“Jacobean Rhapsody” – Started 2000, finished 2008 72” x 72”
Pattern by Patricia Campbell and Mimi Ayers
The whole story: This quilt was started in early 2000 and took 2 1/2 years to do the needle-turn applique. I put it in my hand-quilting frame and got started. I was quilting around EACH applique shape (699 of them!), had a 1/2” grid on each of the blocks, and was doing hand trapunto in a feather vine on the outer border. I must add: hand-quilting is NOT my favorite thing to do, so it was suffering from neglect. I would work for a while on it, then forget it for months at a time.
When we got ready to move in 2007 I finally faced the reality that I was NEVER going to finish that hand quilting! It was almost half done, but once I got the Gammill in 2004 hand quilting was just not something I could make myself sit down and do! My tastes had changed, and what I once considered beautiful quilt designs now seemed rather BLAH, and I felt really did not do the quilt justice. Reality set in, and I knew that if I ever wanted to finish this quilt I would need to remove the hand quilting and put it on the machine. I spent 2 weeks at night, picking out the tiny hand stitching.
After we moved I spent many hours quilting “Jackie” on the machine. The outer borders feature cut-away machine trapunto. The background filler behind the flowers is something I call “needle-punch quilting”. It is not a stipple, but even tighter to give greater dimension of the flowers. Each of those background fillers took one hour to stitch (there are 24 of them!) (See the picture above.)
Each applique piece was stitched around and a very tiny McTavishing filler was used in the blocks. Interspersed within each block are feather sprays. (I got that idea from a quilt done by Karen McTavish.) They are not trapuntoed, but do stand out because of the tiny filler. The sashing strips have a feather vine all the way around. I estimate about 100 hours of quilting went into this.
This quilt was awarded a Teacher’s Ribbon at MQS 2008, and won 2nd place in its category at Innovations 2008. It is NOT “perfect”… it has several rather large flaws (partly because it was pieced back in 2000, when I was just really getting started at improving my skills) so I mostly entered it to get feedback on the quilting designs. The awards were a big surprise for me!
TOMORROW’S TEASER: “Oh! look! Run Spot, run. Dick, see Spot run!)