Friday, December 7, 2012

'Sew' Much Fun

I made this piece of crazy quilting a few years ago and thought that is was about time I made some thing with it (I originally had other plans for it and never got around to making it).

The crazy quilting measures about 6" square.
The tatting patterns are from the book "Tatted Fashion" by Teiko Fujito - which is a wonderful book and great for all levels of tatters.
Since I have been doing lots of free motion quilting recently, and I purchased some different plain Kona cotton to practice on, I decided to incorporate the CQ into a whole cloth quilt.

Here are the steps I took -

After adding large borders to the square of CQ, I layered it with backing fabric (from an old white cotton sheet), and two layers of batting - the bottom one is cotton and the top is half a layer of wool batting (both by Hobbs - just what I had). Stitched all the seams in the ditch. I did mark the spines of the feathers with a white Clover iron out pen and stitched those first. More about the design inspiration later.

After all the feathers were stitched, I knew I wanted to have a large section of a palm leaf design in the corner (Cindy Needham calls it "gingko", and uses a stencil, but I quilt a different ginkgo design already and think this one looks more like a palm leaf - so to avoid confusion I am calling it a palm leaf design).

I marked two semi circles with a Hera marker on a piece of string, that I held at the corner.

There is pebbling quilted in the narrow band,

and "scribbling" in the section around the CQ. Scribbling is as fun to quilt as it sounds!

I marked a 1/2" grid with a Hera marker for the palm leaf design (you can see how well the lines show up - the Hera marker just flattens the fibres. To remove any lines that were still visible after quilting, I sprayed a tiny bit of water on the fabric to swell the fibres back up - my fabric is cotton).

This area (about 11" radius) took almost 4 hours to quilt!! The whole FMQ took about 9-10 hours.

But it was worth it in the end - I love the movement this particular design creates.

When I started this piece I knew that I wanted the quilting to move around the CQ, from the bottom left corner (the lone button), around, and "out" the upper right corner. I added diagonal straight lines around the rest of the feathers to create more of that movement. There is also a section of binding that is different in the upper corner (it is the same Liberty cotton that is in the CQ), and the CQ is purposely not centred in the piece.

this photo shows all the different designs

I added beads to the palm leaf design, in different colours and sizes (11 and 15) to create more movement.
All the quilting is done with a matching dark beige Invisafil 100Wt thread. The feathers are bump-bump feathers, and I used a #80 Titanium needle (still the same one that has been on my machine for ever it seems, well worth the extra money).

Before I started the piece I knew that I wanted to practice a few design elements - the palm leaves and feathers with triangular elements.

The above photo shows the triangular elements in the feathers and how they mimic the triangle shapes of the CQ. There are more triangles in the piece created with other designs and beads.
The semi circle in the upper corner and the pebbling mimic the buttons and beads in the CQ.

the finished piece is 19"x20"
I can't tell you how many times I took the above photo and there were always blurry sections - the joys of a point and shoot camera, but at least I am still blogging for free!

The Cindy Needham Craftsy online class that I took really helped show the importance of backgrounds, and it has been fun trying out different ones. Thanks so much to Cindy Needham!!
More of my opinion of the class here.

Practice, practice, practice - the only way to get better at free motion quilting! My Mother asked me what I was making this for - once it was finished it served its purpose - it was to practice. I don't know why, but you do a better job practicing on something that is worth while, than just an old scrap of fabric.

I just wanted to mention that I quilted it the ditch first with a walking foot, in all the seams. After the piece was quilted I found that I didn't like the areas of the feathers that were stitched down and I removed some stitching. In the above photo you can see the feather on the right side of the spine (the large lobe) has had the stitches in the ditch removed, and the ones on the left haven't.

I hope this inspires you to practice!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!


Janet O. said...

Incredible piece! So beautiful!!
I clicked the link for the "different ginkgo design", but didn't see related material. Did I miss something? I love your design!

Joanne said...

I added a clearer picture of the ginkgo leaves on the post in the link. Thanks for letting me know the ginkgo in the picture (it is in the lower right corner of the second photo) wasn't obvious Janet.

Sheila said...

Wow , Joanne that is really beautiful , your practice has paid off , your work is indeed inspiring !!

Terri said...

Lovely quilting! Thanks for sharing it.

Vicki W said...

That is spectacular!

Kimme said...

Joanne you are such an inspiration. Beautiful quilting.

Can't Stop Stitchin said...

Oh Joanne, You have done it again! Gorgeous! Thank you for sharing, so inspiring!

Lesley said...

Joanne, your quilting and the little crazy quilt is stunning!

Quilter said...

Beautiful. You should send the link to Cindy, she would love to see the results. Be sure to include something about quilting in the subject line.

Claire said...

That is one elegant practice piece! I also appreciated your discussion of the design decisions.

A Magical Whimsy said...

Oh, my! This is gorgeous. Such lovely work you do. I adore the central theme of the crazy quilt block.
Teresa in California

Marga (MarPie) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marga (MarPie) said...

Cleaning my laptop again,oh, my what a beauty. Dont no what to say anymore I am really speechless.

Kind regards,

Missie of Traditional Primitives said...

I will say it again! You have become an awesome quilter! Another beautiful project you have shared...thanks!

Joan said...

This is absolutely stunning. Your design explanations are so clear.I am so impressed by what you have sewn and how you went about it. Your quilting is amazing!

Rose Marie said...

So beautiful .... such lovely work!

Carli The Quilter said...

I love your crazy quilting! And you free motion quilting. you've inspired me to something unique with my many crazy quilting blocks ready to go! Over Christmas I hope to find some time to play with these!

Karens Quilts, Crows and Cardinals said...

Joanne -- truly inspiring! Thank you so much for sharing -- it's is great to hear your feedback on the Craftsy class too!


Raewyn said...

I cant believe I missed this post!! Looks like I'll be coming to you for lessons - how you put the different elements altogether is amazing!!!!!

Karen said...

Joanne, I return to view your work, over and over again. It's so amazing! This piece, in particular, is breathtaking to me. Have you ever considered entering your work in art shows? There is one here in Ontario, called The One of a Kind show. As the name suggests, all pieces must be original art work, whatever the type. My sister is a professional artist (painter) and has done very well there over the years. If you were interested at all, I could tell you what I know and further you on to my sister for more info. Just an idea that I've been meaning to mention. Your work is so inspiring for us all!

Carli The Quilter said...

Can't stop looking at this one, wow I have some ideas that your inspiration has spawned. Stay tuned for some new innovations at Good Earth Quilting.
This is simply stunning!

susan said...

What a beautiful piece! Its beauty and value seems more than just a practice piece. I hope you'll display it for others to see! (I often struggle with "what am I going to do with this when its finished". I so appreciate your response, its just practice! I seem unable to kick the "utilitarian mode") Is the palm leaf pattern stitch a copyrighted design? I would love to know more about how you stitched it, whether its row upon row or if both sides of the palm are stitched at the same time.

Quiltsmiles said...

Joanne, You inspire me to want to try. Your designing the quilt patterns and the pieces that are done are truly beautiful. It doesn't seem possible but each one done seems like it's more spectacular than the one finished just before. Kudos. Jane

traderslostart said...

I would love to add the closeup of your CQ block on your beautiful whole cloth quilt to one of my pinterest boards celebrating the art of crazy quilting.

Joanne said...

Thank-you so much for asking "traderslostart" (you are the second person to ask me), yes you can pin a close up picture. I had to reply here because you are a no-repy blogger.

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