She’s A Rainbow

As a quilter it can be wonderful and also wonderfully challenging to have a client who hands you a quilt and says “do whatever”.  I am fortunate to have such a client and this is one of her quilts.

Angie of Gnomeangel made her medallion quilt using bright solids and black and white.  There are a few non solids in there but they are the exception.  I love the contrast this use of fabric created and so I wanted to make the most of this opportunity to show some quilting texture.gnomeangel-shes-a-rainbow-quilt-sunflower-quilting-11

I mulled over this quilt for a long time. I had so many ideas, the problem was narrowing them down.  The theory is to have a few design features and then replicate them and repeat throughout the quilt, changing size and colour perhaps.  This helps to make the quilt more cohesive, especially true for sampler quilts.  As this medallion quilt has numerous borders which are in effect separate patterns I wanted to tie them together with the quilting designs.gnomeangel-shes-a-rainbow-quilt-sunflower-quilting-8I also wanted to create a contrast of quilted and not quilted.  The most obvious way was to quilt the black and white and not quilt the colours.  The coloured pieces are either stitched in the ditch (SID) or minimally outline quilted as in the outer border.  This meant the black and white is pushed back and some texture is created.  The small black and white triangles had close matchstick quilting and SID. Here you can see the white has been done.She's A Rainbow white triangles RSI love that in a couple of borders Angie has deviated from the rest of the blocks by using a different colour or a patterned fabric. You can see this in the small fat cross blocks in the 2nd border in.  These crosses are SID, outlined at 1/4″ in and then filled with pebbles. Most of the crosses are white, except for one.IMG_3859

For a while now I have wanted to add some depth to a quilt using quilting, making it look like the pattern was going under another part of the quilt.  Angie’s quilt allowed me to do this and I am really happy with the result. The centre of the quilt is essentially a 4 patch with the ring of triangles in colours and contrasting black and white.  I wanted a design to carry through the background and push it back but also I wanted the texture there.  This quilt is all about contrasts for me, colours vs. B&W, quilted vs. non quilted, raised vs quilted down. gnomeangel-shes-a-rainbow-quilt-sunflower-quilting-18

I marked the white with a Sewline air eraseable pen and the black minimally with the white ceramic pencil.  I added an extra layer of wadding behind this centre 4 patch to make sure the design showed really well. It feels great.  I love running my fingers over this part.She's A Rainbow centre with marking RS You can see I’ve marked the mitre on the corners so I stayed even.  The purple marks are either allowed to disappear or as I’m usually in a hurry to see what it’s like without the marking I spray with water.She's A Rainbow centre with marking black RSThe black shows a bit greyer here due to the flash.  It is real black.

She's A Rainbow centre detail black marked squares RSHere’s the black area only partially quilted but marked with the squares and the corner mitre.

The centre ring of triangles was next, the black and white triangles are SID, outlined at 1/4″ and then filled with more pebbles.  She's A Rainbow centre triangles white RSShe's A Rainbow centre triangles RSThese then are the quilting designs I used throughout the quilt, matchstick lines (of sorts), pebbles and outline of the shape or area. The quilting designs are not intricate nor contain difficult quilting, it’s there but allows the colours to shine also.

The black triangles in the outer border were quilted simply using the matchstick lines and SID.  As per Angie’s lead I have done one triangle different to the others, it’s not a major feature but it’s there and can be a surprise when found.  The colours were a little too big to leave unquilted entirely so I have used mono-filament thread and a single row of quilting to outline them.IMG_3858

You may be thinking I have jumped all over the place with describing this quilt,  I have left my favourite til last.  This set of borders stumped me quite a bit, I even pulled out my initial design.  Then I hit on the idea of more triangles – more I hear you say, aren’t there enough already.  Triangles in quilting and uneven ones to boot.  Again this design appears to go under the piecing which is what I wanted.  Each triangle is outlined and the outline alternates between 1/4″ and 1/2″ to give a bit more change. Then the triangles are filled with matchstick lines.  She's A Rainbow BWB border triangles 2 RS She's A Rainbow BWB border triangles RSI was so pleased with this border design and the effect it creates.  It’s not as easy to see on the black, but I know it’s there and I love it.IMG_3860

Timing meant I could not get a full picture of the quilt but Angie has allowed me to use her stunning pictures taken on location.  The sunlight adds great lighting and shows the quilt off really well, not sure about the porcelain in the shot though…gnomeangel-shes-a-rainbow-quilt-sunflower-quilting-19

Let me know what you think of ‘She’s A Rainbow’

Gorgeous quilt Angie

Barbara’s Dilly Bag-A-Long progress

A while ago Angie from Gnomeangel started planning a Dilly Bag-A-Long using the pattern by Judy Newman.  As it features hexagons I mentioned it to my Mum Barbara.

