching looked like raindrops hitting on a puddle, hence the name. I should have gotten a better photo before I sent it. I was up against a deadline…as always.
There were a few detours along the way. You KNOW it’s never a direct path to the final piece! I started here. It was not yet completed. I would have added tiny black binding around the flower panel and faced the white edges on the larger underlay.
You may not see it well from the photo, but I got little bits of paint on the white which ruined it-rookie error. I am very new to painting on fabric and this is the first time I actually painted on a real quilt. I’m pretty happy with it except the paint bobbles. I have taken Judy Coates Perez‘s classes twice, so ya think it’s about time I tried it for real?
My first try on the bald men theme was a bust. The value of the thread color I chose was much too dark and showed every bobble. This plan required double stitching and that really showed with this color. My choice was rip it out or start over. The marking alone on this piece took several hours. But you know it would have been impossible to rip all that out!
Note that because I am stitching on Terial Magic treated fabric, it is very stiff and makes the stitches sit up on the surface. Once you wash the Terial Magic out, the stitches snuggle into the fabric.
I needed to redraft my piece again. These are the simple tools I used-the RolerRuler was key. It took some math and a lot of time, but the plan itself was pretty simple.
Getting it onto cloth was tedious. I had to redraft directly onto the fabric. I first treated the sateen with Terial Magic to create an almost cardboard-stiff piece to work with. That made marking a lot easier!
I’ve stitched one section so far here. You can perhaps see that the abundance of markings made the stitching a bit tricky at times. The marks would disturb my vision and cause me to mis-stitch at times. But I could not rinse the blue marker out yet-what would have happened if I needed to restitch something?
The view from the back. There is less loft from the batting than I thought, but I figured it was because the Terial Magic was controlling the fabric.
I decided to bury my threads on each circle. A pain? Yes. But really, there would have been too much distracting double stitching if I didn’t. See how “hairy” the surface gets when you are going to bury your knots?
Of course, if there is a hand needle involved, I will produce blood!
Interesting moment here. See how I have stitched the lower and left “circle” area? The ones in back have not been stitched around yet. I think they may actually show more without having background fill around them. I will ponder this thought for possible future projects.
Surface view-love the dimension! I did expect a little more loft though. When the circles got smaller, they faded into the background a bit.
This really gives you an idea of the dimension and the micro stippling. That micro stippling was done with the aid of a magnifying glass-no way could I do it without! And yes, it was excruciating for me to do that much micro stippling. I estimate it took me 30 hours to complete this quilt, not counting the mis-steps with Plan A and Plan B.
I hope you can see the sheen of the silk thread upon the sateen. It’s quiet but beautiful.
Once I had that out of the way, I took a bit of time to play with sheers again. They are a love of mine. I’ve always wanted to fmq on sheers and I think I may have a method that works. NO hooping for me!
I’ll be linking up with Nina-Marie’s Off the Wall Friday-there are always wonderful links for your enjoyment.
Barbara Black says
I hope this sells for big bucks–your effort and determination are amazing!
Thanks Barbara-I don’t think it looks like 30 hrs but it certainly was. Don’t think I’ll do that again!
Lyric Kinard says
Sigh – I absolutely LOVE your work. Something about drafting tools just makes my heart beat faster…..
Thank you Lyric! Oh yeah, the drafting tools were kinda fun.
Rebecca Grace says
Oh, wow, Jenny! LOVE the “bald men in the rain” name. Your process is fascinating, and I am in awe of your patience, burying all those thread tails!!! That one photo looks like something out of a quilting horror movie, like “Freddy Krueger Joins the Quilt Guild” or “Quilters’ Retreat at The Shining Hotel!” How were you able to get that blood out of your white fabric so completely?! Also, what kind of batting did you use? I wonder if that had anything to do with your smaller circles not popping as much as you’d hoped?
It’s a beautiful piece.
Thank you Rebecca Grace! I’m giggling now. I simply put the quilt in the sink and used my sprayer on the blood and rinsed it out. I didn’t want to do anything to move the fabric a lot or those bubbles might have wrinkled. I used wool batt but I realized (after the fact) that those circles were too small to puff.
Betty jo Tatum says
What a delightful quilt with a fun name! I wonder if you had doubled the wool bat with a poly bat if you would have gotten the puff you wanted for the circles despite their small size, or if it would have just added to the difficulty of quilting it without much benefit? Thanks for the excellent description of your techniques.
I probably should have tried that. I did double batt wool once and I didn’t feel like it made much difference. But dang, wish those little circles stood out more!
I too was wondering what sort of batt you used, maybe the circles would have puffed more with a double layer of batting, the micro-stippling would still flatten the double layer. I like how the circles really stand out on the unmicro-stippled part, more texture I think. It is a lovely piece and I hope it does well at the auction.
I used wool. I think my mistake was simply the size of the circles-too small to puff. Isn’t it funny that the un-stippled ones stand out more?
Peggy Martin says
Beautiful work! Amazing to hear the stories of all you went through to finish a quilt for donation – truly blood, sweat and tears!!
Yup, this one was challenging. But I do think most of us have a quilt or two that had a similar story. I’m happy with the outcome!
My goodness, after reading about your travails with this piece I realized that you spent about 20 minutes per square inch on this piece. It’s gorgeous.
Oh you think like me! I tend to go all math on things like this. But I had not put the pencil to it. Yes, 20 min/sq inch-ridiculous!
Linda McLaughlin says
Love the name! Spectacular stitching too.
Thank you Linda-it was a fun one to do despite the setbacks.