Monday, March 30, 2015

Lake House Romance Pillow

Hi all -

I've finished my project for the March FMQ challenge. This month our inspirational artist was Patsy Thompson. Those of you who know me, know that I've been a big fan of hers ever since I first heard of her several years ago. She is such a wonderful quilter and shares so much with the community! I have both of her books and several of her DVDs. Her books are worth getting simply for the beauty of the books themselves, and have the added benefit of great information.

Anyway, the timing of this month's challenge was perfect for me. I need to start working on quilting my sister's wedding quilt soon (they were married last Dec and I gave them the pieced top for their wedding, with a promise of the quilting as their Christmas present this year) and was thinking about using some hyperquilting, so this month's challenge was the perfect time to test out my ideas on a pillow. Here is a picture of the completed quilt top:

The first step was to piece the pillow top. I have some 20" pillow forms, so I decided to go with that size. It also worked perfectly with the original quilt since it was made with 2" finished squares, so I was able to use the exact same size of blocks on the pillow. Here is the pillow top:

Some of you might remember that when I originally made my sister's top, I wasn't paying attention to the size of the quilt when planning it out in EQ7. When I finally realized this, I had enough extra blocks to make 2/3 of another queen-sized quilt. So, while piecing the pillow top, I also took the time to finish the center portion of my version of this quilt. I love the colors and design, so I'm really excited to have one of my own. Of course, the quilting on mine will be different.

My plan was to put a feathered wreath in the center of each of the blocks. So, now was the time to draft that wreath. To start, I cut a piece of tracing paper bigger than the block center and traced the edges on the paper. I traced them with pencil so there would be no chance of ink getting on my block, then went over it with permanent marker so that I wouldn't lose the outline when erasing as I drew my wreath. I also added center lines and creased the paper on the vertical center line so I could trace from one side of the paper to the other. I used a flexible curve to some hearts inside the block:

I needed 3 hearts: the feather spine, the outer boundary for the plumes and the inner boundary for the plumes. Then I drew the plumes free-hand on one side and traced them on the other side:

Once I was happy with them, I drew over them with permanent marker so I could work on other features:

I thought this was looking good, but I needed something to fill that area above the heart. This is what I came up with:

Now it was time to think about the trapunto and the hyperquilting. If I was going to do hyperquilting, then I would want to use my quilting thread when attaching the trapunto batting so that the hyperquilting wouldn't smash down the feathers. But if I didn't do any hyperquilting, then I would want to do the trapunto quilting with water-soluable thread so that I wouldn't have to put invisible thread in the quilt when doing the final quilting. I rewatched some of Patsy's Craftsy class to get some hyperquilting ideas, and realized that some of my plumes were too small for hyperquilting so trapunto with the water-soluable thread would be the way to go. I can play with hyperquilting on my version of the quilt when I get around to quilting that one. Luckily, Patsy covers trapunto using water-soluable thread in her Craftsy class, so this project would still qualify for the FMQ challenge.

With that decision made, I could move on to the trapunto. I began by transferring the design to my pillow top using a light box and a pink Sew-Line pencil. I tried a couple of different marking tools, and that one seemed to show up the best for me. In my design, the feathered heart and the upper plume don't actually touch each other, so I decided that it would be easier to cut out the excess batting if I worked on each area individually. So I pinned some wool batting behind the upper plume:

And quilted it using water-soluable thread in the top and a light blue thread on the bottom (as Patsy suggests in her class):

Then I cut away the excess batting:

I did the same for the feathered heart. It worked really well to do these separately.

With the trapunto done, I could now create the quilt sandwich as usual and do the quilting. Here it is with the quilting finished:

And a picture of the back so you can see the quilting better:

I used the same thread in the bobbin as in the top. The main quilting was done with Glide and the background quilting with Kimono silk. I started by quilting the straight lines in the chains to stabilize the top for the FMQ. The quilting in the chains represents the diamond from the engagement ring. Then I quilted the main motif and added 3 echoing lines using the silk thread to make the motif really stand out. Now I had to decide on the background quilting. I'm always unsure of what I want to use in the background. I knew I wanted curved cross-hatching inside of the heart, but how to fill up that outer space? Then it dawned on me -- a water meander to go with the theme of the quilt. Perfect! Here are a few more pictures of the quilting:

And the final pillow:

I'm really excited with how this turned out!

When I go to quilt the big quilt, I'm thinking that I'll probably skip the trapunto step. It does provide some nice texture, but the plumes are small enough that I think I'll get much the same effect with just regular quilting, and that'll save me a lot of time.

Hope you enjoyed this!