Friday, October 24, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival Fall 2014

Welcome to my blog and my entry into the Hand Quilted Category in the Fall 2014 Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side.  I present to you my king size, hand quilted, Swoon quilt for your consideration, and hopefully your enjoyment....ta da!

DS Handquilted Swoon Quilt

If you follow me on Instagram or here on my blog, you will have seen this quilt before.  If you have been watching VERY closely, you will remember that I postponed washing this epic mass of quiltiness.  Not sure why I did that.  I premonition of evil, perhaps?*  Well, folks, I've washed (and dried) it.  And here is a close up of the results...

DS Handquilted Swoon Quilt

Well, nothing evil in *this* picture!  Just mounds of soft and squishy, beautiful fabrics, textures and stitches on my bed!  Would you believe my first experience touching with my own hands the exquisite smushiness all over hand quilting produces was with own hand quilted quilts?  I live in a virtual world, people.

DS Handquilted Swoon Quilt

Shall I tell you a little bit about this quilt?   I began with a well known pattern by Camille Roskelley called Swoon.   The blocks in the original pattern are 24" square each.  I reduced mine to about 16.75" square.  I used Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Flax as background fabric, and used my little collection of Denyse Schmidt prints.

DS Handquilted Swoon Quilt

I've used prints from several Denyse Schmidt collections in the quilt.  You'll see one print from Katy Jump Rope, several from Flea Market Fancy, Shelburne Falls, and some from Hope Valley.  The binding is from Chicopee and the large scale blue peonies on the backing are from Greenfield Hill.

DS Handquilted Swoon Quilt

The final dimensions are 107" by 90" and it fits nicely on my king size bed.  I added the border of 3" square scraps to use up all that pretty goodness, and make the quilt larger. The border was not original to the pattern.  I do love a scrappy border.  

DS Handquilted Swoon

And as I mentioned above (um, a couple of times, I'm so proud) I hand quilted the whole quilt.  This wasn't the first quilt I've used hand quilting in.  There was this one.  It was a lap quilt and I quilted it very minimally with big perle cotton stitches in several straight lines.  And this one.  A baby quilt.   And just as an accent on a few others.  This Swoon quilt was a bit more of a challenge!

DS Handquilted Swoon Quilt

I learned quickly that hand quilting across seams is tricky. I had originally intended to quilt a line around each star and each outer ring...and...well, it wasn't a fully formed plan.  As you can see, I ended up quilting the inside of every piece of every block, except for the narrow points in the ring, where I did stitch across seams and "united" the two pieces (you can see in the block above, in those orange "points" in between the blue sections).

Hand Quilting Progress on the Swoon

This photo above was taken while quilting was in progress.  For thread, I used primarily Aurifil thread in a 12 wt.  This is a rather thick thread but not as thick as perle cotton which is an 8 wt (which I did use in a couple of blocks).  I used a variety of colours and just matched them to the block I was working on.  If you could look closely, you would see orange, aqua, stone, green, brown, blue, coral and white threads in the quilt.
DS Handquilted Swoon Quilt

Here is the back.  I didn't have enough of the lovely blueberry Greenfield Hills peony fabric, so inserted panels of a multi-floral from the Shelburne Falls line.  Can you see all the dots of the stitches showing on the back?  Don't look too close.  I also learned that it is hard to make the back look as pretty as the front does when hand quilting!  

Hand Quilted Swoon Quilt

This photo was taken this summer as soon as quilting and binding was done, and before washing and drying.  And if you want to know how long it took me to hand quilt it, I spent 6 months from start to finish.  I figure it was about a block per week, and then a couple of weeks to do the sashing and border.

DS Handquilted Swoon Quilt

Ok.  I think I've blathered on about this quilt long enough.  You probably could have scrolled straight to this section and have been done with it!  Here are the stats in a nutshell:


Pattern:  Swoon by Camille Roskelley for Thimble Blossoms (resized to my own dimensions)
Print Fabrics for Blocks: Various Denyse Schmidt lines, including Katy Jump Rope, Hope Valley, Shelburne Falls, and Flea Market Fancy.
Background Fabric for Blocks: Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Flax
Binding: Chicopee Simple Plaid in Black by Denyse Schmidt
Backing: Greenfield Hill Preservation Peony in Blueberry and Multi Floral from Shelburne Falls by Denyse Schmidt
Piecing Thread: Aurifil 50 wt. in 2325
Quilting Thread: Aurifil 12 wt. in various colours, DMC perle cotton
Batting: Warm & Natural
Dimensions: 107" by 90"


*Oh!  Now to the aforementioned premonition of evil.  Go look at the third photo above (the one of the whole quilt on the log wall).  See the block in the first column, third one down?  The one with the aqua star and orange print?  See the discoloured orange squares?  Go ahead, and look close, I'll wait....  Hmmmm, right?  It seems the navy backing nicely shared its excess dye with *some* of my pieces of orange/red medallion fabric and not some others.  (I bought that orange fabric from two separate suppliers, but I have no other explanation).  You can see problems elsewhere in the quilt.  One star that has the orange/red print (3rd column, second down) was entirely stained with the blue dye, one was entirely NOT stained (upper right corner).  There is more: the white flowers in the Katy Jump Rope fabric took blue dye, as did the checked Shelburne Falls print, and the multi- floral Shelburne Falls as well.  But the white flowers in the Flea Market Fancy print is as bright as ever!  So weird.  And yes, I did use colour catchers.  Four of them to be precise!  But no, I did not pre-wash any fabrics.  I have never done so before, and I have never had a problem before this quilt.  Anyways... I shared my woes on Instagram, as one does.  I received some great and hopeful advice of some product to try.  Well, life has been busy and I haven't tried it yet... and I might not even bother ordering it.  The little "flaws" are kind of growing on me... :)

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