Friday, May 19, 2017

An Experiment

Now that I've taught the same beginning Ruler Work class many times and accumulated the same wallhanging from doing demos or preparing samples, an interesting experiment has surfaced.

In teaching over the past several years, questions have often risen regarding the necessity for quality batting and how two layers of batting affected the appearance of a quilt.

My hope is that you will find the following comparison quite interesting.

First sample
Batting - one layer of "I don't know what" given to me by the dealer
Thread - 50 weight Aurifil in a variegated color throughout
Embellishment to basic design - none

Second sample 
Batting - two layers of 50/50 cotton/bamboo
Thread - Isacord (40 weight) in purple, pink and lime green
Embelishment:  feathers in scallops 

Third Sample
Batting - two layers of Hobbs 80/20 cotton/wool
Thread - So Fine (50 weight) by Superior Threads in Lavender, Turquoise and Rose AND 60 weight
               Bottom Line by Superior Threads
Embellishment:  Feathers in scallops, lines in flower & background squiggles in crosshatching and

Now, two of these projects have not been finished with binding and as beginning projects, they were not intended to include the additional and more difficult quilting.  However, it is still amazing the difference between the three samples.

Sample number one has no depth to it and the use of a beautiful variegated thread is somewhat wasted as nothing really stands out.  (Sorry, at the last minute I saw a couple of "blue line" marks on this)

Sample number two had a little depth but even with simple feathers, just didn't have any special character.  It was like looking at a flat map.

Sample number three, at least to me, had so much  more depth and character with the extra quilting in the background of the cross hatch.  The flower stands out a bit more too with stitching just one half of each petal.  Even the border has just a bit more character with the background stitching.  

So although we can complain when something is "over quilted", we can also see here how a lack of quilting can affect a project as well as the batting used.  It can take a scientist to get just the right balance of batting, thread and stitching!

Here is a photo of the two double batted projects side by side.

And a full view of all three side by side.

So, really no conclusions, just some pretty amazing observations.  I hope this helps you in your quilting!  Have a super quilty weekend!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Blue Fairy Wall Hanging

What an incredible customer quilt!  I asked Rose how many hours she estimated she spent on all the handwork in this wall hanging.  Somewheres around 400!  Can you imagine?  

This little Fairy quilt is an original design and done all by hand other than adding the borders.  The responsibility for quilting a project of this caliber was truly incredible.

-  Quilt size:  approximately 29" square
-  Batting:  Hobbs 80/20 cotton wool (the customer used one layer behind the center medallion only,  
    when completing the handwork.  I used one layer to cover the entire quilt.)
-  Thread:  Superior Threads 100 weight Microquilter

So where do we start?  First I stitched around all of the handwork as if it were appliqué.  Then I stitched in the ditched around each section:  the medallion and each border.  Finally, it's time to start the good stuff!  The flowers around the bottom represent periwinkles, so we decided to continue the flowers in the bottom and up slightly on both sides.  The also went just slightly onto the dark blue border.

Up at the top we added a few butterflies and then several dense quilting designs.  The idea was to create a complete fairyland.

It's very hard to see but feathers were used in the dark blue border and worked around the periwinkles that extended into the border and the outside border was completed with a lattice grid design.  They are much each to see from the back side.

The quilting on this quilt took about 13 hours in total but it is well worth it.  Rose was thrilled with the finish and so was I.

Have a super quilty weekend and check out some of the links on my side bar!  Thank you for stopping by!