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!