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