here; it's super-easy to do.
Here is my finish, Yvonne's Wayward Transparency quilt along, which I've named 'Flow':
It is on my Q1 FAL which is here. You may be thinking, wait, what? Snow? I thought she was in Florida now. Well I am. No, there's no snow here. I took these photos before we left Ontario so that I didn't have to bring the quilt with me. I'm writing from Florida. 😉
All right, on with things... I wasn't sure about what layout to do; I didn't want borders, and the layouts with points in, or points out, or two in/two out, didn't sit right with me. When Tish showed me a layout she'd come up with, ding!ding!ding! the lightbulb went on and I knew this was it.
|Late afternoon light to capture that texture! I haven't washed it yet, so it's bound to crinkle up more!|
I love watching birds, have done for many years. When we lived in Alberta, we were on the migratory path for sandhill cranes. They fly WAY HIGH up; often so high it takes a while to find them, although you can hear their distinct calls. They will circle, waiting for an updraft, which, when they catch, flings them off south, much like a kid shoots out of a waterslide. Here in southern Ontario, I love watching turkey vultures float on the updrafts, lazily flapping their albatross-worthy wings every once in awhile, kind of like me floating in a pool, waving my arms in an 's' motion every once in a while.
So the circular movement of the 'geese' I see in this quilt felt right. Also feeling right was knowing I'd do a spiral quilting design, something I've not done over an entire quilt top, kind of like ripples made by tossing a pebble into some water.
I started in the centre of the quilt with a circle that spiralled outwards, doing the first several rounds FMQ-style so I didn't have to maneuver the bulk of the quilt. I marked 1/2" intervals so I had something to aim for. Here's a short video of that beginning:
After that, I switched to my walking foot, using the edge of it as my 1/2" guide.
Going around in circles did take a lot longer than I'd figured!
|I love that the circle and triangles in the main background fabric can be found in the piecing and quilting.|
What thread was I using? You might be able to tell it's a variegated one from the above photo. Bella picked it:
|Sulky for the win!|
It not only gives the quilt more movement, it also gives great texture.
TIP: I found about half way through the spiral quilting, that the quilt was starting to get a bit distorted from continually quilting in the same direction. I hadn't done something I always do on quilts, stitch in the ditch to stabilize. I'd figured with this dense of quilting, I wouldn't need to... Ditch-stitching also helps to prevent ripples on the back, a problem I read that a lot of quilters who pin-baste have. I don't pin baste anymore; it's glue basting all the way baby, never a problem since 1998 or '99 when I first had my quilting life changed by it. However, this quilt, though glue-basted, was getting distorted. So I stopped spiralling, and ditch-stitched along both central axes (plural of axis; I checked!), and then added more ditched lines along the largest long edge of two opposing triangles, and then went back to spiralling. It blends right in; you don't see these lines on the front or even on the back as the spiral takes front and centre. This is also why I am a press-to-one-side, usually the dark side, girl. The ditch-stitching will disappear in the 'valley' of that tiny ridge since you stitch on the low side of it. With seams pressed open, your ditch-stitching falls between the fabrics, not stabilizing the top at all, because your stitching is on top of the threads holding the two fabrics together. Hope that makes sense, and hope that helps to stabilize your quilt. I still plan to wash and block this quilt once we're back home.
Notice more of the circles motif in the deepest pink? That's all that's left of Masterpiece Mixers by Paintbrush Studio Fabrics. The medium pink is an older leftovers fabric, one that looks like a batik, but isn't. It has a hand like an AGF fabric. The lightest pink was a purchase, a Joel Dewberry on sale, bought a few months ago with no project in mind. I love blending newer and older fabrics.
When it came to the backing, I rifled through my pinks to see if I had anything that would work, and found the pink floral, purchased a winter or two ago in the sale section of Alma Sue's Quilt Shop in Sarasota, but of course there was not enough...
|I love the sugary snow that ended up here and there on the quilt!|
Then I spied a fabric I just love: that Nancy Crow deep fuchsia and orange tropical print, but hesitated to use it on the back of a quilt (it's another leftover, from the same quilt as the pink batik-like one). Then I thought uh hello? This leftover has sat for how long waiting to become the front of a quilt for me? So part of the back it became. Still not enough, so I added nearly all that was left of the medium pink. Perfect.
Binding fabric had to be the only fabric I had enough of, the medium pink. I sewed it to the front, and hand-stitched it down on the back, my favourite, albeit slowest, method.
I always sign my quilts somewhere, but I didn't want to detract from the spiral, so I FMQ-ed just my initials in the one corner.
Here's the label, a triangle.😉
A deeper meaning to this quilt
I started the quilt along in October. I'd chosen two colours, first, my favourite, blues, and second, because I'd only just got the Joel Dewberry, the pinks. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, so pinks seemed fitting. Then, near the beginning of October, and throughout the entire month and beyond, actors were coming forward with allegations of sexual assault and harassment against Harvey Weinstein. It got me thinking more about women. Our power. Our sisterhood. How we've been 'beneath' men forever. All through the making of this quilt during the quilt along, more and more women were coming forward with allegations against big names, men abusing their power, taking advantage of girls and women. Then, a BBC news presenter, Carrie Gracie, quit her job in China when she found out she wasn't being paid equally for equal work; she's since exposed the BBS for doing this repeatedly and secretively despite the Equality Act. E! host Catt Sadler quit when she discovered her male co-host was making double her salary... While finishing the quilt, the Larry Nassar trial was going on, and again, I was struck by the strength and resilience of women, many of his victims mere girls when he assaulted them, who found the courage to speak out and hopefully stop this behaviour, once and for all. I'll never part with this quilt; it holds all these events in its vibrant pink heart.
Pattern: Wayward Transparency
Size: 48" square
Fabric: 'Wander' by Joel Dewberry, scraps and stash
Batting: Warm 'n Natural
Quilted: on my Bernina
Threads: pieced with Gütermann cotton; quilted with Sulky variegated pink rayon, Aurifil 2600 in the bobbin
What have you finished this week? You may link up your blog post, Flickr or Instagram post using the link up below. Remember to visit a few blogs and spread some quilty love and encouragement. Please include a link to this blog post and/or the TGIFF button, so your followers can come here to view all the great finishes! You never know, you may have your quilter ADD kick in, and have to go DRop Everything And Make It, aka DREAMi! (Come back for that link up on Saturday; see sidebar for the button which will take you to the explanation post.)
I'll be linking up my finish:
and to some of the other Friday Finish parties in QBL:
Crazy Mom Quilts
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Busy Hands Quilts
Tish 'n Wonderland - because this was on my Quilting Confessions UFO List and now it's off that list!