Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Everything Plus the Girl

Drum roll, please...oh heck, forget the drum roll and bring out the trumpets! This week, after 6 months of designing, piecing, gluing, fusing, embellishing and quilting, the freshly blocked garrison quilt was squared, trimmed, bound, sleeved (is that a word?), titled and labeled.

Then, for the last time, the girl came out of her drawer. By Tuesday afternoon, she was gliding up the cobblestone path to the castle garrison. (Did you ever try to glide on cobblestones? :)

Hanging from a makeshift rod that sagged in the middle. I have no real way or place to hang this quilt, which is roughly 43 x 54. Notice the 24-inch ruler hanging from the pegboard.

First, though, she was hand-basted through countless layers of fabric and fusible to keep her firmly in place for free-motion machine applique. Otherwise, her skirt could easily have ended up out of alignment with its shadow, and (horrors!) her entire body could have leaned to one side.

The main challenge was the thickness of the fabric. Counting the girl's 3 to 4 layers, there was a total of up to 10 layers of fabric under the needle. Not even the darning foot in its highest position was high enough. Time to go footless.

If you've ever done that, you know the fabric bounces with each up-and-down motion of the needle. This causes skipped stitches--especially with mono-poly thread, which I was using on top. (Note: my Janome dealer advised me to use mono-poly only when truly necessary. This is the first time I've used it on this machine. Sulky brand is very fine and flexible, unlike the old 'fishing line' mono-poly.) To counteract the bouncing and protect my fingers, I tried using my smallest embroidery hoop (not shown), but it wasn't close enough to the needle to stop the bouncing.

Then I remembered these little guys:

Honestly, I've never liked them very much for their intended purpose, which is clamping around a rolled quilt at the machine--they're too little! However, after knotting 4 rubber bands around one of them, it became a nice, grippy 3-inch 'hoop,' holding the fabric down reasonably well around the needle AND giving me a hand-hold, which helped keep my fingers away from the needle. Pushing gently down on the little hoop also helped me slide the fabric on the machine bed during the free-motion applique.


And now she's ready for her close-up, Mr. DeMille:


Stock photo from MarjoleinART on deviantart.com




















She actually looks much more padded than that, as she has her own batting under the dress and hair. The next photo, while a bit blurry, captures the resulting texture a little better:


Below is the back (obviously) of the quilt...
Yardstick at bottom. Sagging rod at top.














...and the label:

The title popped into my head as I woke up the other morning.

The photo that inspired the quilt, taken by VVHH (very versatile handy husband), was shown in a previous post; here it is again:


As you can see in the label photo, the railing and yours truly were digitally removed. Later, the cropped figure of Marjolein (shown next to the close-up of the girl, above) was dropped into the scene. By the way, in case you're wondering, her face is absolutely lovely!






You may have noticed by now that the embroidered shrubs shown in this photo were not included after all. There were several reasons for that, but they'll be used in later quilts. As quilters know, nothing's ever wasted! That goes for landscape quilting, too.



A couple of goodies from the Universe this week:


Five yards of a gorgeous cotton-poly blend found in storage downstairs. Probably been there about 4 years, and totally forgotten until now. It's the perfect fabric for the joining strips I'll be needing for the quilt-as-you-go blocks.










A purple plastic-netting bag my friend Kathy brought me the other day. It came with onions in it (or maybe shallots)--and a portion of it fits beautifully over this 5000m spool of thread.










Okay, I've just got to do this cropped version of The Visit before I sign off.  :)  (By the way, for those of you who haven't visited here before, the title of this post, Everything Plus the Girl, is a sequel to a post months ago, titled Everything BUT the Girl.)


Linking up here with Sarah Craig's Whoop Whoop Friday, where she has had two big finishes this week. Also hooking up with Leah Day's FMQ Project Linkup, where her lovely Quilt Me fabric from Spoonflower has arrived. She has some other good news, too.

Signing off for now. Everyone have a great weekend. We're having our Dogwood Festival here this weekend, but they're everywhere, along with so many other gorgeous blossoming trees. Enjoy!

Linda

42 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, Linda!! This quilt is awesome just as I imagined it would be. I would love to be able to do this kind of work. I don't know if I have that kind of patience, though. It is magnificent. You will be able to win all kinds of awards for this. Great job!

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    1. Hey Teresa! Thank you so much. Got to admit, it took more than a little patience, and I think it will be a while before I tackle something that involved again. Then again, who knows. You know how it is when inspiration strikes. Thanks again!

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  2. My goodness! You did it and it is fantastic! I love everything about her, worth every second you put in and I suspect it was a LOT of seconds. Thanks for sharing her and your journey, it was fun to watch for sure!

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    1. Thank you, Susan, and thank you so much for following the progress. Never dreamed it was going to take this long and be this much work, but I learned so much and had a lot of fun with it, too!

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  3. Linda! Stunningly beautiful, romantic, enigmatic. What's the story behind the visit? I can't wait to see it at a show! Will you show it, hope so.
    Leeanna Paylor
    lapaylor.blogspot.com

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    1. Leeanna, thanks so much. Romantic and enigmatic are exactly what I was going for. In the beginning of this project I thought of a couple of plots for this scene, but about midway through, decided it would be more fun to let the viewer come up with her/his own story. I'm hoping the title The Visit will provoke some intriguing scenarios. I'm giving some thought to the possibility of showing this, but will have to find out what all that would entail. Thanks again!

