Thursday, 12 May 2016

Improv quilt quilting progress

So, somehow it's been almost a month since I posted here (although I'm sure most of you are used to my erratic-blogging ways by now!) April was a bit of a blur, with 10 days in Melbourne for AQC - but since we got back I have been sewing up a storm. Over the last few weeks, I finished piecing my improv quilt top and started quilting it last week. I didn't manage to get a good photo of the quilt top before I basted it, so you'll have to wait for the big reveal when it's finished for that!

The entire time I have been piecing this quilt, I've been bustingly excited about quilting it. Not that I didn't enjoy the piecing part - it's been the most fun I've had making a quilt ever, quite seriously. I didn't have all that much of a plan when I started quilting - I just knew I wanted lots of organic straight lines (free motion quilted of course!) with a few pockets of curvy designs. I started out in the yellow/ochre block of colour, slowly getting a feel for what I wanted to do. I've used two different yellow variegated 40wt Aurifil threads in this section - a darker thread in this area (until I finished the spool),


and then a lighter (orangey yellow) variegated thread for the rest of the yellow block and out into the low volume. Once I got into the low volume area, I hit my stride with the quilting, very much inspired by the grey Carolyn Friedlander print in the photo below.


You can see here how much that fabric inspired this quilting - and the texture is just amazing. Because many of the low volume fabrics I've used have a grid-type design in them, I have actually done virtually zero marking on this quilt - I've used the fabrics as a guide instead.


 Earlier this week, I managed to start quilting the orange section. I'm using a variegated coral coloured Aurifil 40wt for the orange section - and I'm really surprised how well it blends into these fabrics. There is a big variation in tone and value through this section, and although I initially questioned this choice of thread, it works amazingly well.


You can definitely see it on the lighter fabrics, but it's proven to be a real chameleon thread across the others. I felt this thread was a bit dark to use on the low volume areas though, so I switched to a variegated grey 40wt for the low volume section near the oranges.


Considering I only got this quilt basted last Wednesday, and I haven't really spent all that much time quilting it (about 15 hours I think?), I can't really believe it's almost half quilted. This quilt has stolen my heart, completely and utterly. It's my absolute favorite, and I see many more improv adventures for me this year!


You can see a few areas I've left unquilted - some of these I will go back and free motion quilt, but others I will add a bit of hand-quilting too. And some of them will be left alone, happily puffy among all that textured, tactile quilty goodness.


 xx Jess




12 comments:

Jessica said...

Jess, you're inspiring me every day with this quilting! AH! Can't wait to see more. Hugs!

Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl said...

This is looking fantastic. I love how a good thread can be such a blender across a wide variety of color and fabric.

Sarah said...

This is really stunning, so tactile. I love it! X

katyquilts.net said...

This is simply fabulous! Your piecing is great, but that quilting adds so much! Will you straighten the edges, or leave them a bit wonky/wavy?

Kat Scott said...

Am anxious to see the complete quilt... my favorite fabrics, wonderful amazing texture and an improv design..... total love!

Marlene said...

This looks amazing Jess. I love how you have quilted spirals here and there amongst the straight stitching. Can't wait to see the finished quilt.

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

This is looking amazing! I love all the straight stitching, and with the added twirls now & then there's so much to look at!

Lisa J. said...

This quilt is looking so wonderful. I really like the combination of lines and curves in the quilting.

MariQuilts said...

It's looking so fabulous!!!

Sarah Fredette said...

This is stunning and wonderful!!! Love, love, love this. :D

artsycraftsyivy said...

This is fantastic, Jess--Fabric!!! Piecing!!! Quilting!!! OMG!!! I am in LOVE.

Francine said...

Wow- just WOW! You have such great imagination. I am really loving the improv and the quilting. I never think to use multiple colors of thread - duh! Super inspired by your project, thanks!