The quilt I made for my partner, Katherine, as part of DQS13 has arrived, and she has assured me she loves it. So here it is in full:
I learned several things while making this quilt, and am delighted with how it turned out.
The main thing was I realised the need for even heavier weight threads than I'd anticipated. I suspect that is largely due to the relative roughness of the linen I used as the base for the wholecloth quilt. This was my first time working with linen.
I also learned that while I'll never jump aboard the red and aqua bandwagon, there are ways to combine the two in ways I do like. This was aided by my choice of aquas on the green side of the scale (had I been able to obtain them, I would actually have preferred threads tending more towards apple green, but these still work) and deep reds with pink undertones. My partner expressed a like for the combination, but I could never bring myself to spend so many hours staring at colours I disliked, so I made it work.
I marked out sets of circles with evenly spaced segments as guidelines, then quilted everything free-hand. No fancy machine stitches were used; just a regular straight stitch, with the feed-dogs dropped and a free-motion foot and my hands to guide.
I didn't mark any of the actual quilting lines, just used the guidelines to keep my circles round and lace patterns even.
I used a variety of patterns - mostly scallops, loops and pearls in various forms and combinations. Some of the patterns are double-stitched to make them stand out better.
This quilt used quite a handful of threads in different weights, of numerous fibre types and from a selection of manufacturers - covered in this early progress post.
The stand-out thread was the sparkly white Razzle Dazzle which was couched in bobbin-work. I added it towards the end, once there was enough quilting already in place guided by the marked guidelines, that I could use the quilting as pseudo-guidelines to work from the back. Then I just kept adding more and more until each doily seemed complete. Many of the rows overlap or interlink with each other to increase the lace effect I was after.
Each doily-inspired circle is a different size, and all were quilted differently. I deliberately made a couple of the smaller ones in just aqua and white or red and white for variety. I carefully minimised my use of the red; being so much darker than the rest, it could easily have dominated the quilt, and I didn't want that.
And some exciting news, I'm about to commence work on a similar piece, using the same linen, as a project for Australian Patchwork & Quilting magazine's special machine quilting issue later this year!