March 14, 2010

Birdcage on a Chain...finished

We've been sleeping under our new "love nest" quilt for about a week now (and so has our dog...see below) but I've just now gotten around to taking pictures. It's been a beautiful, sunshiny weekend here in New Orleans (and no humidity! huzzah!), so I didn't need any excuses to drag our giant quilt outside for a photo op.

I was going to shoo him off before I took this picture, but I thought it would be much more accurate if I didn't ;) He finds any excuse to eat, sleep & play on our bed. I'm probably going to be very glad one day that I made this out of substantial home dec fabric rather than quilting cotton. Oh, and as you can see, I got a little ambitious and made some flanged shams out of the leftover binding material. The front is Volumes in Rose and the back is more of the Mingling in Gold.

When it comes to quilting layers together, I'm not a huge fan of uber fancy stitching. I've seen so many quilts where the design and fabrics get lost in the chaos of the stitching. Besides, this quilt is already busy enough without adding complex stitching. My usual MO is to quilt straight lines that accent the blocks/lines of the quilt. But I didn't want to quilt straight lines on this quilt because it felt wrong. Not to get all philosophical, but the fabrics have such organic patterns (vines, birds, flowers, etc) that I thought straight, geometric lines would be a bit jarring. So I decided to stick the top of my quilt in the machine and sew with wild abandon. No guidelines, no measurements, nothing. Just a bunch of wonky, crooked lines. And you know what? I really like it. I think my crazy gamble paid off because it somehow works with the look of the quilt.

And here's a genius little tip I recently got from a lady that's been quilting since she was knee high to a grasshopper. When you have a lot of different colors in a quilt, don't use white thread. It seems like it would the best choice when you're looking for a neutral, but light gray thread is actually better because it's not as bright as white. It blended in really well with my quilt even though it runs over about a million different colors. I used Gutermann color #102.



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