Monday, September 23, 2013

Modern Wholecloth Quilt, Start to Finish

This is a wonderful quilt top that a customer gave me the privilege of playing on however I wanted to.

In this blog post I have posted a lot of photos that show the process of start to finish on a quilt that I worked on for 3 days. All this work was done on my Nolting 24 non-stitch regulated machine. Everything is free motion quilted and I did not mark anything but I did use my ruler for the zig zag border.
 The process begins with hanging the quilt top on my design wall for a few days while I work on other quilts and begin to dream about what I am going to do.  As ideas come they are roughly drawn in my sketch book. That is what you see in these next three photos. Some of what is on these photos is from another quilt also that I worked on previously.
 I generally just let the quilt top speak to me and draw out a few things. If I can draw it on paper I can quilt it on fabric.  Some things I draw just don't work right for this quilt top and are not used or may show up on other quilts later.
 In this drawing below I got the idea from "In The Studio with Angela Walters", her second book.  On each side of the quilt I did a swirl scroll design that came out very nicely on the quilt.  I also chose my backfill at this point too.
In this next step I just lay the quilt top out on the frame to see which direction I want to quilt it.  Take measurements and make sure the backing is large enough.  In this case I loaded the quilt sideways because my design work would quilt out much easier that way.

 Time to start the long arm quilting.
 This is my ruler I used with this quilt.
In these next three photos you will see the Angela Walters inspired swirl scroll.
 Along with pebbling and echoed circles.

After rolling the quilt down a little farther I start doing some feathering.  I sew a curving spine with curls down the length of the quilt and then come back along adding the the feathers.

No marking is done.  Just free form; letting the plumes of the feathers curve and fall as they may.  Here and there I have the spine of the feather bump wide a bit to allow a few circles to be added.
An echo is done around the feather and then backfilled with McTavishing.
Now on to the middle of a quilt where I made this heart which I think came out pretty cool.  I love having an idea/picture in my head translated unto fabric!
I used 4 pins to "mark"  where the sides and bottom and top of the heart should approximatly be.

At this point I knew the feathers were going to flow out of the top of the heart but was unsure exactly how I would do the backfill so on I went and did the feathering, letting my mind work on figuring what else that heart needed to help it stand out. 
 In order to really show off the quilting in the photographs I had to turn all the lights off and use the flash sometimes or use no flash and an indirect light because so much of this quilt is solid white.
Then I moved on to quilting the colored part. A mixture of McTavishing and stitch in ditch work.
 Here it is from the other side of the quilt.
Then I moved on from the middle to the next side. Which is basically mirrored from the first part.

 I really had a lot of fun playing on this quilt.
and I'm almost done.
The rest of these photos are the finished quilt

The quilt is Finished!!! After three days, 27 L size bobbins a good portion of a cone of thread, lots of candy corn, chocolate and ice cream... it is done.

On to the next one...... :)


  1. This is awe inspiring! Wow! I want to quilt like that when I grow up!

    1. I was just looking at your blog, and saw that you have a purple hobby quilter, so do I that's my other long arm, I also saw that you have a number of Bernina's check out this link on my blog to see my sewing room set up it is similar,

  2. Very, very nice, usual!

  3. S.I.M.P.L.Y. S.T.U.N.N.I.N.G. !!!! I've been longarming for 17 years and have not see anything prettier than this. Big pat on the back Ann!!

    1. Allison, thank you do so much. I see that you also restore old sewing machines. My husband does that well. this quilt was a lot of fun to play on. Some ruler work involved, some day I will get a machine with a stitch regulator and that will be easier. But until then I just flow with my machine.

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  5. The detailing and planning are so cool to see...A REAL ART!!!!

    1. Thank you Sue, this quilt was a lot of fun to play on.

  6. Seriously Stunning Work!! Just perfect choices to fill in all of that fabulous negative space!! Thanks for sharing all of your beautiful work and documenting each step!!

    1. Thank you so much for the wonderful complements Angela, that really means a lot coming from you, your books were definitely an inspiration in the creation of this quilt.