Pieced and bound By Angie Wilson, quilted by Raylee Bielenberg

A short time ago Angie mentioned to me that she was making a small wall hanging using some fabric from the Oakshott Lipari range. I was really pleased to be asked to be involved and quilt this for Angie and she asked me to make some notes as I went along. What were my design ideas and reasons and the quilting process.

The completed wall hanging. Photo taken in sunshine.
The completed wall hanging. Photo taken in sunshine.

Angie gave me free reign with regard to the quilting design and though that can be a little scary at times I always consider what I would like on the quilt if it were mine. So, I asked Angie for a front on photo of the quilt so I could do some design drawing in paint on my computer. This is so much faster than drawing up the quilt each time I started a new idea. I just saved each file and started again.

Another design drawing.
Another design drawing.
Quilting ideas drawn on top of the quilt photo on the computer.
Quilting ideas drawn on top of the quilt photo on the computer.

The next step was to work out what thread to use. I really wanted to keep the colour only to the fabric and so opted for a thread only slightly darker than the beautiful background fabric Angie used. I did audition a variety of threads and narrowed it quickly to only 2. I used the Wonderfil thread on all the cream background areas and a Rasant thread similar in colour to the Aurifil thread in the picture. The Rasant thread is only in the ditch around the coloured squares.

Almost final thread choices.
Almost final thread choices.

Angie has made her wallhanging using the Oakshott autumn colours and also a linen look background which has a gold thread through it. I wanted to be able to show this a bit more but it’s best seen on a curve. I also wanted to create a good amount of texture with the unquilted squares. To help create texture and the curve I was hoping for, I have used 2 layers of batting. In the quilted areas this is pushed down but the squares end up with a beautiful ‘pillow’ effect.

Two layers of batting used for extra fullness.
Two layers of batting used for extra fullness.

So to be able to quilt in lovely straight lines and have those lines exactly where I wanted them, I used a blue water erase marking pen to mark the design on the cream fabric. It’s a good idea to test these pens on your fabric before marking the whole quilt. Thankfully I have never had a problem removing the marks. I also use a small hand held straight ruler when I am quilting so my lines are quite straight.

One of the smaller squares marked ready to quilt.
One of the smaller squares marked ready to quilt.

Now we are ready to load the quilt and get quilting. My first step is to stabilize the quilt top by basting around the edges as far as I can and then stitch in the ditch around the Oakshott Fabric squares. This way I make sure the quilt stays as square and even as I can, especially as this one has squares on it. Skewed squares – not a good look.

A smaller block quilted.
A smaller block quilted.

Next I changed thread to the Wonderfil thread and started on the smaller background squares. At this stage I had not decided on a quilting design to push down the background around the created squares. I wanted something that would not create too much pattern on its own, no thread build up to make darker areas of quilting. I also wanted a design that would offset the many straight lines that are in this quilt. The answer – Stippling. A great choice for this quilt.

A close up view of the texture.
A close up view of the texture.

Moving outwards on the quilt I worked my way around the inner border, quilting in the squares and then stippling the background. Ideally I try to have as few starts and stops in the quilting as I can manage. When working on a quilt I will often stand at the end of the quilting table to see the texture being created on the quilt top. I have a sliding door at the other end so the lighting is great.

A side on view, shows the texture very well.
A side on view, shows the texture very well.

Once I got into a rhythm the quilting flowed smoothly and I was soon done. My initial photos inside did not do justice to the quilt so I hung it outside the next day in the sunshine. Looks great hey! The binding is completed by Angie.

Completed wall hanging. Centre area, photo taken in sunshine.
Completed wall hanging. Centre area, photo taken in sunshine.

You can see more of this quilt on the blog of Angie Wilson, aka Gnomeangel. http://www.gnomeangel.com