The above photo is the only “whole quilt” shot I have of “Year of the Never-Ending Spring.” This was taken after I’d just finished piecing it. As I quilted it (which was very fun), I took photos of portions of it on about 6 different days in varying lighting and I never really felt good about any of the shots. It was made with 1 layer of Quilter’s Dream wool batting, and this batting was great for creating a wonderful texture to the quilt. My problem was that I couldn’t seem to capture both the texture and the wonderful colors in the quilt all in the same shot. So, I had to settle for what follows. First up is a shot of one of the bird blocks:
There are 4 different bird blocks, and each provided different areas of “blank space” that could be filled with different quilting. On this other bird block, I quilted swirly things coming off the headdresses:
…but I really had fun quilting swirls that sprang from their swirly appliqued tails:
On this next bird block, there wasn’t really enough space to do much in the swirl zone toward the base, so I took the opportunity to stitch feathers coming off the headdresses and the appliqued tail feathers:
…and in this 4th type of bird block, I added some swirl work coming off the headdresses. I always feel like I need to guard against adding so much quilted embellishment that I risk making the “scene” look crowded:
Angie asked if I quilted around each applique piece with invisible thread. As a general rule, the first thing I do is to outline each applique piece with invisible thread because I can’t really quilt any designs in the surrounding areas until I have “stabilized” my applique scene in place with quilting. I then quilt any dominant shapes, like feathers, vines and swirls. The last thing I do is the background quilting. On this quilt, I left some of the internal bird wings without outline quilting in order to make the entire bird shapes more protuberant.
For the wreaths, I used a different color thread to stitch the small wreaths inside each of the large appliqued feathered wreaths, coordinating the thread color with the fabric color of the applique pieces:
In this tangential shot of the green wreath, you can kind of get a sense of the wonderful 3-dimensional texture of the quilt. This is really a function of the interplay between machine embroidered applique and the batting. In this case, the batting is very effective at showing quilted textures:
I find it really challenging to take photos that really capture the wonderful textures quilting can create, so bear with me here! These applique shapes (especially the heart) really appear trapuntoed because they protrude out so much, but they are not:
A part of me wanted to quilt (with invisible thread) inside the large heart to define separate areas of the internal designs, but I didn’t because I really like how the hearts protrude out and I’d minimize that by quilting inside them. This next shot shows the quilting inside the side setting triangles:
And in this last shot, the colors are way off, but you can see the texture of the background quilting:
The next post will be about a completely new project!
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