Monday, December 07, 2009

Nearing the finish line

Last Thursday I called my photographer and made an appointment to get the quilt photographed Monday morning. In order to make that happen, I worked all through the weekend to get this quilt done. I still had grass to quilt, scroll work to quilt, the little deer to trapunto, block the quilt, trim the quilt, bind it in some manner and stitch a sleeve on it. The label could wait until Tuesday.

After quilting the grass, I stitched some decorative quilting lines to the scroll work.

I used two different marking tools to draw the lines on the scroll work before quilting it. I started with the Bohin marking pencil but got tired of erasing my lines after stitching, so I changed to an orange chalk pencil. When I was done quilting, I tried brushing away the chalk, it did not go away. I used a stiff brush, then a cloth, then a wet cloth and scrubbed at the chalk lines. The color finally seemed to go away, but I noticed that the yellow quilted thread seemed to be stained kind of orange. Not sure that I was okay with that, I decided the orange either needed to go away completely or I needed to work with it. Since I didn't know how to make the orange go away, I decided to use a yellow ocher colored pencil to accentuate the stitched center with some deeper color.

I was unsure if it would be a total mistake or if the added color be okay, but now I think the extra quilting lines and color gave just the right amount of subtle complexity to the sky to help balance the very detailed lower portion of the quilt without competing with it.

Deer pre-trapunto

trapunto stuffing from the back

After finishing the deer, I stretched the quilt out on the floor to block it and pinned around the deer as well, to try and smooth out the quilt and ease the slight buckling of the fabric under the deer.

I think I may have over stuffed him a bit. Maybe that reinforces his kitschy-ness, he definitely contrasts with the rest of the quilt, lol.

I considered just doing a turned edge to finish the quilt, but I thought I needed to have something that was a little more flashy or "guild-ed"?, so I decided to do a corded edge, twisting several fibers together that would incorporate the colors used in the quilt. After blocking and trimming the quilt I laid out several yarns to audition them.

The first thing I needed to do was prevent any quilted threads from unraveling around the edge of the quilt. To do that I stitched a straight stitch, very close to the edge around the whole quilt. Then I used metallic gold thread in the top and brown thread in the bobbin and zig zag stitched around the edge of the quilt twice with a fairly tight stitch but not a satin stitch. Sometimes a dense satin stitch around the edge of a quilt can stretch it and make it ripple. I was not too concerned with making a solid gold edge around the quilt, just add some extra sparkle next to the cording.

Then I sewed a few stitches to secure the yarns to the back side edge of the quilt. Using an open toe foot and monofilament in the top I zig zagged over the twisted yarns stitching them to the edge of the quilt.

This is a slow process because the yarns tend to get very twisted and tangled if you are not careful. I usually put a couple of the yarns in separate little baggies to try and keep them from rolling away and really making a mess. I start twisting the yarn clockwise down one side of the quilt, working a few inches at a time, then I usually twist them counter clockwise on the next side and clockwise again on the next, it sort of helps manage all the twisted yarns better.

The last thing to do before sewing on the sleeve and label is to sign the quilt. Finished quilt photos to come.


  1. Wow! Looks absolutely fantastic! I wish I a quarter of your talent. Thank you for sharing the process with us, it has been very insightful & inspirational.

  2. Your work is absolutely inspiring. Thank you for giving us a peek into your thought process as you've created this wonderful piece.

  3. What a fabulous piece! I love it when something unexpected happens in the process ( like having to deal with the colour not coming out ) leading to added dimension that was not originally intended.
    That subtle change in the center of the scrolls does add a little balance and something "extra" to the background. So generous of you to share this process in such detail...Thank You

  4. Anonymous7:47 AM

    Oh Judy, this is amazing! I too think the extra dimension in the scroll work is a plus. It makes the sky as interesting as the rest of your lovely piece. I'm looking forward to the "finished" photos.

  5. What a wonderful piece! And what a generous spirit to share the process, "mistakes" and all. Thank you! The edging definitely echoes the luxury of medieval tapestries and paintings. Great job!

  6. ABSOLUTELY STUNNING! You are so generous and talented. It's such a WOW!

  7. LOL - AND you baked cookies! Amazing!

  8. Anonymous10:36 AM

    Judy - I've enjoyed following the progress of the quilt. Thanks for sharing, especially the problem solving! and the finishing of the edge. <3 judi

  9. Anonymous10:57 AM

    very nice Judy...I loved seeing your quilt progress and how you did it and what you were thinking. Beautiful!

  10. I like the corded edge a lot! It makes it seem more akin to a tapestry than a quilt - closer to your inspiration pieces. Thank you so much for posting the progress of this quilt. It's been inspirational and enjoyable.

  11. Jojo, the kids did most of the cookie making this year ;-)

  12. As always! A fantastic, wonderful quilt and beautiful workmanship to match! Great job, Judy!

  13. Stunning. Thanks for sharing this process and including all the details.

  14. truly beautiful. Thank you for sharing with us all

  15. I've been a lurker on your blog for a long time and always appreciate your artistry and generosity in sharing your process. This quilt is spectacular and I have so enjoyed watching its creation. Thanks so much!

  16. So beautiful!!. I have enjoyed following the process...I hope to see it "in person" someday.

  17. Very Yummy! Really good work.


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