Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Carolina Lily top finished



Adding the borders has turned it quite suddenly into a large quilt! Hope you like it - I am very happy with how it has come together and a bit sad to have finished. The applique handwork on the border was relaxing and wonderful to watch it evolve - bit like a vine growing in the garden !


Now for the quilting plans.
I talked in an earlier post about adding hand trapunto wreaths in the blank squares.


Well -the plan to hand trapunto has sadly been ditched. I got the wool and needles, researched the wonderful work and generous tutorials done by Tim and Janet and had a practise stitching. But the arthritis in my hands did not cooperate. The tugging/gripping action soon became quite painful on a sample block - probably poor technique on my part too. So disappointing - but I have to be realistic - I'd never get through 15 blocks like that.

So ...after a lengthy period of sulking about that...I soldiered on with plans to give machine trapunto a go. 
I want to keep the quilt soft and pliable so am trying to avoid my past experience with machine trapunto where the quilts became rather stiff and boardlike. Clearly I'd have to do a sample block or two to experiment - nuisance, but might be major regrets if I don't!

Marking the wreath and quilt grid on a sample square block of background fabric
I quake at the thought of marking quilts - have had bad experiences with marks not coming out in the past. But I can't see how to easily avoid marking for this quilt. So the practise blocks will also be a good chance to try out some new Berol pens - just to make sure they wash out. 

Trapunto batting pinned under top fabric
I'm experimenting with using some left over soft bamboo batting for the trapunto - because it is so floppy and flexible - might make the trapunto less rigid...who knows ...just a theory. As you can see this is not a tutorial - just showing what I tried :)
The batting needs to be stitched to the wreath (only the wreath will have trapunto work). I used dissolving thread - so it will disappear when the final quilting is done.  I find this thread can be a pain to adjust the sewing machine tension correctly - to avoid the thread constantly breaking. So I just hand stitched this part - just inside the quilting line on the outside outline of the wreath and also on the inner outline - quick and easy.
Hand stitched dissolving thread inside quilt line
Then - the tricky bit - trimming the batting close to these stitches on the back.
Bamboo batting trimmed close to trapunto stitching
Then I made the usual quilt sandwich with the wool/poly batting that I generally use in my quilts.
Next I machine quilted the block. I decided to only quilt a 1" grid outside the wreath as it looked enough to me - lying flat nicely despite the trapunto. 
Machine quilted ready to wash
I put the block in with a normal cold washload of "whites", normal detergent etc. Here it is dry - and Yay! the pen washed out completely - such a relief. And the dissolving thread has gone too. 


I love the look and feel of it - soft  and flexible and as close as I can get to the hand-quilted look (don't start me on how much I wish I could hand quilt! The arthritis is such a pain.)
But I can see that the trapunto is a tad wrinkly - certainly not as defined as is commonly seen. So I will do another block with  more wadding in the wreath and report back soon. Sounds tedious but it really did not take long at all - and such a breeze to make a tiny quilt! 

30 comments:

  1. Really interesting to see how you're approaching this one. I feel so sorry for you not being able to do it by hand......I fear the day. I'm sure it will still be a warm, soft and beautiful quilt.

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  2. How clever of you and how beautiful! Great technique & it is going to be a lovely quilt.

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  3. Wow Hilda what a great sample. Nothing wrong with machine trapunto either.
    Can't wait to see the end result.

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  4. Congratulation. Your top is wonderful.
    Your quilting looks fantastic.

    Greetings, Manuela

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  5. the quilt is just amazing , beautiful. I love it and so glad your so happy with it.
    the wreath looks great, that would make a great pillow! arthritis is tough but look what you have accomplished with the machine here...the quilting looks amazing.
    Kathie

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  6. Well done to you Hilda, the quilt top looks amazing and your sample is well worth the effort. Being in pain is not good so do what makes you comfortable and your quilt will be super whichever way you quilt it.

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  7. What a beautiful quilt - the vines around the outer are so lovely. And the quilting and trapunto effect will be gorgeous!!

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  8. Your Carolina Lily has turned out great! I love the idea of the trapunto and explaining how you would attempt this. It helps us neebies. I know the arthritis woes, mainly my knees, hips, and back but also in wrists. Luckily for me fingers still work. What is it they say, where there is a will, there is a way - well you certainly will find it.

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  9. Your Carolina Lily quilt is absolutely stunning!! Your trapunto samples look fabulous and will be wonderful for the white squares. The samples would make lovely cushions.

