Sunday, August 14, 2016

IQA Silent Auction Quilt Started

Hi all -

IQA, the people who put on the Houston show, have a silent auction at the show with quilts for sale to raise money for the organization. Each year they ask the ribbon winners from the previous show to make a little quilt for the auction. Since I won my ribbon last year, I was asked to contribute this year and I agreed. The only requirements for these quilts is that they must be no larger than 25"x25" and must include a hanging sleeve and a label. So, I could do anything that I wanted. Of course, I stressed over this for a while because a lot of the top names in the industry will have quilts in the auction so I have to make something nice enough to hang with the rest. After some thought, I decided that my forte is quilting so I needed to make something where the quilting shines; something like a wholecloth quilt. I like quilting that sketches out an image, but I can't draw, so I pulled out my copyright-free Dover books and looked for an image that I liked. This is the image that I ended up choosing:

The next decision is the color and type of fabric and the color and type of thread. My first thought was to make this look like a sketch by using black thread on a white cotton fabric. I let that float in my mind for a couple of days (yes, I do most of my design work in my head), but the image in my head looked to stark for me. So I decided to do more of a sepia tone image with reddish brown thread on a cream fabric. I decided to stick with cotton fabric to mimic paper and to use a flat cotton batting to keep with that theme. The first step was to transfer the image to the fabric. I started by pinning the image to the underside of the fabric so it wouldn't slip while tracing:

You can see the image just fine through the fabric without a lightbox, but using a lightbox makes it so much easier:

For the marking, I went to my blue wash-out markers. I've always had good luck with those and I have both thick and thin ones so they should work well. So I went to work, tracing away:

I would turn the lightbox off periodically to check my lines and to make sure I didn't miss anything:

After a couple of hours of work, I had the whole image traced:

And I could still see the lines well even after removing the paper image from the back:

When sandwiching the quilt, I made the back and batting extra large so I can easily add borders after the quilting, if desired. It's always good to have options!

For the thread, I decided to use my favorite 40 wt Glide. FilTec recently came out with a new 60 wt Glide and I picked up a bunch of cones to try. The colors are limited, but I had picked up a brown (color name Mahogany) that was very close to what I was envisioning for this quilt, so I pulled the 40 wt in the same color for the top thread and the 60 wt for the bobbin. This doesn't save money since the 60 wt is more expensive than the 40 wt, but it will make the back neater and will put more thread in the bobbin so I don't have to worry about that running out while quilting.

I got all of the lines quilted:

I'll go back over some of these lines to make them thicker and darker like the original picture, but I wanted to remove the blue first so I have a better idea of the final outcome:

I'm liking it so far. It has the sketchy look that I wanted, but isn't harsh. I'm waiting for it to dry before darkening those lines, but I think it's going to work well.

Once the seahorse itself is finished, I'll add some background quilting. All of the background quilting will be done in a 100 wt silk thread in a color matching the fabric. My current plans include a narrow echo line around the seahorse to help it pop. Then pebbles across the bottom with seaweed and coral extending upwards, if I can draw those in a way that I like. The a water fill behind everything. I'll draw a line indicating the edges so I'll know where to end the quilting. After the quilting is done, I can decide on the borders.

That's all I've got for now. I'll leave you with an image of Lance and the kitties relaxing on the couch:

Lance is so patient!



  1. Love your start and your vision for the background. Beautiful work! Lance is my kind of guy. . .sharing the couch with a friend--life is great!--Terry

  2. Thanks! The kitties do love Lance. And he usually tolerates them, so life is good!

  3. Wonderful Nancy, thanks for the explanation. Going to be fabulous. I think Lance prefers wearing the kitties than your knitting.

    1. Thanks! You're seeing Lance at his nice moment. There are other times when he's not so patient! I need to get back to my knitting.....