Monday, July 7, 2014

June 2014 pattern - Baroque Wholecloth

It's proving difficult to get an acceptable photo of the wholecloth quilts, there just isn't enough space in our workroom and the lighting is all wrong.  I'll keep on trying though.

 The pattern for this wholecloth quilt started in about 2002.  I was giving a workshop on how to adapt patterns so that they could be stitched on a shortarm machine, and designed this to be quilted in a series of 6" passes, so that I could stitch it all on my Gammil shortarm.  It worked well, except that I ran out of time to finish it, and showed it to the class with the side borders and the centre uncompleted.
 It illustrated the point that you could achieve just about anything if you adapted patterns to work within the limits of your quilting setup.  However, after the class I had even less time, and no real incentive to finish the quilt; there just wasn't a viable way to market it as a pattern at that time, so it all went into a cupboard and I ignored it for a long while.

The unfinished quilt took up just as much room as a finished one would, and this year I got sick of shifting it from one storage spot to another, all the while thinking, 'I must finish that one of these days....'  Now my Statler offered the possiblity of a quick finish, so I set about adapting the pattern yet again, to allow for the bigger throat space of my Gammil  Classic.

Once the patterns were finished I tested it by stitching it out at 42", so that I could use a single width of fabric while I was testing it.   The first test quilt is going to be a dog bed, there were quite a few issues caused by the fabric moving as the heavy quilting caused it to shrink inwards.  I experimented and changed the order the patterns stitched, and had no problems on the other quilts I did.

This is the second 42" quilt, on gold fabric, and it stitched without a single hiccup.

I love the small scale of this, the patterns look wonderfully intricate, yet it was the easiest of the three quilts that I did.
 The 85" lilac one was easy to do too, and I turned the quilt so it was a breeze to do the borders. The centre section is 59", and it fits the top of my QS bed exactly, so the borders hang over the sides.
I really enjoyed this, it was wonderful to see the patterns come to life on the fabric, and for them to stitch out exactly as I'd planned.  I did make a small mistake; when I made the patterns for the borders I eliminated a small 1/2" border around the centre designs; it makes no difference really, but it's not the same as the cream or gold quilt. The files in the download have the correct number of borders.

Once I had the patterns fine tuned, it was time to pin on the old cream quilt and add the missing patterns.

It all went really well, though the computerised stitching made my hand-guided stitches look rather odd.  Never mind, it's all part of the history of this particular quilt.

I adapted the centre design to make it easier to fit into the blank area in the middle.  I made the radiating lines stitch from the centre out and back, so that I could trim them off at the edge of the existing quilting.
 You can see the white area at the top is where I trimmed off the lines; that worked really well, as my  hand-guided stitching was too uneven to allow me to distort the quilting pattern to fit, not without a lot of trouble and time.  In this case, the easy way out was also the best way. (The observant ones amongst you will see I still had one line of stitching that went below the straight line of my boundary; I did correct that before I stitched it, just divided the black circle of arcs and toggled the lower part sewn.)

So after more than a decade, my wholecloth quilt is finished, ready to be bound and go onto a bed, not back into a cupboard.  It's a good feeling.
The pattern for this is up on the website here and there is a 22 page pdf of instructions and diagrams.  I am having a sale at the moment and the pattern is discounted by 33%, and the rest of the site is 50% off.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Keryn...the wholecloth is gorgeous...I cant wait for a "quiet" moment to try it out.