Thursday, June 9, 2016

Estes Park Whole Cloth Quilt

I am very lucky to be a part of a local quilt group for Longarm Quilters.  We meet on a monthly basis and encourage each other in various ways.  Each year we participate as a group at the Heritage Park Festival of Quilts by displaying our work in a group format.

For 2016, it was decided that we would give members opportunity to participate in 2 groups.  Some of us did Log Cabin Quilts and some of us did Wholecloth quilts.  Right away I knew that I was going to participate in the Wholecloth Group.  I took a class from Barbara Chaney waaaay back in 2003 at the first ever Harriet Hargrave's Machine Quilting Celebration.  My first day of classes was with Barbara and English wholecloth quilts.  This is what I drafted in class.  It's been rolled up in the bin ever since.  So, I pulled it out and re-worked it for our size requirement (40" max per side).

I chose a lovely neutral grey solid fabric and marked out all the outlines with a white marking pencil.  
 I loaded the quilt and started quilting.  My daughter chose this bright neon lime Fabulux thread from WonderFil.  I wasn't sure, but she assured me it would look good.
I thoroughly enjoyed the quilting process on my Handi Quilter Avante.  And I agree with my daughter, the lime looks good against the grey.
You can see below that I got through a good chunk of the quilting.  But as I rolled the quilt, I noticed that the tension was not as perfect as I expected.  Also, there was a rotten "knocking" sound which meant to me that the needle tension was too tight.

I played with the tension, but couldn't get it to be just right.
I ended taking my machine off the frame and taking it with me when I went to Edmonton in April to teach at Central Sewing Machines.  The guys cleaned and oiled.  The only thing the technician said was that I was using the "wrong" bobbins.  These were new to me, and I have not used them since and have gotten good tension.
 So, I decided to start over.  When I went back to the store to get more grey, they didn't have it, so I chose this lovely teal instead.  The pictures show blue, but it's a lovely teal.
I marked and loaded the quilt.
 This time I chose WonderFil's DecoBob thread.  It's an 80wt polyester rather than the 40wt Fabulux.
I started by quilting in each section and then went back the quilted the background fill.  Because I had a cotton and a wool batt (to get as much loft as I could) I was afraid of the fabric shifting at the edges. I quilted lines spaced 1-1 1/2" apart to stabilize, then went back and filled in with dense piano keys.
 I spent a lot of time with my nose very close to the quilt.  I outlined as much as I could.
I then filled in with very dense "squiggles".
 Once the marking lines were removed the quilt looks great!

 It was hanging behind the RCMP building at Heritage Park,

I had my husband hold it up to the light so we could get a better picture.
 I printed the label on fabric with all the details.

1 comment:

  1. Looks great, Allison! Someday I will do a whole cloth, too. This is inspiration for me. Thanks
    Pauline Sawatsky