Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Hand quilting my Cartwheel quilt

It's winter here in New Zealand and that means that it rains a lot.  Our country doesn't get to be so green without a lot of rain.  I need something bright and cheery to work on during winter, so I decided to start hand quilting my Kaffe Fassett cartwheel quilt.

I'm following the advice in the pattern and quilting along the black lines in the background Parasols fabric.  I'm using Aurifil 12wt in black to quilt down the centre of these lines.  I don't have to mark any quilting lines - I'm just following the lines on the fabric.  I love how it's resulting in puffy areas in the quilt - partly due to the wool batting in the quilt.  See below.

I love the Aurifil 12wt threads for hand quilting because they are soft and cottony, and sit nicely on the fabrics.

I wasn't sure how I would quilt the cartwheels themselves.  Sometimes you just have to try out some options before the answer becomes clear.

The colours I considered using

I tried marking some circles and quilting them with the thinner 28wt thread by Aurifil.  But, I wasn't happy with how the quilted circles looked.  The numerous radiating seams were interfering with my stitch length and I couldn't get the stitches looking even.  The quilted circles were making the cartwheels look very busy, even with 28wt thread.

Usually I like to see the quilting on my quilts, but in this case I decided that it would probably be better to just quilt in the ditch and let the fabrics do the talking.  So I'm using multiple different colours of Aurifil 28wt to hand quilt in the ditch on the cartwheels.  Here's my first cartwheel quilted in the ditch.  I like how it looks - clean and uncluttered. I did consider quilting down the centre of each segment of the cartwheel, but that was going to make it look too busy again.

It's very hard to photograph - I promise you it looks better in real life.

Only after I settle on a method do I go back and unpick my earlier attempts.  I like to have both options in the quilt so I can compare them side by side and make my final decision.

This pattern is in Kaffe Fassett's Quilt Grandeur book, although I'll warn you that it's quite hard to get hold of the Parasols background fabric now.  The pattern uses Parasols in black, but I have used the blue colourway.  I couldn't get enough fabric to make the quilt full sized, so I have made a smaller square quilt.

It's sunny here today so I plan to go out for a walk - it's definitely too wet for any gardening. 


Julie said...

It'a a very effective design with those fabrics. I can't even see your stitch in the ditch quilting. Are you keeping this one?

Mystic Quilter said...

Quilting in the ditch with the Cartwheel was definitely the way to go, I like to see a chunk of the KF fabrics without them heavily quilted.

Marly said...

There are certainly enough black lines in that fabric to keep you busy! I think that with such a busy fabric, quilting has to be simple, otherwise it interferes with the patchwork design. In the ditch sounds perfect.

Elaine said...

Gorgeous quilting Wendy, I love aurifil 12wt for hand quilting too; I have my Grasshopper quilt basted and ready but it's high summer here 37C today so I need to wait for to cool down!

Karen said...

This is such a cute quilt, Wendy! Love those bright colors and pinwheels! Your stitching is sew nice and really compliments the fabrics!