family, quilting

“A Splash of Silver”

When the challenge committee presented “A Splash of Silver” we laughed out loud at their “Laurel & Hardy” type of banter.  They incorporated our 25th anniversary and our 10th show in a unique and fun way giving us a lot of latitude in making our challenge quilts.  The rules are simple: it must be quilted; no side longer than 25″ and no side shorter than 10; must be a square or rectangle; must have some silver as little or as much as you’d like to incorporate.  We’re given pretty broad rules for this one!

Over the course of the last month my second challenge quilt emerged when I needed a bit of play time.  With program information and quilt finishing deadlines fast approaching the need for that play time was necessary.  So I stopped whatever I was doing at that moment, picked up a piece of paper and drew a “Splat”.  This is Libby Lehmans technical term for the amazing designs she employs in “Thread Play”.  I chose a piece of red silk for the top, pinned the splat, pinned some batting (trapunto here), outlined with the silver thread and voila! the design is complete.  I spent the next hour cutting out batting where I didn’t want it.  Have you ever tried to cut through two layers of batting?  Then came the “Thread Play” part I batted and backed the quilt and quilted the daylights out of this thing.  The result: “Splat”:

As you can see above I added a bit more quilting after I attached the binding.  I like the back as much as the front.  For the back I used King Tut by Superior Threads.  Superior is my thread of choice on any given quilt.

The first quilt that I did for the challenge I thought about for quite a while about pattern and fabric before making it.  This quilt is very sentimental evoking many emotions for me.

The white fabric is silk and I had it laying around from some place.  The other fabrics are my dad’s ties.   The title of the quilt is, “Dad Would be Honored”.  The pattern used is a feathered star out of Marsha McCloskeys book on Feathered Stars.  I picked up some silver thread at the Ricky Tims Quilt Seminar earlier this year with this quilt in mind.  I have dad’s ties from when I helped him go through his belongings deciding where they would go and who would get them.  It was a difficult and sad process but one that was necessary as dad was in the process of dying from lung cancer.  When we got to his ties, he told me to throw them away.  I asked if I could have them and make them into a quilt.  “I’d be honored”, he said.  The ties were mine to make into a quilt when the time is right.

I chose this particular feathered star pattern because of the center, it reminds me of the New York Beauty block and I wanted a bit more of a challenge.  While Marsha calls for making a circle template and appliqueing on the circle I pieced it in.  Because silk stretches and is all bias when I first finished the quilt top I was a bit concerned about the center, however, it quilted well.

The quilting was the next challenge and I chose free motion.  I thought about each section, the shapes used and what kind of quilting would compliment or help a particular area stand out.

The quilting shows up on the back really well.  This is red silk that I got somewhere.

If I hadn’t put the sleeve on this I could probably use this quilt either way.  There were times when I used cotton thread in the bottom and times when I used the silver thread in the bobbin.

So I’m off to start getting ready for the day.  Everyone who entered the challenge will bring their quilts for voting.  Then each person will be given 2 – 3 minutes to share the thought process behind their quilts.  I’m really looking forward to this day.

We’re also giving a comfort quilt to my co-chair.  She just went through a bout with breast cancer.  I’ll share this quilt later.

Happy Quilting!

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