I have 3 brothers and no sisters. Growing up that was a great set up. I'm the oldest and set all the rules. I was pretty sure the whole house would have fallen apart without my leadership.
Yes, I was THAT kid.
But after becoming an adult I realized that a sister might have been a good thing. Instead I have 3 sisters-in-law that I love. Last year I set out to make each of them a quilt. I made Penguins on Ice for Carol and Corona Cats for JJ. She was also supposed to get Where In The World Is My Cat, but we know what happened to that. Turns out it's the most appropriately named quilt EVER!
With those 2 quilts done I still had one more to make for Karen. Karen is a decorator. Everything in her house looks perfect (completely unlike my house where everything is cluttered with one project or another). I wanted to make a quilt that she would want so I asked for her input. She loves animal prints so that sent me on a mission to fine animal prints there weren't juvenile or just plain tacky.
Fortunately those geniuses from Lunn Studios had just designed the Serengeti Artisan batiks for Kaufman and they were absolutely perfect for Karen's quilt. I bought too much of all of them so there are some charity quilts coming soon.
I wanted to focus on the fabrics and eventually settled on the same pattern that I used a few years ago to feature some vintage Indonesian Batik fabrics. This was made easy by using Jamie Wallen's nested triangle design rulers.
It's a really simple quilt design wise, but I think it's really effective. I could have moved a couple of the triangles around but it looked good when it was laid out on a design bed and that's what I sewed together.
I suggested Minky for the back and she agreed. I had to get the extra wide "Cuddle" version and I found it at Big Sky Quilts. I got very fast shipping from this veteran owned business. The pantograph is called Ebb and Flow. I've never used it before because to get the water effect that it's meant to be you have to load the quilt on the short side. But for this quilt it's a perfect motif to run the length of the quilt. I never want Minky to be quilted too close together. I know some people are afraid to quilt with this fabric but it really is so easy. I've never had a problem with it. The Cuddle version is even more stable than the "regular" Minky so start with that if you are unsure.
I used Superior Magnifico on the front and So Fine on the back.
I dithered over the label for a while. First, I didn't want to hand stitch a label on that thick backing fabric and second, I know this will be a display quilt so I didn't want the label to stand out. I settled on hiding the relevant details in one of the zebra print blocks. I'm sure I'll never be able to find this again and that's A-OK with me.
This quilt reminds me of a very valuable lesson that all of us makers need to always remember. We must keep out recipients in mind. I've heard so may sad stories of quilters gifting quilts that they feel that the recipients didn't appreciate properly. It's not the recipients responsibility to love a quilt that you made in a design and color that you love. It's our responsibility to make quilts that we know will feed the soul of the recipient. I would have never purchased these fabrics for myself, they do not speak to me. But when I see them in this simple, yet elegant, design, I see Karen and I think she will love the quilt.
I'm now out of sisters-in-law so I think it's on to a lot of charity sewing for the rest of the year.
This project is officially done! Completing this project has a completion satisfaction rating right up there with The Great Wall. It was not easy, I had a ton of allergy issues with the Sharpie markers and it took a long time but it was worth all the pain and suffering in the end. Drawing the designs was great fun; it was the other elements that were kind of a drag.
There are 2 cloths that are about 7 feet long in front of the sink and stove and one that's less than 3 feet long in front of the fridge. In case you are wondering, yes, we still have white appliances. Black or stainless will replace them when they die. I expect that because we want to replace them that they will never die and I'm fine with that too.
These started with plain artist canvas bought on a large roll. They were primed on both sides with gesso and then I painted one side with satin wall paint in three shades of a brown to blend with the floor. If you look close you can see that I painted them with grain line directions to match the wood planks.
Here's the smaller one that's in front of the refrigerator. We had fabric covered floor clothes here before that had to be at least 10 years old. They did a great job of protecting the floor and they are still in fine shape. They will go into the guest house.
Click on a gallery image to see larger views
Here's a gallery with close ups of the designs. All of the designs were done with Wild Gears. Wild Gears are an ingenious upgrade of our childhood Spirograph. You know that Spirograph was brilliant because it's just as popular as ever. It was one of my favorite toys and Wild Gears is one of my favorite grown up toys. (I was going to say "adult toys" but it really doesn't fit in that general category.)
I used Super Sharpie markers to get a really bold line and I probably went through a dozen or more on this project. As soon as I noticed any fading in the mark I got out a new marker. The designs that appear to be "on top" were the first drawn. To draw a layered design I had to be careful to stop and start lines at the edge of the design on top. There were mistakes and I did have to do some "erasing" with paint.
Chris and I finished them by folding under a hem and using the glue gun to stick it in place. He coated the underside with one coat of polyurethane and 3 coats on top. The have rug pads under them to keep them from slipping on the floor. I hope these will last as long as the last ones or until we leave this house because making a 7 foot floor cloth is a pain.
If you are interested the Wild Gear Sets that I used in this project are:
3-Way Modular Connectors
To subscribe click the RSS Feed button and copy the URL of that page into your blog reader.
In Bloglovin you need to search "Colorways By Vicki Welsh" to find the blog.
I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.