Sunday, April 12, 2015

Linen and Quilting

Before we get to quilty stuff, I just want to welcome new followers and thank my followers that have been around for awhile. I am approaching 200 followers for Bloglovin'! I am humbled and amazed! The quilty blogging community has been so accepting and so giving. I am grateful to be a part of it and have you ride along on my journey :)

This post is picture heavy and maybe word light. . . I don't know - I haven't written it yet! Because I have been taking a ton of pictures as I go with this one, I know it is picture heavy :) A short background (if you already have heard this, feel free to skip it I won't feel bad I promise!). I took a whole cloth quilting class with Cindy Needham (live and in person! EEK!) and during the class I called my mom and asked her to go through her linens and see if there was anything I could quilt. About a week later, I received several linens including this one:

I really wish you could see this in person. I have no idea how the roses or the gray was 'printed' on the linen but it is fabulous! The linen is quite heavy so did not require any underlay or secondary fabric behind it to make it more substantial.
I pulled this out of the package and squealed :) Lots of negative space (you know that gets me excited) and those flowers are just SO beautiful! After this picture was taken I starched and ironed it. Then started playing with how to quilt it. Stencil(s) would be used. I knew that. After asking for opinions (thank you again for all of your comments!!), I chose the main stencil and started drawing. I ended up with this:
I know it is hard to see but you might get the idea of where I was going :)
Let's back up to shortly after I received the package. I was talking to my mom and she casually tells me that she received this table cloth as a bridal shower gift. . . wait, what??? Are you kidding me?? I asked for linen you didn't care about! Something I could play with. . . this does NOT meet those requirements! This is when the doubt and yes, more than a little fear took over! And it stayed on my design wall in this state for awhile. . . I started and finished another top (A Nod to Gees Bend) and finished piecing and quilting Shock Waves (check out the post and Yvonne's fabulous pattern!!) .  . and looked at this linen every day thinking "How in the heck am I ever going to do this justice??" Once again, I received a lot of cheering from the 'bleachers' :) Thank you for that! Deep breaths. Time to baste. I used a double bat, wool and 80/20, both Quilter's Dream. I decided on Voile for the back (have you ever used this stuff for backing??? OMG! Slides through the machine like a hot knife through butta!! And it is 60" wide - no piecing the back!). I spray basted AND pin basted. . . paranoid? YES! More deep breaths. More walking around it. . . . drank some water. . . toweled off . . . pep talk. . . here we go! :) The rest of the post will be pictures with the steps described in the captions. So much for not being a word heavy post!! LOL

Middle portion of stencil work outlined. That didn't go so bad! And I LIKE it!! :) Next up, outline those roses. . . umm, following a drawn stencil line is pretty straight forward. . . outlining? More deep breaths. . .
First one went pretty smoothly! I actually think I got this part! And look how those roses just jump right off the linen!! AWESOME!
Different view. That might look like a big wrinkle in that large rose - it is the angle of the camera, there are no wrinkles so far. . .
Umm, yeah, lots of threads to bury. . . I used this technique and it went pretty quickly and there is no sign of where my starts and stops are - HAPPY DANCE!!
On to the outside border portion of the stencil work. You might notice I am working around the quilt in a balanced way to reduce the chances of it going wonky during the quilting. Going 'big bones' to 'small bones' as Cindy teaches. The quilting so far is all considered the big bones.
Stencil work outlined!! Seriously loving how this is looking! What's next? Umm, do you see that little white scroll boarder? Yes, that needs to be outlined. . . Are you kidding me???
No. . . not kidding. This was my test run. O.M.G. My eyes are not made for this!! Add shadows from the needle and that not so distinct line between the gray and white and using thread that pretty much matches perfectly to a border that is just under a half inch wide (but those skinny little bits? About an 1/8"....), and you get sore eyes, headaches and fatigue...
BUT, you get AMAZING results!! :D It took about five hours total to do this border. I had to separate that out over two days. I need to go get my eyes checked ;)
And this is what it looked like yesterday afternoon :) SOOOOO much more to do. Sometimes it makes my head hurt :) But it is on to the next part!
I'll be posting again later in the week. Still working on tacking down those big bones. . . I thought I was done - turns out doing some work in the roses and leaves is going to need to happen before filling in the gray areas in the middle of the bouquets. I tried one little section, it pulls in and curls. It wouldn't do that if the area around it was quilted a bit more. I'm learning as I go here. And designing as I go (nothing new there right??? haha). So far I am absolutely loving the process. I may need to take a break from it at some point but I don't see that happening in the near future. It's so exciting to see it transform right before my very eyes!

