Quilted UFOs: The Redwork Quilt
The Redwork Quilt has moved up in status from a UFO (unfinished object) to a WIP (work in progress). I have had to take a break for technical reasons. When I went to change my needle yesterday, I found I was out of my favorite, Schmetz Quilting Needle 90/14. Since I had some 75/11’s, I tried it in the sashing where I was free-motion quilting and the thread only broke once. I am using Invisafil 100-wt. in top and in bobbin. Today, however, the thread broke again while stitching in the ditch so I have decided to wait until tomorrow when I can go to town.
I’m not sure when I started this quilt (late 2011 perhaps) but I didn’t like the setting or the size so I started working on it again in 2012. Here you can see the dark blue flap I had placed on the red and white bubble fabric border. I love this fabric but it just did not work for this quilt.
Auditioning a new border.
Here is the quilt put back together, measuring 27-inches square.
Last spring I dug this out again and decided I wanted to make it bigger. I have too many more or less useless small quilts so I am making quilts that can hang in my dining room, maximum 42-inches wide and around 45-50 inches long. In order to make this larger, I dug into my 2-1/2 inch red squares and cut more squares from every piece of red I own and then added a 4-inch black border. When I want solid black, I use Kona–it’s a nice, consistent very dark black. Sometimes I’m even able to find it locally. The quilt is now 41-inches square.
I started in the center and outlined each square motif and the inside of the white square. Then I outlined them again. I think I am going to add some more lines of stitching so it will lie flatter. If I start in the center, I should be able to go around all four squares without breaking the thread.
Next, I was able to quilt the first border with a simple meander. Is there a difference between meandering and stippling? I used to be the world’s worst meanderer. I just couldn’t get anything to come together between my brain and the needle. So I started practicing. And practicing. And practicing. Every time I was going to free-motion a quilt, I would practice meandering whether I was going to actually use it or not. I have a small stencil which I would trace onto my practice piece and stitch over the lines. Then I would try to do it on my own. I still have to practice before putting it on a quilt but it has gotten much better. Sometimes I do just a plain meander but usually I add some kind of design, in this case flowers and leaves. I had a strip leftover from the Cotton+Steel quilt which was just the size I needed. If you want to add to your quilting repertoire, practice some simple motifs with meandering. I have added different flowers with leaves, stars, pumpkins, and Christmas motifs. Try to practice making these motifs upside down to add variety without pivoting the quilt. If you run into a problem, you can just rip back to the motif, and start there again–no one will be the wiser.
When I was cleaning out my files this spring, I got rid of the red work booklet with the embroidery design I used. I found it online: The Red Book, designed by Diane Arthurs from the Powder Mill. I saw it on a resale website for $30. I assure you I did not pay that much for it but it must be out of print now, which somehow has translated into giving people license to sell books at outrageous prices. Grrr. Go to the library, check with a friend, look for any line drawing available to you. Because the motifs were small, I used one strand of floss and a backstitch. I just couldn’t get the outline stitch to look good. I also lined the white-on-white fabric with a stretch knit interfacing so that the knots and traveling would not show. Of course when I started quilting, I noticed a knot had migrated through the interfacing but If anyone notices that, then they are just looking too dang hard.
So that’s my story for today. I’m over the recommended word count. Sorry. I’ll be back next week with an update.