This is what I call "Folk Art in the Vineyard," and it measures
44 x 53. The center 12 blocks are from a pattern by Lori Smith called "Folk Art Applique."
I drafted my own borders (Lori's were lovely, but I just can't leave things alone...).
Here are close ups of the blocks...I hand quilted in both white (on the colors) and black (to outline and quilt the background).
I just can't seem to be able to photograph this quilt and capture the black-on-black quilting. I threw the gamma out on a couple of the pictures to try and show you, but it didn't work very well. There is a chunky, diagonal crosshatching going on behind all the blocks, then piano key quilting on the outer borders.
Here's the bottom border, and below it a picture where I adjusted the gamma to wash the color out so you can see the quilting.
I am insane and like making these grape clusters. Quilting around all the grapes was a challenge this time (read to the end for the saga). I was inspired to make grapes on this due to my Dad's Muscadine grape arbor.
The corners feature a quilted arch that copies the scalloped flow of the inner border and a couple of hearts.
Now, the scoop...unfortunately, there is a scoop.
I chose a wool batting for this quilt. I had successfully hand quilted a larger wall hanging with a wool batt a few years ago (my "Home Sweet Home" by Blackbird Designs, from a book by the same name), and wanted to repeat the enjoyable, successful process.
That older quilt was so much fun to quilt, and the finished product has such a nice drape, and it is hanging on my family room wall.
Well, this time around was not a good experience. My wool batt was very inconsistent in thickness...normal in some places, REALLY thick in others. I went ahead and basted it together, thinking Hobbs wouldn't sell an inferior batt...it would "quilt out."
Well, if you've hand quilted a wool batt, you know there is a little compression you have to do as you go along with your stitching. Well, there were places that were just downright impossible to compress easily.
I felt like I was quilting a super loft polyester batt...something you would use in a tied comforter. I put it aside and didn't bind it, and sort of forgot about it. I was so disappointed in choosing the wrong batt. I took it to Sauder Village last Sunday for the show, and after some urging from the family, I entered it in AQS-Grand Rapids...7.5 hours before the deadline, LOL. I don't have a lot of hope for it...I think the quilting quality is not good...little stitches in some places, bigger stitches in the really thick areas. But, I like the look of the bright colors on the clear Kona black background.
(I had a DEVIL OF A TIME getting the cat hair off of it, LOL.
All you hand quilters out there...I would love to know what batt you use. Is there a kind of wool you like? If you have a favorite cotton, do you pre-shrink it? I am using a Dream Cotton "select" weight on the "Baltimore Rhapsody" quilt. I did not pre-shrink it this time. I have pre-shrunk that brand before...especially for high school and college quilts that were machine quilted (and I knew they would get washed a lot).
I chose the wool again because it had been such a good quilting memory before. I wash all my fabric before using it, so I knew there would be minimal shrinkage with the wool.
Have you tried bamboo...or silk??
We put so much time into these quilts, using the right batt can make or break it for me with the hand quilting. I used too thin a batt on my "Civil War Bride Quilt" (Dream Cotton, "request" weight).