I’ve been working on my “blue silk quilt” over a year. I have never had a quilt experience like this one. It sounds sooo artsy-fartsy, but this quilt told me very clearly what it needed as I worked along; it has taken me on several unexpected paths. I would head in one direction and it would stubbornly oppose me. When I finally heard the message it was telling me, it would purr. We have now become friends.
To tell the tale of the many permutations of this quilt might bore you, so I will give you the Cliff Notes version (is that a Boomer term that no one else understands?). My first idea was that the navy silk would be an underlayment for this quilt:
I’ve since redone a number of things on the yellow silk quilt and its current state is this:
The problem with the underlayment idea was that the gorgeous backing fabric was only 52″ wide, giving me barely enough fabric for a border, even in its unquilted state. Even worse though, when the main part of the navy silk underlayment was quilted, it shrunk up a lot, making it unusable with the yellow quilt; there just wasn’t enough border showing. The good news is that now I have TWO quilts!
So I began to work on the navy silk as its own stand-alone piece. Initially, it was just bubble quilted, which was not enough.
I was going to add a few hand stitched elements in one color, which turned into the whole center being hand stitched in 3 colors. Then I added a piano key border.
Ahhh, but even a piano key border did not go smoothly. The backing fabric, a glorious striped silk is of a tight weave that makes for a thin and drapey, but stable fabric. The front is dupioni which is comparatively spongey and malleable. When I began to quilt that border, the quilt rebelled; I laid to lay down a large meander basting stitch to control the puff:
The photo doesn’t show it well, but there was a LOT of puff there which was yielding tucks. I would carefully quilt from the top only to find tucks on the back. So I would carefully quilt from the back, only to find tucks on the front! Maybe this shows it better:
But you can see above how the giant stipple alone wasn’t working. The top and backing were in a civil war.
My final thought was to hand baste in addition to machine basting and that did the trick!
And you can see, there is STILL some excess fabric in there.
And see that bobbin? I ran out of bobbin thread 9″ before the piano key was done. Grrrrr. I have Dec and early Jan to quilt and after that I have a heavy teaching schedule. If this thing is going to get done in time for my guild show (which I have committed to), it needs to be done NOW. Fortunately I found a local shop that carried that brand and color for my bobbin. Crisis averted.
I also played around with various ideas to emphasize the central portion and separate it from the border. I think I will machine triple stitch in yellow on the inner line and add hand stitched daisy chain to the outer. Here’s my trial (I haven’t triple stitched the inner line in yellow yet):
But that wasn’t enough either; the quilt demanded more. Now the border was too plain. My small quilt group buddies suggested that some of the “stars” might be “falling off” of the center piece, into the border. I liked that idea!
And it’s very subtle (but I LIKE subtle), but I also added beads (thank you Marti for that suggestion). I will be adding more. It’s a very light touch, but a delight when you pull in close and see the beads. They add a wee bit of sparkle from afar. There are 3 beads in this photo; yeah, I know, hard to see in the photo:
And now, all of a sudden, she has a name: “She Could Not Contain It”. There’s a story there too, that title. I think I’ll cover that later.
And finally, I found time to just play! I pulled out my Apliquick tools and gizmos, most of which I got from Kyra Reps. Here’s the deal. I see all these exquisite appliqued quilts at Houston every year and I just love them! But “I’m not an appliquer”, right? I sat and watched Rosa Rojas demo the Apliquick tools at Houston and thought “I could do that!”. So here’s my first attempt:
I watched Rosa and I’ve watched several other videos on using the tools. I got all the accessories – the scissors, glue, tweezers and interfacing, stacking the deck in my favor. I really am confident that I can do this with some success if I continue to work at it. Remember, these are my very first attempts! The two larger orange pieces are worthy of actually going in a quilt. The others, um, not so much. But there ya go – Visible Learning Curve, right there.
I’m going to try joining another linky party. I’ll be posting here on Fridays: