Sunday, 17 January 2010

Wholecloth???!

I was inspired by this quilt by Ferret I stumbled across by accident last week to have a go at a wholecloth. I love the idea of using white thread to draw on a black background, and of course being me, it had to be a snowflake. But as I started to draft the crystal, somehow my hand kept wanting to draw feathers. So I abandoned the straight-lines and points ideas, since the size I had in mind (around 20in square) wasn't going to leave much space to create the design with fillers anyway, and drew a feathered snowflake.

I thought tracing the design onto black fabric was going to present a problem, but a little creativity solved it effectively. My makeshift light-box consisted of my bendable halogen clipped to the table and turned upside-down, my 12.5in ruler, and eight tupperware cups held in place with double-sided tape. I also hold the pattern in place on the ruler and the fabric on both with a few pieces of double-sided tape. It worked a treat! Although with black fabric, make sure the lines on your pattern are quite dark - the heavy pencil lines were just ok, but the lighter ones too hard to see easily, so I went over them with a sharpie.

The ruler did get pretty warm though, so if you do this, I'd recommend turning off the light regularly - such as whenever you reposition the fabric. I traced with a clover white marker. Initially it looks as though its left no mark, but after a few seconds it shows up beautifully with just a single stroke. It comes out well with either water spray or ironing.

I stitched the snowflake outline with white Gutermann cotton, then experimented with fill options. I tried a few colours and threads and designs. The image below doesn't show it too well, but the top and bottom ones use a royal blue. The middle is a black and white variegated King Tut, but it wasn't the right place for it.

I ended up using royal blue Bottom Line thread, with a different colour (dark teal) in the bobbin. After I'd done the large feathers, I decided it'd be fun to turn it over and do the smaller ones from the back and have both colours showing. This is what I originally planned as the front:

Both sides look the same apart from the colour-swap, and now I can't decided which should be the front? Or whether I should make it double-sided. Apart from the label, that would be easy enough. But I can't decide between the binding fabrics; one works better with the blue and one with the teal. What do you think? This was originally going to be the back:

The charcoal looks a lot better in person than it does here. (ETA, I've sewn on the charcoal).

These are the two sides together for contrast:

Next time (there will be a next time) I'll fill the background with small swirls or something similar, not repeated echoing. I'm not entirely decided on this quilt's destination.

I'd also appreicate any tips for labelling a black double-sided quilt! My usual method would stick out a mile!

17 comments:

Kylie said...

Stunning. Love the double sided idea, but have no idea how you would label it. As for the binding, personally I prefer the charcoal, the dots are too distracting for me.

AJ said...

I'm leaning towards the dots Emma, the blue thread looks good here!

Caryn said...

I love this! As for labeling I have two suggestions - first if you just want your name on the label you could do it as a "tag" that gets sewn into the binding. Not sure if I am describing that very well! Also, I have a machine that sews letters - if you do also you can "write" the label info in thread on the binding (before attaching). I've done this several times and it works well once you get the hang of it. I also saw a tutorial once -sorry I have no idea where- on a binding that was one color on one side and another on the other side.

Cara said...

Holy WOW. That is incredibly beautiful. You could maybe sign it in white or blue thread just above the binding, sort of like an artist does a painting? Both sides looks amazing, I don't think I could choose a "front".

MandMStudio said...

Lovely:)

DoreyR said...

Your work is seriously amazing.
For a label, I echo the commenters who suggest signing in marker, on both sides. If the Sulky iron marker ink comes in colours other than black it would be ideal.
Congratulations on a beautiful design.

grendelskin said...

What a beautiful piece of work! I like the charcoal binding, and also the idea of stitching the wording onto the binding itself. You'll make the right choices either way, your eye is impeccable.

SandyQuilts said...

Beautiful and congrats.

Annie of Blue Gables said...

I am stunned by how beautiful this is, but also what a QUICK learner. You make a comment one day and on the same blog finish YET another quilt, in a completely different style.
as for a label, make one out of the same cloth with your signature in thread. You are so amazing.

A Plus Quilt Shop said...

This quilt is absolutely stunning! I love it and hope it will come my way lol! Thank you for the wonderful idea for a lightbox too! Exactly what I needed!

karen said...

Wow - I so love this. For the label how about making a hanging sleeve that goes across the top of the binding so it could be hung with either side facing "out". Then make similar hanging strip for the bottom of the piece and centre a label on this like they do for pieces of art in museums - because this is a piece of art. The recipient could hang it with label out or more discretely with label out. (I'd have it label out)

JazyJae's said...

Wow that is amazing, I like the idea of charcol cinding myself. Sorry no input for the label.

Austy's Mum said...

Glad you picked charcoal - it would have been my pick. As for the label - perhaps go back to your old labelling technique embroidering your initials and year into the binding? I know it's not as detailed as adding a proper label but would allow the quilt to work more as a double sided thing. Love the quilting!

Me aka Supermom said...

really lovely and creative!

labels... perhaps quilt it on in the blue in one corner?

Ferret said...

Oh my goodness that is so cool. It's a lovely quilt and I am so thrilled that one of mine inspired you to make it.

You've for me thinking of doing feathers with lost of different fills now. I really like the look of the blue sample you did.

Energy saving bulbs tend to stay cooler in improvised light boxes. Note the word tend :)

I like to make the label part of the design, but given this one is already done you could label it on the sleeve. OK you can't read it while the quilt is hanging but it would have all the information with it. Alternatively how about a long thin label along the bottom of the quilt with the information stitched in blue or white on black fabric?

Bec Clarke said...

Oh Wow you are constantly just amazing me. I love this pattern and the colours on the black background.

Lana said...

That's lovely! I like the idea of putting the label information along the binding. I'll be back to see more eye candy :-)