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.
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.I 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.I 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.
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.
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. 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.The black shows a bit greyer here due to the flash. It is real black.
The centre ring of triangles was next, the black and white triangles are SID, outlined at 1/4″ and then filled with more pebbles. These 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.
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. I 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.
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…
Let me know what you think of ‘She’s A Rainbow’
Gorgeous quilt Angie