Linking up with Patchwork Times for DWM and Cooking Up Quilts for Main Crush Monday (this is definitely my main crush right now so I thought it only appropriate!). Hop on over there and check out all of the awesome things other people are working on this week! 

Until next time, keep on quilting!!
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21 comments:

  1. It looks even more "all kinds of awesome-ness" when all the pics are all together. Sigh. I bow to thee oh quilty goddess extraordinaire. My OWN eyes hurt for that white scrolly teeny border (1/8" wide in places RUKM, note I left out the adjective--god, did I do that acronym right?).

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  2. Wow, Judy, this is looking exquisite! I struggle to see areas of small contrast when trying to do fine quilting and tracing, too. It can't hurt to go to an eye appointment if it has been a while... but some things are just hard to do!

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  3. Oh my, when I saw the first picture I was thinking that I had no idea of how in the world that could be quilted then I saw your quilting and I am just amazed! It looks fabulous!

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  4. Wow, Judy! This is looking amazing. Thank you, thank you for all the pictures. I love seeing it transform. And I'm so happy to hear you are breathing. ;)

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  5. oh just wow! It's gorgeous! I totally get that eye strain and fatigue from quilting those itty bitty areas. Well done though! I can't wait to see more.

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  6. It's lovely. I'll look forward to seeing the rest of it quilted. Thanks bunches for the link to the burying threads video. I want to try it as I hate that step!

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  7. I've never worked with linen but I'm for sure impressed. It looks absolutely beautiful!

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  8. OK! I have been sitting on a pile of linen for awhile and between not having time and taking the plunge--your beautiful work has convinced me to try! A wedding gift that your mother had and transforming its wonderfulness, history and beauty into another piece of art--Amazing! You are doing a beautiful job!

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  9. Lookin' good!! You found your brave zone :-)

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  10. Stunning quilting, what a fabulous recycle of such a precious piece of your family history :)

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  11. Gorgeous. You are amazing and so dedicated. It was well worth it outlining the border and the roses as they really do stand up in the quilt!

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  12. You did some fabulous quilting!!! I was kinda ho hum with the linen itself but you definitely turned it into a wow! Great job.

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  13. Looks amazing!! You are brave!

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  14. Judy this is just amazing. The design has really worked well in the negative space. As for those tiny borders - you deserve a ribbon for those alone! I am absolutely loving your work. Will you keep this when it is finished or give it back to your mum?

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  15. I like how you say that following a drawn stencil line is pretty straight forward....that scares me! Never mind stitching around the roses and those teeny borders. Fine work!

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  16. O.M.G! That is scrumptious! I can't believe how great it looks. The first picture of the tablecloth, I couldn't "see" what you could do to it. Now I'm a believer.

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  17. Transform before your eyes is no exaggeration Judy - What you are doing with your quilting for this beautiful linen is phenomenal! You are one daring girl and it sure pays off! Beautiful work!

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  18. I feel your anxiety, but the results are spectacular! I have had the same anxiety with projects and still do at times, so I feel your pain! Little by little and it will turn out fabulous. Keep it up!

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  19. Ohmy goodness - that! is! gorgeous!!!!! I'm not even sure what to say - I am still drooling over the photos!!!!

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  20. Oh wow Judy. Looks amazing!

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  21. I love your stencil work in the middle it looks like one big beautiful cross, you are amazing, wished I had the machine and talent that you do, I am hopping to teach myself as soon as my room it done. GOD BLESS

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