Sunday, June 29, 2014

Wholecloth challenge - Take 1!

The quilting brain cells have been going around and around ever since I saw Lisa Calle's blog post about a wholecloth quilt challenge. You can find her post here. As you probably know, I really love wholecloth quilts. Mine should be on its way to the AQS Charlotte show as we speak. So the though of a mini wholecloth challenge was too much to resist.

The fabric mentioned for the challenge was Kaufman's Radiance, which is cotton with a bit of silk in it. I ordered online, picking this gold color. I was thinking Renaissance style, maybe gold with the gray silk thread I have left from the last wholecloth.

Designs, hm. I was thinking fancy, floral maybe? I started surfing the web for ideas and sketching out little bits here and there.

Then I bought the Handbook of Ornament by Meyers and pulled out this grid idea. I thought I might try feathers for practice. Maybe do a second quilt with a different floral design. I taped a few pieces of graph paper together to make sure I had all the lines in order and started my layout. I threw in a few pebbles so I wouldn't forget which group of lines were for pearls.

One of the great things about my new Millie is that the panto base makes a great light box. I taped my design down, popped a lamp underneath, and started tracing with a blue water soluble pen.

I will say this about Radiance, it isn't my favorite. I was going out on a limb here buying this fabric. Of course, after the purchase, I found out that you don't have to use this fabric. You can choose something else. Oh well. I'm not usually a fan of shiny fabric. I like my cottons and gritty looking linens. I tend to stick with a lot of blues, so again, out of my comfort zone. My silk gray thread was a little light, so I opted for a darker Glide thread. Close enough and still shiny.

I decided to go with my Pinmoors on this one. I had emailed Margaret Solomon Gunn about quilting on this fabric and she said to be careful with the pins. This fabric tends to run. So in addition to running, it is kind of like quilting on a slip. Well, maybe not quite that bad, but it does tend to shift. I had a hard time keeping my lines straight, both marking and quilting.

I'm glad I decided to quilt this on my domestic because I think I would have had trouble keeping it in place on my longarm. No floating for this fabric. It would definitely have to be pinned to both leaders.

All in all, it didn't come out too badly. It looks ornate. I'm not sure I'm happy with my feathers, well, definitely not happy with my feathers. The curves aren't right. Time to start checking them out online again to see how I need to fix them,

I quilted this in a couple of hours yesterday and I will say that my shoulders are killing me today. Out of practice on a domestic I think. The table was probably a bit high as well.

The funny thing is I think I like the back better. More my style. Trying to figure out what to bind it with. Any suggestions?

The good news is that I won a giveaway from Old Orchid Quilts. A nice layer cake with lots of blue. Yum! Can't wait to start cutting it up. Chevrons I think:)


  1. Beautiful quilting on fabulous fabric!

  2. I learned a lot while reading your post. I once took a class on Craftsy with Cindy Neeham and when using silky fabric, she often baste them with water soluble thread. But I never tried. Maybe some of your feathers are not as curvy as you would like but I can assure you we don't look for that when seeing your quilt as a whole. I wasn't sure of your silver thread on gold (I would have tried maybe bronze) but it looks very good. Very nice work.

  3. Incredible detail in your challenge piece... I knew you were just itchin' to use that book! I love what you've done and your feathers look pretty spiffy to me! I love the silver/gold combination of thread/fabric... it's classy! Congrats on your win! Nice!!

  4. Laura -- that is stunning!!!! you could bind in the same material as the front to add to that seamless look of the whole quilt. I do hope you bring it to guild next month.

  5. Hi Laura. Love this work; it's visually beautiful. I'd self bind it, using backing and turning it to the back, mitre the corners, so you have an even, uninterrupted look. Corners take some work and I have to trim down to get them to be flat as possible, but I love this look once in awhile. I use two inch strip of fabric, sewing it on the front, turning over.
    Whatever you do, it will be awesome.
    Sandra C.

  6. Your Quilting is absolutely wonderful.

  7. Laura, it is stunning! You definitely met that challenge. Good luck with your other quilt in the show.
    Congrats on your win too.

  8. I have my fabric but no ideas formed...yet. Yours is gorgeous and your design choice definitely fits well with the fabric. I wondered how this type/drape of fabric would stitch. The only silk I've use in the past has been dupioni (love the sheen and texture with fabulous crispness!!!). I know I have to get busy on this one.....soon.........................

  9. I think it looks beautiful, and you are being overly critical of yourself and your feathers! The quilt, as a whole,is stunning. I've got my Radiance, but haven't started quilting, so I will keep your comments in mind!
    Love your win - nice fabrics!

  10. Hi Laura. Your piece is amazing and loved seeing your thought process. Also loved the little stoppers that covered the ends of the pins. What are they called? I must see if I can get them here.