Yes, it’s been a while. Instagram makes for a lazy blogger. So easy to just click a photo and post with a caption! Do follow me there if you enjoy more frequent updates.
I decided it was high time I completed the pieces that have been pinned on my workroom wall so this quilt has been back under the needle this week. There is a lot of very close quilting still to do. I guess that’s why I’ve been putting it off!
Story so far, it’s a wholecloth, the poppy seedheads are bonded appliqué cut from a fabric that I handpainted. The text in the circle is handwritten in ink. All the quilting is freehand machine quilting. I felt it needed an injection of colour around that text so I’ve quilted it using some Frosted Matt neon thread from Madeira. I am sponsored by Madeira and they kindly send me a selection of threads to play with and these were in my last delivery. Pretty bright huh? I really love the colours. They look really bold on the spool but of course when you’re quilting with them, there’s just a single fine line of that colour so it’s much more subtle than you’d think. Selecting colours for quilting is often one of those times where you need to be darker, lighter, brighter, wilder than you first think.
In the photos above you can see the area that I’ve been working on and how the quilting starts to control the fullness of the fabric. I’ve outlined the text with the neon thread, I’ll snip the jump stitches later.
With the outline stitching done, I felt that it was necessary to flatten the background down to really make the lettering pop in relief. It’s all about contrast with quilting and so the background scale needed to be smaller than the lettering so it melted into the background. That meant lots of tiny stippling was required. I stitched white on white to be as discreet as possible, this is all about texture and surface rather than line.
There’s no doubt that this quilting is a lot of work, but I think it’s worth the effort.
Next up, I have to finish the background area that surrounds the circle and goes behind the poppy stems. I’ve closely quilted some of this already using a simple ladder line fill. I’ve used a navy thread and because it’s so closely spaced it really affects the colour we perceive that area to be. Just look at the difference between the quilted and unquilted areas.
So back to the sewing machine, talk again soon!