I Sleep On the Bottom Bunk

This quilt isn’t supposed to be cute, but the fact that some think it is sweet is exactly the reaction I was hoping for. Back in June, I wrote a pretty extensive artist statement about the conception of this quilt design and my first foray into text quilts. Now that it is finished (and has been for a few weeks, I’ve just been a lazy bum getting it on the blog), I absolutely adore its inappropriateness, brashness, and subversiveness. That’s a whole lot of -NESS! Gimme me all the -NESS!

This is the first quilt I’ve free motion quilted. Wow, what a journey from first stitch to the last. I used a  Wonderfil variegated thread that shifted colours from yellow, white, lime, to burnt lemon. I liked the colour way of the thread, but I still prefer me some Aurifil any day of the week. I FMQ-ed in a style I’m calling a “tribal stipple.” It’s basically lots of continual licking flames and concentric waves, with stitch sizes that let’s just say are, um, pretty rough. Variety gives it character!

Before your ask, those squares and HSTs are 1″ finished, and I’ve confirmed my lunacy for actually enjoying working with that size! Show me the confetti! You’ll also notice that I didn’t FMQ over the letters because I wanted them to protrude out just a bit–I must investigate this trapunto technique to see if that would be beneficial here. I did outline them first before attacking the background, and I found the number of basting pins I used was definitely not enough. Slip and slide, live and learn!
For the back I used some Comma yardage (it is the fabric range that just keeps on giving, I tell you what!), combined with Art Gallery racing stripes to achieve the width I needed. The binding is Notting Hill from Joel Dewberry, which is still my favourite range he’s ever done. I think we need a sequel — someone call Julia and Hugh — Notting Hill 2?
All through making this quilt, I really wanted it to be used and grungy looking to reflect its textual tone. So once it was finished I immediately threw it in the washing machine to get the crinkle. Hot water and drying on high heat, nothing to lose! I pulled it out to discover that the one batik fabric I used had bled through to the back in several 1″ spots. I had not used Colour Catchers — hush, I know! Faint green squares on the back was not the grungy look I was going for.
Okay, nothing to lose again, let me try a gallon of stain remover on those areas and re-wash. Argh, still there. I don’t think that dry heat helped matters, now did it?! Fine, I’ll embrace the stains. So I through it back in the washing machine with orange, purple, and red batik scraps to try and purposefully stain the hell out of it more. Are you effing kidding me? They didn’t even dent the surface and the front side is still sparkling white. This quilt is impervious! The stains on the backside, well, it just all seems to fit, now doesn’t it?
But these photos! I can’t even believe my luck in finding the most perfect location for this quilt’s photo shoot. It’s dirty, cheap lighting, pops of yellow, and white stuff on the floor. It’s like a gay bathhouse if I’ve ever seen one! So wrong on so many levels, I know, which is exactly why it’s so riiiiight! Ow! I’m now living with this quilt on my couch, wrapped up in it every night. I originally asked, “If my quilt were a gay man, what would it say?” Well, this is the very first of many things that need to be said! Look out!

23 Responses

  1. Jo says:

    Hahaha… All so very funny. You make me laugh so much…. Top bunk or bottom… Does it matter… Stains or not… How crude… Hahaha

  2. Pat says:

    Love this. The colors, the quilting, the photo site. Great job!

  3. Cass Cusack says:

    It's awesome, in all its subversiveness, I can't wait to see what else you have to say. I'm trying to think what mine would say.

  4. Cass Cusack says:

    It's awesome, in all its subversiveness, I can't wait to see what else you have to say. I'm trying to think what mine would say.

  5. An awesome quilt!!! But 1-inch squares??? Yikes those are small.

  6. Jayne says:

    What a project with 1" squares! I was looking forward to seeing it finished and it was worth the wait!

  7. I love this quilt and I'm over the moon with pride for you in quilting it yourself!!

  8. Molli, your truth tea is served with such humor that at times I found myself doing a perfect double take. Did I just read that right? Yup, sure did. How awesome that you owned this quilt from start to finish, and it is obvious from other projects that FMQing is going to be something we see from you more often. And I am totally curious what else your quilts have to say!

  9. mascanlon says:

    Great quilt, the text squares blow me away so tiny!

  10. Tubaville says:

    Oh you make me laugh. Love your honesty. And your quilt.

  11. Carol Q says:

    ha – I love the way you write – so entertaining and funny and you get your point across – apart from which, the quilt is fab too. love the yellow FMQ on the white background.

  12. I love the idea of what our quilts would say, such a brilliant project! And the stealthy humor made me do a double take at first. Lol. Love the humor and honesty of it, can't wait to see what else your quilts decide to say!

  13. V Hair says:

    Gorgeous babe! Your FMQ is amazing for anyone let alone someone's first attempt. And the stains? Character darling. The kind of character that slaps a hunky man on the arse and calls him "Daphne". Love it.

  14. Lisa J. says:

    I also am in love with the way you write…. You are the best. I love the quilt and the photo shoot. Something to aspire to.

  15. The O's says:

    HST… you have a healthy love and a love of the challenge of the size. You should meet my friend Squeak. I think you'd get on awesomely. She has a similar energy and an amazing style.

  16. Fishkopp says:

    I love the pictures! The background is amazing.
    And the quilt – well, love it too!

  17. Kate says:

    Love it! Love this quilt, and the heaping dose of 'ness that comes with it. You sparkle!

  18. Kathy says:

    I am surprised that the batik stained the back and not the front. That sure says something about the quality of the white fabric you used. I am not, however, surprised about the size of the HSTs, after your Mickey Mouse. I know that's not what you named it but I can't remember what it was. I do remember it was a LOT of squares though!!

  19. Mary Roberts says:

    I've been working on ways to make letters for a quilt I'm working on and yours is the best I've seen. May I ask how you went about designing them? The quilt and your photos are stupendous .

  20. sonalee says:

    Such perfect setting with those matching stairs! How on earth did you find a place to match your quilt 🙂 Such a lovely quit with 1" pieces, you sure have patience !

  21. Leanne says:

    I love the quilt and the story and that you are using it on your sofa. For future reference, washing on medium heat and drying on medium heat will also give you all the crinkles, not that it might have mattered. I am guessing that the stains will fade or become well loved or a bit of both.

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