Monday, November 25, 2013

Quilted and Bound!!

My flowery denim quilt is quilted and bound and hanging happily on my wall!!

I wasn't sure if my plans for quilting using big seed stitches would work but I'm really please with how this it turned out! 

I chose this style of quilting for a few reasons. 

1) One of the things I was hoping to achieve with the quilting was to make the pockets stand out from the background. The flowers are so bright and such a great contrast to the denim that they almost overshadow the fact that they are growing out of pockets. I think the stitches really succeed to help change the background so the pockets become more obvious. 

2) Doing this sort of random stitch is so much easier than quilting a neat even running stitch through denim. In fact I'd say it was a breeze sewing through the layers or denim, batting and a cotton backing. Even the lumps and bumps of the seams didn't stop me and my needle.  I guess I should mention what needle I used. I'd love to be able to give technical details of a size and brand but it's just one from my pincushion of odd needles. It was strong enough that it didn't bend when I tried it so that's the one I used.

3) A lot of modern denim jeans are a blend of cotton and elastic. Ideally I wouldn't use these blends but a few pieces made their way in because they were a nice shade of denim or a fun pocket shape. I'm hoping the dense quilting will stabilise and support the fabric so it doesn't stretch out of shape. Fingers crossed :) 

4) The quilting gives the quilt another textural element. It's got soft fluffy wool, tough denim and the stitches add a graphic softness to the look. Almost like rain. They also blend the contrasting patches to once again help the flowers and pockets become more of the feature. 

5) Last but not least it's fun to try something different. There's an area of the Double Denim Wedding Ring quilt that I sewed these big seed stitches and really liked the effect and found it so much easier to sew, so I thought I'd like to try quilting a whole quilt like that. 

The quilt finished up at 50 inches x 43 inches, and designed as a wall hanging. I wouldn't suggest this type of quilting in a quilt that was going to be handled a lot as the stitches might get pulled. Although saying that I'm pretty rough and tough with my quilts and bundle them up and toss them around and I haven't had any problems with catching the stitches. 

I used a yarn that I've had for more than 5 years. I bought book about crewel embroidery with a kit that included lots of skeins in all the colours of the rainbow. I discovered quilting soon after and the idea of doing crewel stitcheries was forgotten. It's great to be able to finally using it for something. The label doesn't say what ply the yarn is is but it is 100% wool. Perle 8 would also work well but I liked the way the yarn had more of a matt finish than perle cotton does. 

Here's how the stitches look on the back of the quilt. Just like random stitches. 

Using busy fabrics for the backing helps hide messy stitching. I always have fun picking fabrics for the backing.  Especially piecing combinations of fabrics that would normally never go together. 
The only thing missing on the back is the label. When I first started this quilt I thought Pockets Full of Posies would be a fun name but then I find myself calling it the Denim Garden quilt. So it's not officially named yet. I thought I'd put it out there and see which is the most popular choice. 

So what do you think should I call it ? 

 Pockets Full of Posies
Denim Garden 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Denim Garden

Well, that's it! I think I've finished sewing all the flowers on my denim garden. I'll leave it for a few days before I get it ready for quilting. When I see it with fresh eyes I'll most likely see things that need tweaking, something added or removed. A thought crossed my mind that quilt made with pieced blocks has an obvious finish line, but with applique there's the temptation to add just a little bit more. 

I've really enjoyed creating flowers with shapes and colours and adding personality with perle 8 thread.  Wool felt is a joy to work with, so easy to cut out a shape and simply sew it in place. Sewing through denim seams was trying at times and the result is imperfect stitches but you know me, I like a bit of wonkiness in my quilts.  

Monday, November 4, 2013

Treasure from a Far Away Land

I thought I'd start the week off with a burst of colour!!
I recently received this wall hanging from Gbf's parents. They picked it up on a trip to China 20 years ago. A treasure from a far away land!! 
To give you an idea of the size , it measures 30x 51 inches.

How wonderful are those circles with their folded triangles edges. They remind me of prairie point binding or pine burr quilts.

Upon my first glance I thought the animals surrounding the circles represented the Chinese astrological signs.

There's a tiger

a Rooster

But then there's some animals that I'm really not sure of. Does anyone recognise this animal? A squirrel that is angry because his tail has been cut off , perhaps?? 

The flip side is even more colourful!!

and even more wonderfully wonky.  

If you look closely you'll notice the critters are creepy crawlies, spiders, scorpions, snakes. 

A side view shows how their little bodies are 3D.

Every type of fabric has been used - cotton, linen, varieties of polyester, corduroy and even some stretch knit. 

The blocks have been stabilised with paper. I know this because the paper has been left inside!! It stiffens the wall hanging and gives it a very papery rustling sound if you handle it. 

So there you have it, The Chinese wall hanging or as I prefer to call it
The Great Wall Hanging Of China.
 How lucky am I to have it hanging in my hallway!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Would you like to vote for my quilts?

Voting is open for the Blogger's Quilt Festival. 
There are so many amazing quilts and really every quilt is a winner, but if you'd like to vote for my quilts I'd be so happy!
 To make it easy I've included the links that take you straight to the voting pages.  Once you're on the page just click on the heart at the top right hand corner of the photo.  It's easy! 
Keep in mind you can only vote once in each category. 

A sparkly mix of colourful scraps.
Entered in the Scrappy Quilts Category

A journey into Neon brights and a fun modern take on lines and circles. 
Entered in the Wall Hanging Category.

Thanks again to Amy for organising the Blogger's Quilt Festival. It's such a great event! I've really enjoyed seeing so many beautiful and amazing quilts and it's been wonderful finding new blogs to follow! 


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