Sunday, November 26, 2017

Wholecloth Quilt 2 and Goal Sum Up

In the November Learning QAL, I very optimistically said that I would try out the 4 types of batting on wholecloth quilts.

So far, I made the beginnings of a wholecloth quilt with the silk batting. The quilting is mostly done, although I do want to try quilting some kind of grid pattern in the border. The project won't be finished for a while because I will be painting within the FMQ. (See the Wholecloth link in Related Links below for more details.)

First Wholecloth quilt - the back
First Wholecloth quilt - the front

This will be the front of the quilt
I started the second wholecloth quilt Thursday night. Since it's essentially just following the pattern of the fabric, it's not that difficult. The hard part is making the decision of which thread to use where!

I am using # 100 Kimono silk thread on this wholecloth quilt as well. So far I've used teal and blue on the plants and a maroon on the bird. The colours don't show that much, but once I've quilted the outline, I hope to add more colour from the front (instead of the back). That would be much easier :-)

You may be able to see two upside down birds that I've x-ed out, on the fabric. I don't care about the direction of the plants but didn't want the upside down birds. I x-ed them out in the hopes that I won't quilt them by mistake. The marks will come out when I iron the piece.

The pattern that I am following, which will be the back

I used the cotton-wool batting for this project because I would love to have the extra loft. In my last batting experiment, I found that once the quilts were washed, there was little difference in the loft of each. Since I don't expect to wash this one, I'm hoping that the cotton-wool batting will give me the best result.

Here's a closeup of the FMQ. You can see the bird in red and some of the plants.
Closeup of the FMQ so far
This is roughly the same section as the top, but in reverse. It's so weird looking at all of this colour and not seeing it on the quilted side :-) I'm really hoping that I'll be able to add more colour once I've outlined the pattern. Then I'll be able to follow the FMQ and see exactly what I'm doing.

Closeup of the pattern that I'm quilting. Isn't it amazing?
The fabric also includes 2 butterflies. I could leave them upside down but I'd rather not. I think I've figured out how to reverse the image so that I can quilt them right-side up.

I copied the image on freezer paper. Next I'll outline the butterfly from the wrong side of the freezer paper so that it will be facing the flower. I may have to transfer that image to another piece of freezer paper so that I can iron it onto the fabric. If that doesn't work, I can always pin it down.

I'll let you know how that works out!
Working with the upside down butterfly
Since I never did press the publish button, I can update this project. I ended up FMQ the butterfly from the wrong side of the image - I just pinned it down. It worked really well.

The FMQ from the back is essentially finished. Here it the front.

The front of the wholecloth quilt
Here's the back. Someone mentioned that I actually had 2 quilts - one from the back and one from the front. I am tempted to show the quilt from the printed fabric side, but with the butterflies moved over, it doesn't look as good anymore.
The back of the piece - all FMQ
Here's a close-up of the butterfly. It's not easy to see, but it will be nice once more colour has been added.
Close-up of the quilted butterfly
What I learned
  • I've had a great time FMQ this by essentially tracing the fabric. I find it very easy to do, but then when I thought about it, I've been tracing pictures since I was ten or so. I used to make my own monthly calendars by tracing from my favourite colouring books (that I rarely coloured) and then adding the grid for the dates over the images - which were often Peanuts characters :-)
  • I mentioned that the butterflies traced onto freezer paper worked really well. What I didn't mention is that I didn't place one of the butterflies as carefully as I should have, so that it's overlapping a leaf. I'll have to work on that from the front when I add more colour. 
  • I'm happy to say that I learned from my mistake - the second butterfly is very well placed! Now the first one can be considered a creative challenge as I try to fix it 😊
  • This has been a great experiment, but I have to admit that although I love my second wholecloth piece, I'm not sure how great it will come out. I really feel that it needs more to focus on. I may end up doing a lot of stitching on the birds and the butterfly so that there will be something to draw the eyes. That may mean that I won't do much stitching on the flowers or leaves. That is how I intend to proceed once I start working from the front.
  • I'm not sure if I will have time to do more FMQ on this piece before the end of the month, or to even work on the other two wholecloth quilts. I have come a long way since I am really not stressing about it, except that I just realised that I have to post my Learning QAL - November Sum-up. So I will add it to the post. Oops!!!
Related Links
Linking Parties: I will be linking this to many linking parties. Find out what others are doing by clicking on these links. Free Motion Mavericks, MOP Monday, Off the Wall Friday, Finished or Not Friday, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?, Monday Making, Design Wall Monday, Linky Tuesday, Let's Bee SocialMidweek Makers #100, Needle & Thread Thursday,


  1. Tracing interesting fabric design is a great way to practice FMQ, I will look at my fabric stash differently now, and look for quilting inspiration there! Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Thanks Alida - yes, tracing is a great way to practice FMQ. Hope your stash inspires you!

  2. Fantastic job! I am always struggling with quilting and I am certain practice is definitely what I need!

  3. That looks awesome! The back is just as pretty as the front - thank you for sharing this on Midweek Makers 100!

  4. Hello Andrée,

    The FMQ effect is amazing! This project will make such a difference to your quilting. Before you know it you will be quilting all sorts of designs without following a pattern!

    Love, Muv


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