Last fall I met with a new client. She had been gifted a Charm Pack and wanted an art quilt made using them. We met and discussed ideas and options, fabrics and pricing and time frame; and settled upon an agreement. I would make her quilt for her, but would not start on it until after the New Year.
The New Year began and I started working on finalizing the design for the quilt, keeping in mind how the fabric would behave ( a very coarse, yet loosely woven fabric) and what the customer wanted for style. E-mails went back and forth, approval of the design was made and the work began in earnest.
The center section was simple consisting of charm squares (5″ squares for those unfamiliar with the term) and a basic grid design. The center had an appliqued square on top of the piecework and was soon completed.
Next up came the border of that coarse fabric.
That was where I had to put on my thinking cap. Working outside the “normal” traditional fabrics means you have to get creative and think a bit differently. Lightweight fusible interfacing to the rescue! After applying a layer of interfacing to the back of the fabric, it was stable enough to be cut to length and pieced onto the quilt.
I didn’t cut out the shape of the borders when I pieced it, I applied them as traditional mitered borders (the miter would be my guidelines for the design). After attaching the borders to the quilt, but before loading it for quilting, I used a template to trace what would become the outer edge of the quilt and then started the quilting process:
What you see quilted above would become the outside shape of the actual piece. For depth, dimension, and stability I used two layers of batting in this piece. One layer is Quilters Dream mid-loft cotton, the other layer is Quilters Dream Wool. Although it looks puffy above with just the freehand stitch in the ditch done, after quilting the squares settled down quite a bit:
The interior of the quilt was left dimensional, to mimic the diagonal in the outer borders:
Finally the quilt was faced rather than bound and the hanging tabs inserted. That allowed me to control the shape of the outside edge and did not put a line to stop the flow of the feathers as they come over the edge. Binding would have created a visual line that would have contained the feathers within it.
The end result from the front:
And from the back:
A detail of the quilting:
The quilt was presented to my customer today, she was ecstatic about it and will be repainting her room to match this piece.
Finally, I leave you with my companion, whose attitude toward the entire process shows in the picture.