Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Flow {A Finished Quilt}

Wow, it's been a long, long time since I've shared a quilt finish in this space! It's nice to be back - and I have several quilts and quilt tops I finished toward the end of last year that I'm hoping to share over the next few weeks. The first two I'll be showing you were made essentially in secret - that is, I resisted my usual tendency to completely overshare what I'm working on. The main reason for this was that both of these were made specifically for the challenge categories for QuiltCon 2016, so I wanted them to be a bit of a surprise *if* they were juried into the show. Neither of them got accepted, so I'm kind of excited to be able to share them at last!

The quilt I'm sharing today was made for the Michael Miller Luxe challenge - she's called Flow and she was a really fun quilt top put together. This is a fairly long post, as I'll be showing a bit of my process as well as a few pictures of the final quilt, so please bear with me! I would normally split this much information across a few blog posts - but I'm making up for my recent lack of blog posts by giving you a single enormous post ;o).



Mid last year, the Modern Quilt Guild offered members the opportunity to sign up for the Michael Miller Luxe challenge, one of the special categories that would be part of the QuiltCon 2017 show. Everyone who signed up for the Luxe challenge was sent two half yard pieces of fabric, in one of the colour stories below. Participants were then allowed to add ONE cotton couture solid to these, and to use any of the Luxe range of fabrics in their quilt. The fabrics I received were the middle two, and I then added a deep teal cotton couture to these, as well as solid white and grey Luxe fabrics.


I have to admit, these fabrics sat in a pile on my cutting table for a good few months before I started getting some ideas about what to do with them. These fabrics are sheeting fabric rather than quilting cotton, and as such have a slightly different sheen (they are quite shiny) and have a wee bit more stretch than regular quilting cotton. I was a little bit nervous about working with them, but eventually I decided improv curves were the way to go, and I started making a few blocks, without any real plan as to what I'd do with them. Apologies for the poor lighting in the next few photos - my design wall has overhead fluorescent lights, which make it really hard to get good pictures of the whole wall. 

Initially, I made a few blocks, thinking I would position them so that there was a continuous improv curve from top to bottom down the quilt. 


But as I kept making blocks, I decided to lay them out more randomly, with more negative space between and around the blocks. At this point I hadn't ordered any solids for the background, and my initial thought was to surround them all with white, and to create continuous curved lines through the quilt with quilting.


But, when I sat down to order the solids, I decided at the last minute to get some grey as well as white, and use this to create some more movement in the negative space. I think this is what I love most about improv quilts - it's such a playful process, figuring out layout and design on the fly. Working with an idea, testing things out and discarding ideas that don't quite work.


I had a love-hate relationship with this quilt the entire time I was piecing it. Thankfully, I have a really awesome quilty friend (kat) who was happy for me to bombard her with photos and questions as I was working on it. I think I've grown so used to oversharing my projects on social media as I'm working on them, that working on something in secret made me feel like I was in a black hole in some ways. I needed the opportunity to get constructive criticism when I was making this, or I honestly think I would have abandoned it. 


In the end, this quilt was a weird combination of improv curves, and some pretty intense precision piecing to get those curves to form a continuous line through the quilt top. It was a really fun challenge, so despite those times I didn't like it, I still enjoyed the process. And seriously, this quilt was SO much fun to add texture to. Quilting is a super important part of quilt making for me - and the whole time I was piecing it I was thinking about how I would quilt it, to add to the sense of movement in the quilt top, and add loads of texture without detracting from the design. I forgot to take a photo of the top before I quilted it, so this is it in full. After I'd finished piecing, I decided to orientate the curves across the quilt, rather than top to bottom, and I much prefer it this way around :o).


As always, I did all the quilting on my little domestic Bernina (440QE), but because it's a reasonably small quilt (around 60" square) it was a really enjoyable quilt to quilt. I decided to use batting with a bit of loft to make all the quilting stand out, so I chose a Wool/Polyester batting - it's become one of my favorites to use. The batting, combined with the fact that it's made from sheeting, has resulted in the softest quilt I've ever made, despite all that dense free motion quilting.


All the quilting on this one is done in Aurifil 50wt - white, dove and a few different blues to blend in with the fabrics. Although I've recently used a few other weights of Aurifil for quilting (40wt and 28wt), for this quilt I decided 50wt was the way to go, as I wanted the quilting to blend into the fabric as much as possible, just leaving all that texture.


I don't often piece backs for my quilts - but I had a few bits of the Luxe grey and white left over, as well as a bunch of half-metre pieces of various blues, aqua and teal cotton couture that I pieced together for this one. Solids are the BEST for showing up quilting :o).


Thanks for making it this far in a pretty epic blog post! As I said, I have a few more quilts to share, which I hope to do over the next few weeks. I've made a few fairly major life changes this year (all good ones) which will mean I have more time and energy to blog more regularly. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy talking about and sharing my projects here, so you'll have to put up with my rambling a bit more frequently from now on...

xx Jess





22 comments:

anyadahab said...

This is beautiful!

Jessica said...

I LOVE how you followed the curves throughout as you quilted. It's gorgeous, Jess. I missed reading about your quilts!

Ben said...

Beautifully done -- great job!

~Diana said...

Stunning!

Patchwork and Play said...

