Thursday, 18 June 2015

Beneath the Waves (a finished quilt!)

Back in December last year, I hosted a giveaway for a roll up of blue Cotton Couture fabric from my wonderful sponsors Polka Dot Tea fabrics and Danielle and Jeanette generously sent me a roll up as well. It's no secret that I'm a massive fan of cotton couture - I first used it last year when I made Galaxy and it was love at first touch. Needless to say, I was pretty excited to work with the roll up! Around the same time, I bought Karlee Porter's self published Grafitti Quilting book (which is excellent), and instantly wanted to give grafitti quilting a try - and what better way to feature quilting than working on an all-solids quilt? This idea percolated away for a while, and then when I came back from QuiltCon I came up with a solid plan for how I wanted to approach it.

I started by sorting the strips by value (using the black and white function on my camera), attempting to have a smooth transition from dark to light across the quilt top. I nearly managed it, but I think I accidentally switched a few strips around while I was piecing it so there are a couple that don't quite transition smoothly - but it's close enough for the effect I wanted ;o)

Once it was pieced and basted I dived straight into the quilting. I was lucky enough to attend a class with Krista Withers (one of my quilty heroes) at QuiltCon, and I came home full of ideas I wanted to try. One of the best things I came away from Krista's class with was ideas for how to approach breaking up negative space with quilting, and I wanted to incorporate some of that into the quilting on this quilt. So I decided to use a combination of grafitti quilting and Krista's ideas and hope for the best. I decided to use this as a learning experience, and just go with it - no ripping stitches, no self-criticism but just have fun and play. As a result it was one of the most enjoyable quilts to quilt - and I'm delighted with how it turned out. It was a brilliant learning quilt - finding some new (to me) shapes and combinations of designs, and getting LOTS of ideas for future quilts.

I made this quilt for my baby nephew, who lives in a house with polished boards, so I used a double layer of wool batting on this quilt thinking it would be a lovely quilt for wriggle time (and to play on as he gets older). The resulting texture is pretty incredible - I think it will be a really great sensory quilt as he gets older and starts to explore things more. I'm using a double layer of batting more and more on smaller quilts - I just can't get enough of the texture it gives. I don't think I'd do it on anything much bigger than this (it's about 40" x 60") due to the added weight, but as I'm becoming more confident with my quilting, I'm really loving the added puff two layers gives.

The quilting is all Aurifil 50wt thread - a variegated blue in the darker area of the quilt, and then a light variegated grey in the lighter area. Overall the thread has blended beautifully and has just left all the glorious texture. The combination of cotton couture, double layer batting and all that quilting makes for a pretty luxurious quilt - it's silky soft to touch and it is very comfy to lie on (as this little cutie can attest!)

I can't promise I'll have two posts in such quick succession again by the way - but these wintery nights are much better suited to sitting on the couch with my laptop than braving my freezing cold sewing room, and I have lots of things I need to share, so I might actually become a regular blogger again ;o)

xx Jess


Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl said...

The quilt finished out so beautifully, Jess, and your little nephew's happy nature is a delight. I definitely need to consider / remember using two layers of batting for the future!

Annika said...

I love your quilt and the quilting - what can I say?? it is amazing!

Gina said...

Love the quilting. Grafiti quilting is something I'd love to try but haven't quite plucked up the courage yet. Maybe something for the future xx

Lisa J. said...

I'm not sure what grafiti quilting is but it looks great.

Rosa said...

I don´t know what is grafiti quilt.This is just fantastic and the quilting caught my eye.Great job!

Mystic Quilter said...

Oh Jess I love the quilting on this quilt!!! Love the colours too, what a lucky little nephew who looks pretty happy with his quilt!!

Mystic Quilter said...

Forgot to ask in my comment above - do you use a domestic Bernina to quilt?

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

Your quilt finished up so beautifully! That quilting really accentuates the colors! Plus the little guy - so cute!!

Farm Quilter said...

Absolutely LOVE this quilt!! The quilting just takes it right over the top!!!!! I love using a double batting - especially double wool - it really makes the quilting pop! I'm going to have to take a page out of your quilting on a quilt I have in line for quilting!!!

Charlotte said...

that is so amazing! Your quilting skillz really blow me away. And could that little chap be any cuter? I need to munch him up!

KaHolly said...

Absolutely stunning!

Stitchin At Home said...

Gorgeous! I love the quilting it is fantastic and suits the quilt perfectly. said...

Stunning job. The quilting is beautiful.

DeborahGun said...

Wowee- what an amazing quilt Jess. The colours are gorgeous, and the quilting is out of this world!

Renee said...

First, I've come to the conclusion you don't own any other shoes! I love those boots, and tried find some...but alas, no luck. The quilt it so pretty and the quilting really adds so much texture and interest! Krista is teaching compositional quilting again at QuiltCon West, and I am hoping to take it! I love how to took her ideas and used them on this quilt.

Rosemary B❤️ said...

Yeah, those shoes of yours are very nice.
I need more shoes :-) seriously

I adore your quilt, and the baby
Have a cozy winter. It is toasty here
in Northern Virginia

Cheryl said...

What an impact the quilting has! It really makes the whole quilt sing, stunning!

Michele said...

Oh wow. It really is gorgeous and I love the quilting designs that you used.

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