Community Quilt 117

20 10 2013

This was a BIG quilt — 85 x 65 inches according to the slip of paper that came with it. And it wasn’t very inspiring as far as colours or pattern go (at least, not in MY eyes). I suspect that this quilt will go to an adult male at one of the homeless shelters or transitioning into housing. The centres seems to be made of cotton shirting fabrics, or quilting fabrics that looked like shirt fabrics used for male shirts.


How to liven it up with quilting, while not making it ‘girly’ with loopy feathers or flowers and the like?

After stitching around each on the four blocks and their centres, I decided to focus on the negative space of this quilt. To make the centres ‘pop’, I quilted fairly heavily in the light grey background, using a spiral swirl (a la Angela Walters — see this blog post for my first efforts at this motif: I really like how the swirls seem to ‘overlap’ each other even though they don’t; it’s actually quite easy to do — it just looks complicated 😉

I kept the same motif for all the light grey — centres and outer setting triangles, as well as the centre block between the red strips — so that the centres appeared to float on top. I just stitched the centres with straight lines 1/2 inch from the seams (using my Line Tamer ruler), and didn’t worry about crossing lines. I think the crossed lines add extra geometric effect.

For the red bits, I thought about doing another design, but then decided it would be overkill as I already had in mind what I wanted to do for the dark grey borders. So using the same light grey thread I used for the light grey sections, I stitched straight lines 1/2 inch in from each seam line in the red, than another 1/4 inch line echoing the first lines. To add a bit of interest, I also crossed those lines with a perpendicular line 1/2 inch from the perpendicular seam line, and extended the lines out into the dark grey border (like racing stripes!).

For the border, I wanted to try something other than matching the thread colour to the fabric, so I chose a red thread the same colour as the red strips and then stitched bubbles/pebbles all over the grey border, leaving the racing stripes empty of any further stitching.

I quite like how it turned out and how I turned this reasonably plain quilt into something with some life.

I took about 8 hours to quilt this quilt.

(Click on a photo to view it larger.)




Little thread clumps on the back of the quilt:


A couple of final comments:

  • The Floriani threads I used shredded a bit. Not enough to stop but enough to catch underneath and leave a bit of a clump on the back. By the time I realised, I’d stitched well past those areas and I wasn’t going to go back and restitch them! This is NOT a quilt for a competition or for display — it’s to be loved and will be wrapped around someone to keep them warm. I don’t think a few little clumpy threads on the back will bother the recipient. (The first Floriani thread I used in the light grey areas shredded quite a bit and I had to stop to rethread the needle when the thread snapped or shredded up the needle — enough to make me switch to a Fil-Tec Glide thread for the other three blocks. I think this shredding was related to the structure of the light grey Floriani thread — it seemed to have a slightly metallic sheen. The red Floriani thread I used was much better, though it did shred a bit but nowhere near as much as the light grey Floriani thread.)
  • I think the reason the thread shredded a bit was two-fold: The make of thread, but also a bit of sticky residue on the needle. This quilt had been spray basted by those putting together these quilts for me, and while that spray basting was fantastic to work with as the quilt didn’t need to be stablised or pin basted, the stickiness did coat needle a tad. That said, there was only a *small* bit of gluey residue caught in the front groove on the needle, which I removed with the point of a pin. That residue could well have contributed to thread shredding. Considering the size of the quilt and the number of stitches I stitched, it was a small price to pay for the convenience of not having to baste this quilt.

Threads used:

  • Top: Floriani light grey embroidery thread (40 wt, rayon, colour PF484) — I only used this in one block, and I then used Fil-Tec Glide (40 wt, trilobal polyester, colour 10CG3) for the rest of the light grey blocks; Floriani red embroidery thread (40 wt, rayon, colour PF188)
  • Bottom: Wonderfil Deco Bob in a light grey (80 wt, colour DB 103); Wonderfil Invisifil in red (100 wt, colour IF 202)




2 responses

21 10 2013

You did a beautiful job. The swirls, straight lines and pebbles “play” so well together!!!! It WILL be loved!! Hugs…….

29 10 2013
Dawn C.

I love this quilt! To me this is a very modern quilt with all of the negative space (which I’m still afraid of making since I’m learning FMQ). I love the yin & yang to it, the masculine shirting, yet the pink stripe. You turned drab into Fab, darling, which shows how much the quilting can play into it.

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