It's a fabulous quilt Jess! I am sorry you did not get it accepted into Quiltcon.... 60" is not a small quilt for me, especially when I contemplate FMQ it! Do you have any hints about basting? After all this time, I still have terrible trouble with creasing and bunching!

Afton Warrick said...

I love the transparency element with the gray. Your quilting is fantastic. I love my 440, but the throat space makes a 60" quilt seem rather large. You wouldn't know there were any limitations when seeing your quilting though. Lovely!

Unknown said...

Oh my ! This is an absolutely beautiful quilt. I wish I knew how to quilt like you did on this quilt.

Deb Chimes said...

It's so great to see your beautiful quilts again Jess. I love these solid colours! And your quilting is, as always, amazing! xo

Ioleen Kimmel said...

Everything about this quilt is amazing. ❤️

Swedish Scrapper said...

Welcome back! I love the continuous curves of this piece, and how sparingly you used the print. Just a perfect balance. Super accomplishment on the quilting too. yes, do you have any tips for basting for such an involved design?

Louise said...

So gorgeous and inspiring! Thank you for sharing the nitty gritty of your process, too. I find it all quite fascinating :)

Rhonda Van Ginkel said...

Seriously SO stunning! I'm loving the curved piecing and your use of white space and the quilting designs you've selected. Bravo to you!

MulticoloredPieces said...

Spectacular quilt. I LUV the colors. The quilting designs are wonderful. Brava!

Cut&Alter said...

What a stunning quilt and quilting. I love this. Really interesting to hear how it progressed.

Esther Dunn said...

I have total admiration for not only the quilt design but the quilting ...Well Done!!

Cheryl said...

What a beautiful quilt, I love how the design and the quilting interact and enhance each other.

Pam @ Quilting Fun said...

Beautiful! Love it! Thank you for sharing your process, the side to side movement is wonderful.

Sarah said...

I love it! The quilt itself is stunning, but your quilting is freakin awesome. Just a quick question - when you do that much dense quilting, are you washing and using these quilts or are they wall hangings? I did one (no where near your standard! But it was the most dense I've done) and despite washing its still kind of, well, its not soft and quilty, its firm and best suited to the wall!!!

Junia Noel said...

My ex and I were together for 5 years. We lived together and were engaged. We went on a trip with friends and his family and had a nasty fight and broke up. We both moved out of our home and with our parents. We decided to go no contact for a month and 2 weeks in he started dating a girl and took her on a trip to California ( where we’ve gone the last 2 years on my bday) on my birthday weekend! After battling it out thru emails and a few meetings we finally came to see each other all of last week, i love him so much and i was so desperate to have him back coz i new that girl was not the right person for him so i have to save my relationship and reunite with me ex again so i try all i could to bring him back but all to avail i have be in contact with so many spell caster who only too my money and still nothing good work out of it, i ws so confuse and devastated one day trying to search on facebook, i come across a wonderful testimony of a lady on how a spell caster who she contacted also for love spell help her and bring her husband back to her with-in less day 2 days after the spell i was so fill with joy coz this lady meant my day and i regain my hope back so i directly and desperately email http://happyspelltemple.webs.com/ coz i love my ex so much and i want him back all to my self so with-in 5 min, Dr happy email me back with hope and told me that i have found solution in him that i should worried no more so i did all he ask of me and he gave me assured and guarantee that my ex will come back so i believed and was so gifted all to my surprise after the spell my ex call, come to my working beg and apology for his mistake,and he said sorry for the nasty break up that he was inconsiderate of my feelings nt in tend to hurt me. i can testify with the power love spell of Dr happy me and my ex are happily married now thank you Dr happy i will for ever be grateful to you and keep sharing your testimony if you need help or love spell fine it difficult to get back with your ex, email happylovespell2@gmail.com or call his mobile number on +2348133873774

Diana @ Red Delicious Life said...

What a stunning quilt! Found you through the spotlight that Abigail from Cut & Alter did on her blog for the meet the FAL hosts.

Karen said...

Ramble away! This is such a gorgeous quilt, and I really enjoyed the time you took to explain your creative process.

Jessica Wanda said...

Hey guys, Get your ex back fast with the help of a real and genuine spell caster called Dr.Unity.
I'm so excited my broken Marriage has been restored and my husband is back after a breakup, After 2 years of marriage, me and my husband has been into one quarrel or the other until he finally left me and moved to California to be with another woman. i felt my life was over and my kids thought they would never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i could not control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and always wish he would come back to me, I was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Unity can help get ex back fast. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a (Love spell) for me. 28 hours later, my husband really called me and told me that he miss me and the kids so much, So Amazing!! So that was how he came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and he apologized for his mistake,and for the pain he caused me and the kids. Then from that day,our Marriage was now stronger than how it were before,All thanks to Dr Unity. he is so powerful and i decided to share my story on the internet that Dr Unity real and powerful spell caster who i will always pray to live long to help his children in the time of trouble, if you are here and you need your Ex back or your husband moved to another woman, do not cry anymore, contact this powerful spell caster now. Here’s his contact: Email him at: Unityspelltemple@gmail.com ,
you can also call him or add him on Whats-app: +2348071622464 ,
his website:http://unityspelltemple.yolasite.com .
Jessica, 26 years, Texas, USA.