You can read all about where Barbara is up to with her Dilly Bag on the Sunflower Stitcheries blog here.

I think I might be receiving one of these as a pressie when it’s done…

Dilly Bag side Friday is the big reveal.  Despite injury I’m hoping Barbara will be able to finish to show the bag then.

Happy Stitching

Raylee

 

Oakshott Lipari Fabrics Wallhanging

Pieced and bound By Angie Wilson, quilted by Raylee Bielenberg

A short time ago Angie mentioned to me that she was making a small wall hanging using some fabric from the Oakshott Lipari range. I was really pleased to be asked to be involved and quilt this for Angie and she asked me to make some notes as I went along. What were my design ideas and reasons and the quilting process.

The completed wall hanging. Photo taken in sunshine.

The completed wall hanging. Photo taken in sunshine.

Angie gave me free reign with regard to the quilting design and though that can be a little scary at times I always consider what I would like on the quilt if it were mine. So, I asked Angie for a front on photo of the quilt so I could do some design drawing in paint on my computer. This is so much faster than drawing up the quilt each time I started a new idea. I just saved each file and started again.

Another design drawing.

Another design drawing.

Quilting ideas drawn on top of the quilt photo on the computer.

Quilting ideas drawn on top of the quilt photo on the computer.

The next step was to work out what thread to use. I really wanted to keep the colour only to the fabric and so opted for a thread only slightly darker than the beautiful background fabric Angie used. I did audition a variety of threads and narrowed it quickly to only 2. I used the Wonderfil thread on all the cream background areas and a Rasant thread similar in colour to the Aurifil thread in the picture. The Rasant thread is only in the ditch around the coloured squares.

Almost final thread choices.

Almost final thread choices.

Angie has made her wallhanging using the Oakshott autumn colours and also a linen look background which has a gold thread through it. I wanted to be able to show this a bit more but it’s best seen on a curve. I also wanted to create a good amount of texture with the unquilted squares. To help create texture and the curve I was hoping for, I have used 2 layers of batting. In the quilted areas this is pushed down but the squares end up with a beautiful ‘pillow’ effect.

Two layers of batting used for extra fullness.

Two layers of batting used for extra fullness.

So to be able to quilt in lovely straight lines and have those lines exactly where I wanted them, I used a blue water erase marking pen to mark the design on the cream fabric. It’s a good idea to test these pens on your fabric before marking the whole quilt. Thankfully I have never had a problem removing the marks. I also use a small hand held straight ruler when I am quilting so my lines are quite straight.

One of the smaller squares marked ready to quilt.

One of the smaller squares marked ready to quilt.

Now we are ready to load the quilt and get quilting. My first step is to stabilize the quilt top by basting around the edges as far as I can and then stitch in the ditch around the Oakshott Fabric squares. This way I make sure the quilt stays as square and even as I can, especially as this one has squares on it. Skewed squares – not a good look.

A smaller block quilted.

A smaller block quilted.

Next I changed thread to the Wonderfil thread and started on the smaller background squares. At this stage I had not decided on a quilting design to push down the background around the created squares. I wanted something that would not create too much pattern on its own, no thread build up to make darker areas of quilting. I also wanted a design that would offset the many straight lines that are in this quilt. The answer – Stippling. A great choice for this quilt.

A close up view of the texture.

A close up view of the texture.

Moving outwards on the quilt I worked my way around the inner border, quilting in the squares and then stippling the background. Ideally I try to have as few starts and stops in the quilting as I can manage. When working on a quilt I will often stand at the end of the quilting table to see the texture being created on the quilt top. I have a sliding door at the other end so the lighting is great.

A side on view, shows the texture very well.

A side on view, shows the texture very well.

Once I got into a rhythm the quilting flowed smoothly and I was soon done. My initial photos inside did not do justice to the quilt so I hung it outside the next day in the sunshine. Looks great hey! The binding is completed by Angie.

Completed wall hanging. Centre area, photo taken in sunshine.

Completed wall hanging. Centre area, photo taken in sunshine.

You can see more of this quilt on the blog of Angie Wilson, aka Gnomeangel. www.gnomeangel.com