Quilt Finish: Alice’s Garde(n)

Sometimes there’s not too much to say about a quilt. You get an idea, and you just make! That’s what happened with this quilt, Alice’s Garde(n). I had picked up some of my favourite prints from Katarina Roccella’s fabric line, Avantgarde, on my trip to Intrepid Thread back in March. Once I had them safely home floating around my studio, they kept giving me all shades of Alice in Wonderland. Of course that led to thoughts of going down the rabbit hole, through the looking glass, and playing chess with the Queen of Hearts. Those concepts were my jumping off point with this quilt.

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I’d never sewn a Drunkard’s Path block before, so I thought I’d break out my Bloc_Loc ruler and get to work. This actually fit nicely with my 2016 Stash Manifesto, “#6 I will use at least two templates or rulers that I own, but I haven’t used.” (As an aside, the Drunkard’s Path Bloc_Loc ruler made the whole situation easier than a twink on his first night in the city!) I threw in some of my existing fabrics that I thought fit the colour and style brief, along with the Art Gallery Pure Elements solids as background. Since Alice in Wonderland was informing the design, I had no hesitation about going loud with the checkerboard! I thought it also played to the nature of avant garde; maybe not extremely new, but certainly unusual!

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This is the first quilt I have quilted on my Juki TL-2200 QVP long arm machine. What an experience. I won’t even try to sugar coat it: there were screaming fits, sweet cuddles, kicks to the Zimmer frame, gentle coaxing, and enough curse words to educate a sailor. I’ve been told this is all very common for your first long arm quilting experience! Let’s hope the second quilting experience is a bit smoother, or I’m gonna be ripping this blonde weave right out of my head! Since I didn’t have a lot of experience in long arm quilting, I just went with what felt natural. The Cheshire Cat kept coming to mind, so I thought I’d try to quilt the eerie woodland area Alice finds him in.

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I must say, I’m sparkled pink with how it turned out! I matched my 40wt Aurifil thread colours 2530 (Blossom Pink) and 1148 (Light Jade) to the background so any mishaps are cleverly disguised. I didn’t quilt the circles, as my original intention was to stuff them trapunto style post-quilting. However, I then realised how much stuffing it would need, and was like, “Nah! Next!” Because of that, they are a bit, how shall we say … loose? I ain’t mad, just something to take into consideration next time. This is a practice quilt after all.

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We need to talk about the back though! Listen ladies (and that includes you men sitting there marginalised because I collectively just called you a lady. Deal with it.), I like the back just as much (if not more) than the front! It’s a combination of two Avantgarde prints, sandwiching stripes of Pure Elements and an Echino sateen. It’s like they were meant to go together. Plus, have you felt the Echino sateen? To say I want to make big boy fine delicates out of it wouldn’t be far from the truth!  To finish it up, I used an Avantgarde print, Chalk on Charcoal, to make the most delicious binding. This quilt finished at around 36″ x 48″ which will make a perfect baby quilt for that special kid who’s gonna want it loud and proud!

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Okay, so here’s the thing about this photo. I do not like animals. I don’t own any, nor do I even care for visiting people that do. I’ve obviously been wronged in a previous life for it to run this deep, but we’ll play psychologist later. When I see/hear/read people talk about how their pets magically appear to roll around on their quilt projects, I usually roll my eyes in a giant “whatever” fashion.  So here I was out in my courtyard, doing my quilt photo thang, and I kid you not, a neighbour’s cat came to say hello. He proceeded to walk, flop, spin, high jump, whatever, all over my quilt. And then expected cuddles. (Don’t worry, I succumbed to his charms). But I’d just like to say, to all my animal lovers out there, I stand corrected. So much so that I might even buy some Tula Pink fabric.

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Huh, as always, I guess I did have something to say about this quilt.

11 Responses

  1. charlotte m. says:

    Cats especially seem to have a magnetic attraction to quilts. 🙂

  2. Tish says:

    As a lover of all things Alice and who’s motto is…In my world the books would be nothing but pictures…of quilting…because we are all mad here…about quilting…I feel safe in saying….this quilt kicks ass! Dear, Molli, you have outdid yourself!!! I would never have guessed that this is the first quilt you finished on your Juki because the quilting is totally (to quote my daughter) on point or should I say fleek!?! It’s probably good that I’m so far away, because I would have beat the cat to your quilt and I would have been rolling around on it and possible tried to bolt with it…don’t worry you would have caught me I’m a slow runner 🙂 I do find it quite ironic that a random feline showed up to your photo shoot Cheshire style to model his moves. Congrats on this awesome finish!

  3. Angeline Shaka says:

    Great quilt; I especially like the back 🙂

  4. Mary ann says:

    What a lovely chat this AM with my coffee. And the quilt is fabulous!

  5. Chris K. says:

    I love it, but the looseness of the circles bothers me. There’s no reason you can’t go back and add quilting even though it’s bound, is there? And yeah, I’m going to have to make my cat his own quilt.

  6. jan altomare says:

    For the first time on the long arm, the quilting looks beautiful.

  7. Absolutely beautiful! There may have been fits getting the quilting done, but it looks perfect.

  8. Sarah O says:

    Stunning as always. Had no idea you have an aversion to animals. Maybe have to rethink visiting us and our monochrome beasts…
    A cat will always sit on anything higher than the thing it is on eg: A bit of paper on a table, a quilt on a sidewalk… because it is ‘that much’ higher…
    Dogs have owners, cats have staff – remember that my friend and all will seem logical in the world once more!

  9. helen says:

    I do love this quilt, strangely since I really got into quilting I find my swearing has improved no end.

  10. Judy says:

    Love these bold fabrics and your quilting looks great, I like how you matched the thread colors. Great post and finish!

  11. Suzanne says:

    Re Chris’s comment about adding extra quilting to the circles – may be easier said than done. Because if there is excess fabric, it has already been locked into place by the rest of the quilting. If you can’t flatten it out with your hand, and not get puckering – it will be tricky (but not impossible) to quilt out the excess. Wow… that is probably the most complicated sounding comment I’ve ever made. Totally different subject, I have you on my blog roll… and for some reason your new posts don’t show up on it. My roll still shows a post from 10 months ago. Do you have any idea why? How to fix? I wondered if it had to do with when you changed to the snapshot style of blog home page.

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