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  4. Fantastic quilt and it will be inspirational for quilters everywhere. I'm not a quilter but I've enjoyed following its progress and am looking forward to your next project!

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    1. Thank you so much for following along, it has been great fun to share!

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  5. Hallo Linda,
    dein Bild ist einfach wunderschön...so schön gearbeitet...so viele Details.Wundervoll!

    Liebe Grüße aus Germany, sendet dir
    Klaudia

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    1. Klaudia, thank you, and thanks so much for keeping up with the progress of it!

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  6. Congratulations on the finish and oh what a finish it is! WOW! I've followed your journey on this quilt and learned a lot along with you so thank you for sharing the process. Will you enter it it in any quilt shows! It's definately show worthy. Have you ever tried aurifill clear monofilament? It's the best I've used although I hate all of it, sometimes you just need to use it.

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    1. Thank you, Carol! I'm thinking about looking into showing it, but need to educate myself about what all is involved in that process. No, that's a brand I haven't tried, but I certainly will now. Yeah, I really debated about using monofilament vs. regular poly thread, but just couldn't quite get on board with all the thread breaks and color switches I'd have had to make to get around the girl's hair and dress. The dark monofilament especially worked well on the dress. Thanks so much for following this project, it's been so fun to share.

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  7. Wow. Sheer amazement at your truly unique talent! I'm awestruck. I think this one is my favorite yet!

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    1. Thanks, Julie, this is definitely my favorite. Of course after 6 months, things are bound to grow on a person. LOL Love you!

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  8. Gorgeous! I can't believe how you quilted it. Truly inspirational work. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you, Jen. It's been so much fun to share.

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  9. Amazing quilt! Thank you so much for posting about the process. Very inspirational.

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    1. Thank you, I'll miss writing posts about it. Guess it's time to begin something else!

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  10. WOW! Seriously WOW! This looks so realistic I think the quilt looks better than the photo it was based on. Great job Linda!

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    1. You just made my day, Leah. There is nothing like a commendation from someone you consider one of your teachers. Thank you sooooo much!

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  11. AMAZING!! Thanks so much for sharing your creative process so thoroughly!

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    1. Dena, you're more than welcome. Thank you for reading along!

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  12. I think I started following when you were about the half way mark; stupendous job Linda. Now start packing to move to a house where you can display this masterpiece.

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    1. Hey, I like that idea!! LOL Thank you so much.

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  13. Fabulous - thank you so much for sharing your journey with us on this quilt. We have learned a lot!

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    1. Thank you! It's been my pleasure, and blogging about it has helped me stay focus and on task. I learned a lot myself, come to think of it!

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  14. That is amazing, Linda! I stand in awe of your skill…. Whoop whoop!!

    PS Didn't know you lived in Louisville - my husband and I lived there about thirty years ago while he went to seminary...

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    1. Thank you, Sarah. Oh cool! It's grown quite a lot since then but is still not a large city by any means. Just big enough!

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  15. A lovely work of art. The detail is astounding.

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    1. Thank you, Karen. I sometimes detail myself right into trouble, so am relieved to have stopped short of the shrubbery!

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  16. Congratulations on your finish. It is an amazing quilt - and looks so much better with the girl... Is she bringing a key with her to release her love?
    Hugs

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    1. Now see, that's something that had never occurred to me. Love it!!!

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  17. This is spectacular!!! Such detail!! I've enjoyed reading your progress reports! It is magnificent! Congratulations!

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    1. Thank you, Lorette, I'm so glad you followed along with the progress and enjoyed it!

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  18. Hello Linda,

    How did I miss the big finish until now? It is fantastic - so much detail and the whole picture has real depth. You must be so pleased (and relieved) to have it all done and on the wall.

    And what is the story in the picture? You must tell us...

    Love, Muv

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    1. Thanks, Muv! Yes, very glad to be finished, although I'll miss blogging about it. Haven't decided what the next project will be. As far as the story, I started to post a couple of plots I had in mind for the story in the quilt, but then decided it would be a lot more fun just to title it and let the viewer come up with her/his own scenario. I think there could be lots of interesting ones. Terri, two comments above yours here, already came up with one that had never occurred to me!

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  19. I'm late to the comment party but, I absolutely love your work. This piece is outstanding....WOW!!

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    1. Rhonda, it's never too late! Thank you, and thank you so much for following along. It's been so much fun to share this. I entered it in the AQS Chattanooga contest today. It wasn't made for show, but maybe it will have a shot anyway. Wish me luck. :)

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  20. Hello Linda,

    Just nipping by to say that I have put in a link to your blog on my blog post today - which has absolutely nothing to do with quilting!

    Love, Muv

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  21. I am just sitting here with my mouth hanging open. This piece is absolutely gorgeous! Beautiful work, and I so enjoyed reading some of your process.

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    1. Thank you, and thanks for reading about it! Sharing that project in the blog was so much fun for me and also served to keep me on track.

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