As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I have a quilt hanging in the National Quilt Museum in Paducah! Praise the Lord!
During Spring Quilt Week the museum held a “Meet the Artist” event and eight of us were there. As an unexpected bonus to all that fun, each artist was asked to do a short interview about their quilt, and I now have the link to those interviews. To view the videos click here!
I hope you find them as interesting as I did :-)!
When I enter a contest such as this, I not only enjoy creating something according to the contest rules, but I love to challenge myself to try things I haven’t done before. This quilt was no exception.
I began with an idea I’ve heard about, but never tried – quilting the background first and then adding the appliqué. I knew I wanted to achieve a trapunto look in the unquilted areas, so I used a double layer of batting: an 80/20 cotton first, with a washable wool on top. The fabric was a beautiful silk/cotton blend called Radiance. I only had a yard and they no longer make this fabric. Since the minimum size for the contest is 50″ x 50″, I knew this wasn’t going to be big enough, but I tend to worry about things like that later.
I came up with a basic pattern using a windblown tree I’ve played with in other quilts, adding copyright free leaves from the internet, and a twisted traditional oak leaf and reel block I created for the central design (more about that later).
I marked the areas where I wanted to place these motifs, and then quilted around those areas to mark them.
From there I added large spirals to mimic the wind (plus a little bit of stippling around the central image to see how the faux trapunto was going to look):
Once the swirls were done, more stippling and mini-spiraling could commence:
Until the quilting was completed:
You may have noticed I added a bit of matchstick quilting along the top and right edges. I like the way the curvy and linear designs play together:
The oak leaves were made from men’s silk necktie fabric. Each one was made by sewing 2 pieces of the same tie fabric, right sides together, in the shape of a leaf; then turning this piece right sides out and stitching it to the quilt along the vein line:
The tree was done using a technique I call raw edge repliqué. I used the same technique for the blocks in the border on the left, but this post is getting a bit long, so I’ll save that information for next week’s post.
Have you ever quilted the background first and then added the appliqué?
Did you enjoy the process? I really did and I hope to play with it more in the future :-)!
Louise M Haddon says
Congrats on having your quilt hung in the museum! This was one of the best posts I have seen that really show how you did the quilting. I am always asking “How did they do that”. You broke it down into easy to follow steps.
Rebecca Alexander says
Congrats!! Beautiful and thank you for the step- by-step description!
You are a born teacher, Chris … thank you for the details.
Mary Ann Crow says
Amazing quilting, but I am fascinated with the silk tie leaves. Can you please share more about them in a future post?
Great idea – thanks Mary Ann!
Susan ACEVEDO says
This is just beautiful.. thanks for walking through your process.. I’m going to try this method..again thanks as always for the inspiration
Bonnie Bergman says
Congratulations on your quilt being selected for the museum display! I enjoyed your lesson on how you quilted the quilt first, then placed the applique. I’m anxious to see the rest of the lesson on the applique of the tree. I have never quilted the background first, but after seeing the beautiful results, I may try it in the future! Thanks, Chris!
Plz mention what thread you used both top & bobbin & any tension adjustments. Judy
Mary Jean Eisenga says
What kind of thread do you use and did you quilt it with a mid arm machine?
Cheryl Parker says
I quilted the background first on my ‘birds on a wire’ wall quilts. I liked how it came out.
Jan Olson says
Congratulations on this achievement!! I’m not much of a quilter–one doll-sized quilt completed and two ufos! But I enjoyed your explanation of what you did–it sure turned out beautifully!