My local quilting group is holding an exhibition on the 21st and 22nd May at the Community Centre. They exhibit every two years and put on a wonderful show. There will be a trading table, demonstrations, Devonshire tea and a local quilt shop to tempt us.
I thought that this would be a good excuse to ‘play’ with one of the vintage supper cloths that are in my collection – and the one that appealed the most was a far-from-square, blue embroidered cut work cloth that had multiple stains which had resisted every attempt I’d made to remove them.
I didn’t think to take any ‘before’ photos, but here are some in the early stages of quilting. I started by playing with a free quilting motif from Forest Quilting . I had to re-shape some of the feathers to fit comfortably within the square shape that I could sit neatly between the embroidery and cut out design features.
I also designed a plumed feather shape to fit around the embroidery so that a continuous bordered line was set up around the outer edge of the supper cloth.
I quilted a double echo around the feathers and filled with pebbling. I love pebbling, but it sure takes time.
The worst of the stains were in the centre of the quilt, so I decided that some seriously dense quilting was in order.
Some of the stains are still evident, but the quilting does focus the eye away from them.
The double echo lines really help to emphasize the feathers. I used a blue wash out marker to draw in the plume shapes – and sometimes a quick spritz just spread those blue lines around! You can see that I had to do a bit of reverse quilting in one corner – the initial 3/4 inch grid that I drew up was just too big in scale. The 1/2 inch one looked much better.
The greatest challenge with this quilt was trying to determine the boundary within which to quilt the feathered border. I had no points of reference to use on the white cloth – which was nowhere near a perfect square.
I had to get creative and use a combination of square rulers and some spare vertical blind blades to mark it out. I double checked by measuring the two verticals – I needed to do a bit of fudging with the blind blades, but it was so successful that the strategy is now on my ‘must remember to do in future’ list.
Then came my favourite kind of quilting – continuous feathers. All I marked was a centre line though the four borders and an uneven number of curves above and below that line on each side. There is nothing regular or predictable in the feathers, and it looks wonderfully organic. I echoed once on the inside edge and multiple times on the outside edge as I don’t like the puffy look that you can get between a feathered border and the binding.
The quilt top got a good soaking while I set up my interlocking mats and drew up lines along which to block the quilt. Three sides lay down beautifully but the last edge needed a bit of coaxing…..
But we finally played nicely together.
It was a lovely warm day with a gentle breeze so it didn’t take long to dry – and it is now as flat as. What a relief.
I’ve now bound it and it’s all ready for the exhibition. I haven’t taken a photo – will leave that until it’s been hung.
Til next time.