Community Quilt 23

23 10 2012

This was the last quilt I had time to quilt at the retreat last weekend (yes, it was a four-day weekend…). And what a beauty it was! The colours, while they aren’t ‘my’ colours, were just gorgeous and the fabrics harmonised so beautifully. This was just a simple 9-patch quilt, but the effect of the colour wash from dark on the outside to light in the centre is just stunning.

I knew I wanted to quilt it with an all-over motif and in a thread that would not detract from the beautiful fabrics. My friend Bobbie had *just* the thread — ‘Driftwood’ from Fil-Tec (Harmony range), which was a variegated thread in soft maroons, creams, tans and with a hint of blue/grey. It was PERFECT for this quilt — the light parts showed well on the dark fabrics and the dark parts showed well on the light fabrics, creating a reverse colour wash effect to the quilt top.

Glenys suggested a large leaf motif as there were leaves in the lighter fabrics, so that’s what I did — leaves and vines and curly bits.

Click on a photo to view it larger.

And the back:


Community Quilt 22

23 10 2012

What a pretty quilt top this one was! I really liked the colour wash that used much of the colour palette, and the sharpness of the piecing against the crisp white background.

I followed my friend Michelle’s suggestion for doing straight, simple lines in various variegated threads in this quilt. I liked the effect of ‘squares within squares’ that the straight stitching created (yes, I used my Line Tamer ruler to do the straight lines!). Along with Community Quilts 18, 19, 20, 21 and 23, I also completed this one at my quilt retreat last weekend.

Click on a photo to view it larger.


Community Quilt 21

23 10 2012

Wow! This quilt top was just stunning! So much work had gone into it — all of the appliques were hand stitched. It deserved some serious quilting, so I experimented with different motifs and designs in the different areas of the quilt — and I had my first attempts at using a scallop ruler. The scallops look fine from a distance, but don’t get too close as some are a little wonky!

Some of the various quilting techniques and motifs I used on this quilt included:

  • stitch in the ditch around all the applique pieces
  • McTavishing in the black centre square
  • leaf and vine motifs in the first black border, with flowers in the open part of the baskets (all black on black so hard to see in photos!)
  • ‘piano key’ straight lines (using a straight ruler — Line Tamer from Four Paws Quilting)
  • scallops in the outer cream border (using a scallop ruler from Handi Quilter, courtesy of my friend Michelle)
  • Diane Gaudynski-style feathers in the large outer black border

I only used black and cream threads throughout as it was important that the quilting enhanced the quilt top without overpowering it. This quilt took about 12 hours to complete.

Click on a photo to view it larger.


Community Quilt 20

23 10 2012

The next quilt top I worked on at the retreat was one I called ‘fractured diamonds’. None of the other girls liked it, and I wasn’t too fussed about either the fabrics used or the offset diamonds. However, it was a quilt top that needed quilting, so the only decision I had to make was how to quilt it.

Glenys suggested that I do diamond ‘spirals’, so I did — on all the diamonds (blue water fabric, autumn leaves brown fabric, and the cream areas in between). I used variegated threads for the coloured diamonds and a plain cream thread for the background.

Click on a photo to view it larger.


Community Quilt 19

23 10 2012

Prior to our weekend quilting retreat, I’d stitched part of this quilt — I’d gone around the edges of all the hand-appliqued pieces in the Dresden fans (flowers) with invisible thread just to hold them in place properly. I’d also stitched the centres of each ‘flower’ in a stylised sunflower/Fibonacci spiral (yes, I made it up!).

So all I had to do on the retreat was decide how to quilt the big open yellow spaces. Glenys suggested emulating the centres of the flowers in the yellow blocks — I thought that was a great idea, so did so, then stitched flower petals to attach to the centre, making sure each petal point matched a particular point on the fans.

Click on a photo to view it larger.


Community Quilt 18

23 10 2012

This was such a gorgeous quilt top! The colours, the fact that it was perfectly straight, and the gorgeous tones of the beige fabrics blended so well that the light and dark beiges were hard to distinguish. The backing was the same dark blue fabric as the darkest blue in the log cabins, and had a panel of these same log cabin blocks through the centre of the backing.

How to quilt this so that the lovely top was enhanced? Well, it was obvious that I’d use a beige thread in the beige areas — that was a given. But the choice of motif was a little harder to decide. First though, were the blue parts of the log cabins. I saw art deco and Navajo Indian motifs in the straight lines, so to really emphasise the straightness, I marked and stitched circles (!), bringing out even more the art deco/Navajo elements that I already saw.

I then stitched in the ditch and in the centre of the blue bars down to the largest circle and in parts of the inner circle too. I used a navy thread in the top (no I don’t recall which one — I quilted six community quilts quilts over my quilt retreat weekend and didn’t keep track of my threads), with a matching navy bobbin thread.

Finally, I decided on a simple wave motif for the beige areas and quilted those after I’d completed all the blue areas.

Click on a photo to show it larger.