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  10. Hilda, Congratulations on finishing your Carolina Lily, it is beautiful. Your handwork is amazing. I agree, such a beautiful quilt deserves interesting quilting. Good luck with the trapunto, it looks like you're off to a good start on working that wreath into your quilt top. I enjoyed our sew along .

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  11. congratulations on your work! my hands I hope will last out for me,but I occasionally have trouble with the pain in hand quilting which is basically all I do. What are berol pens?

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  12. It looks great! I am going to have to try this out myself. I can not do hand quilting with the "rocking" method that I see most doing, as it is also very painful for my hands. I have found though that I can use the stab method with no pain whatsoever. Still working on getting my stitches a little smaller, but really enjoy the relaxing hand quilting after a long day - or even with a good cup of coffee in the morning. I had not heard of the Berol pens - will have to check that out. Thanks for sharing your process.

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  13. Love your finished quilt, especially love the border applique. The trapunto looks great, it will be the icing on the cake of your finished quilt. Well done.

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  14. This quilt really turned out beautiful. Looking forward to seeing how you quilt it.

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  15. Your Carolina Lily is just lovely! The applique border is absolutely beautiful.
    The trapunto photos are so good to see the process, the finished sample looks great to me but I can see that you might want it a bit puffier.I have a Longarm Quilting machine and I am always aware of not doing too much quilting so the quilts become stiff, I like them to be pliable (and snuggly I suppose). I often wonder when I see quilts that have been machine quilted to within an inch of their life how they would feel, quilts are so tactile to me. I had never thought about machine trapunto being stiff. Good luck with the next sample piece!

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  16. This is going to be SO beautiful when you finish it. It's really pretty now but when finished it will be a WOW! Where do you find Berol pens? Art supply or quilt shops? I'm not familiar with them.

    You truly will have an heirloom.

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  17. Oh Hilda your Carolina Lily top is so very beautiful!! I can't believe you've finished it already!! the vine border is marvelous. I found your trapunto practice very interesting! I think it looks wonderful. I think the wrinkles in the trapunto give it the look of an antique quilt.

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  18. Very interesting. I've never tried trapunto but love how it looks. You are smart to do practice blocks. Your top is beautiful and will only get better with the quilting. Well done!

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  19. Congratulations on finishing the Carolina Lily quilt. It's beautiful. That's for sharing your process on how to proceed with the machine quilting. It takes so much time testing things out, but so much better in the end. And we all get to benefit from your testing. :0)

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  20. Your quilt top is so wonderful! I have done machine trapunto that way and love it. The cutting out of the back is a bit tricky. It looks very good.
    I deal with arthritis too.....ugh!

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  21. A wonderful result. Love it.
    carol

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  22. Your example came out lovely. It is always a good idea to try things out like this, but I usually just jump right in & regret not doing a sample piece. The Carolina Lily quilt top is just stunning. This quilting design will just make the whole piece divine. Happy quilting!!!

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  23. Your finished top looks stunning and you really did do it in amazing time. I love the look of your trapunto, it does look very like hand quilting. I know that if you use wool batting for the trapunto areas, it will puff up more. The berol pens are fabulous and quite magic, I love them all except for the darkest blue.

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  24. Congratulations on finishing your Carolina Lily quilt top. The borders are glorious! I love the illusion of movement in them.
    Thank you for sharing your trapunto experiments. Your machine quilting is beautiful! So sorry arthritis is preventing you from hand quilting.
    Thank you for the tips about dissolving thread and the Berol pens.

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  25. It is gorgeous! I hand quilt because I want to look of hand quilting. I have no (poor) machine quilting skills and little time or patience to sit at the machine. but, I also don't get much hand quilting done. YOUR machine quilting however is FABULOUS! It looks like hand quilting overall and that kind of quilting is the look I want! I hope someday to be able to do it! Your work is an inspiration!!! Thanks for sharing the entire process with informative photos!

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  26. Absolutely beautiful! You must be so pleased. And quilting will make it even more special!

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  27. Congratulations on finishing the Carolina lily top, it's just gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your detailed process of the trapunto machine quilting, so smart to do all that trialling. I've loved watching this quilt grow :)

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  28. Wow, just lovely! You really finished this quilt fast, and its so wonderful. Love your trapunto demo too. Always fun to visit your blog!

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  29. Your carolina lily top is wonderful. The quilting is really going to be the icing on the cake. I bought some water soluble thread a year ago to use to trapunto. Great tip on handstitching it! I also want to try the trapunto method where yarn is added after the quilting process. I just need more hours in the day!

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  30. I really do love what you have done with this quilt. The additional details that you added really do pay off in the overall beauty of this quilt.


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