Saturday, July 6, 2013

Wholecloth wall quilt

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.

Snowflake Hand Embroidery Pattern

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'.


  1. This is GORGEOUS!!!! I can't wait to see it in person! Beautiful job!!

  2. Laura, it is a stunning quilt. Fantastic work!

  3. This is going to be a show quilt, right, Laura? Please tell me you are entering this in a show!!!!

    Thanks for visiting me.

  4. Wow! Well done, you~
    I can't wait to see it in person.

  5. I enjoyed reading about your process. It is fantastic.

  6. Beautiful job. Thanks for explaining the process.