Friday, March 14, 2014

The Order of Stitching

After all the pieces are fused into position, I work on the embroidery and applique next.  First I begin the with layer that appears to be on the bottom.  So I'll begin with the edges of the blue ginkgo leaf first.  Why?  Because I'm lazy, and don't like to spend lots of time back tacking and pulling threads to the back and tying them! If I do the bottom layer first, then another layer of stitching will eventually cross the ends, and hold them in place.  When I get to the top layer, then I'll have to do a minimum of stitching in place or pulling threads to the back.

Choose your thread carefully. I always use shiny polyester embroidery threads usually variegated ones. Remember that my name is Ann Variegated Fahl.  I love color change.  Unreel an arm's length of thread and let it puddle on the fabric.  Do you like it? If you aren't sure, do a little test stitching first on a scrap to avoid having to tear out lots of embroidery.

Note*  The photos below were taken after the quilt was finished.  However the the embroidery and applique were actually stitched only on the quilt top.

Closeup of Ginkgo Leaf, Florentine Edge Applique
The Florentine Edge Applique is a technique I have created using a free-motion zigzag stitch and a hoop. It gives a versatile wide edge treatment that I just love.  I have written a booklet on the subject of Applique, which gives complete instructions on this technique.  Or you may also refer to a 2013 article that I wrote in the American Quilter magazine fall issue.

Also in a hoop I stitch the veins in the lily pads. I've used a blue variegated thread for this.
Next, while I still had my embroidery hoop close by, I covered the cattails, ducks heads and bills with straight free motion embroidery. Then I basted the layers together, and will finish the rest of the details in the quilting phase of the quilt. Before I do more decorative quilting, I outline every shape in the center of the quilt with mono filament thread.

Here is Ethel. I've quilted her with a brown variegated thread. She has so many different fabrics, one thread choice acts as a unifying device. I've tried to quilt near the edge of almost every feather.
I had to use two different threads to quilt Norman.
I used a shiny white thread on the wings and slender white detail on his neck. Then I used the same variegated brown that I used on Ethel's wings.

Quilting in the pond.
I chose a light blue variegated thread to quilt the pond.  It is the same thread used for the Florentine edge applique. I love adding a little spiral here and there.  Once the middle is completely quilted then I stitch around the inner edge of the border and then quilt the edge.
Detail of the top edge of quilt
I used lots of curls and coils in the green background, using a blue variegated thread.  Then on the edge I stitched using a dark variegated combination thread on the border. 

I blocked the quilt, trimmed the edges and bound the edges.  You can see the finished quilt on my website.  On Ginkgo Pond.

Next time I'll talk about another ginkgo quilt.

Ann Fahl


Robbie said...

Love seeing how a project evolves... very nice piece!

Rachel said...

That little spiral in the pond stitching really does stand out and make it unique. Well done.

Ivory Spring said...

I love how your stitching brought your project to life!!!! You are my hero.