This is my first wholecloth wall quilt. I made a wholecloth bed quilt one year, well, hand quilted it too, but it was not quite as detailed. I was inspired by Kelly Wood's post about thread. She mentioned silk thread and I thought that sounded really interesting. Of course, if you are going to spend the money on silk thread, you really want it to show up well on the fabric. So I picked white Kona and a light gray silk thread.
The whole design process took about a month. I love Cindy Needham's fancy wholecloth quilts, and I wanted to try something along those lines. I was thinking of a medallion in the middle at first, with lots of fancy borders, but then I stumbled across a really pretty embroidery design on Needlenthread.
The only problem with that design is that it might get lost in the quilting since it is only straight lines. I wanted the design to pop out once I started quilting heavily in the background. I love iron scroll work, so I started looking online for ideas and drew my own pattern by hand.
Then I cut it out, traced it onto cardboard and cut that out and traced it for the center motif. After the first scepter, I was starting to wonder if maybe there wasn't an easier way. I drew the outer scepters on paper, marked it heavily in black, and then put it under the white fabric to trace. Voila! Much better.
I made good use of my Frixion pen. I was a little wary at first. Some people have said that the marks come back in cold weather. However, my blue marking pen was a bust. Most of it had faded by the end of the day. Humidity is not its friend. So I sprayed it down and started over with the Frixion. I'm not planning on putting this quilt in the freezer, or leaving it in a car on a winter day, so I think I should be fine:)
I quilted the main design and borders in the gray silk. Love it! Smooth as silk, hehehe! I just got some gray Glide thread and I put that in the bobbin. Looks like silver metallic on the back, but without the headache. Who knew!
When I had all the outlines done, I set to work with 45 weight white cotton in the top and the bottom. Teeny tiny stipple. It got a bit tedious after a while. 8 of the 13 hours quilting were spent stippling. I found that my Fabulous Fabric Glide worked great for this kind of detailed work. I did it an hour here and an hour there. My eyes couldn't take any more than that. I thinking I am stippling in my sleep now.
I love this fabric I used on the back. I've had this yard of batik for a while, but have never found the right use for it. I know you are wondering why I wasted a good batik on the back of a wall quilt, but I didn't want to use plain, boring fabric. And I love the result.
It reminds me of some sort of ancient temple buried under the sea. Like you can just make out the elaborate stonework through the water.
I think I'm going to call this one 'Atlantis'.