Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Zentangle Whole-cloth Finish


Every time I set down to start this post, I freeze up with a bit with fear.  It's like putting it all out there; standing in front of a crowd naked saying look at me in my most vulnerable state.  With a whole cloth quilt, there is typically no piecing involved.  The focus is 100% on the quilting so there are no beautiful prints or nicely pieced shapes to break things up and distract the eye.  Just thread on fabric in its simplest form.

A few months ago after taking Christina Camelli's Craftsy Class Wild Quilting, I created this tiny sampler quilt to experiment with flow quilting and making a whole cloth.


You can read more about it here.  I was so pleased with how this piece progressed, I felt it was time to tackle something a bit bigger.

Now let's talk about zentangles.  I have been a bit obsessed with zentangles ever since they started popping up in my Pinterest feed.  My first introduction to them was several years ago (2012) when Leah Day hosted a quilt along to make a modern quilt.  She walked you through the process of creating modern square-ish blocks and quilting them.  She quilted her top by creating a zentangle (you can check our her quilt here).  I have a completed top (UFO) I've just never quilted it.  But ever since I viewed her finished quilt, I knew it was a style I wanted to experiment with.

Looking at lots of pins from Pinterest, one particular pin kept coming up and I could not get it out of my mind.  Like for several years couldn't get it out of my mind.

Picture from LuAnn Kessi

The drawing is from LuAnn Kessi and is from a post from 2013.  You can clearly see from my quilt it is based from LuAnn's drawing.  I had to see if I could create it in thread form...this drawing haunted me.  I did change some of the fillers and circle placement.

Now on to the process.  For my fabric choice, I almost went with a beautiful turquoise color, like my flow piece, but decided to keep it classic and use white, Kona Snow.  After all of the fabric was prepped and my quilt sandwich was layered it was time to trace some circles with a water soluble pen.


I didn't have to look to hard to find the perfect stencils.  They were hiding behind the kitchen cabinets.  After tracing and moving the plates around, I had created a quilting road map to go by.

Note: White quilt and Oliver in the upper left hand corner.

Before I committed to my circle placement, I broke out the Plexiglas to get a feel for the layout of my fillers.


I went back and forth with this part. I consulted the picture from Pinterest and tried to keep certain sections similar to LuAnn's picture.


But if something didn't feel like it flowed for me (like the triangle spirals things in the center) I didn't hesitate to change it.


After I had an idea of where the quilting was headed, I decided it was time to stitch those marked blue circles.  The question was how do I stitch these circles or rather with what color thread?  I knew that the finished quilt would be bound with Susie's Magic Binding Method and my flange would be Kona Navy.


I debated on doing my quilting in shades of blue.  I pulled Aurifil #2785 Dark Navy (which I did use in the binding), #2775 Steel Blue, and #1126 Blue Gray.  After chewing over my choices for a few days, I decided on #2021 Natural White.  Natural White would blend right in with the Kona Snow and hide any imperfections or bobbles that would happen.


This picture is taken from the back of the quilt, so that you can only see my quilting lines.  Sometimes it helps to look at the piece from the back side so not to distract yourself with those blue lines.  After all , the blue lines are only there for guidance.  Luckily, they go away.

Now on to the good stuff.  Free motion fun.  I would love to say that I just started quilting and everything just flowed, one motif to the next, but that would be a huge honking lie.  Basically I quilted each circle as ideas came to me.






I started to reach a point where I was running out of steam and motifs.  I took an Instagram break and boy am I glad I did.  Yvonne (Quilting Jetgirl) was working on a secret sewing project (secret then but not now, check it out here) and was stitching quite a few orange peels.  It was just the inspiration I needed.


I marked a straight line grid and the curves started going.  

After all of the circles had been filled in, it was time to start quilting on the background.  I love the texture of pebbling so my initial thought was to pebble the whole stinking thing.


At this point I was pretty happy with the pebbling, but after a second glance...isn't that A LOT of roundness??  Circles EVERYWHERE!  Circle overkill?  Maybe.

From this point I felt I needed to change it up a bit.  Of course all those pebbles would stay.  Only a completely mad person would rip them out.  To quote the Cheshire Cat...


"We're all mad here."  But just not quite that mad.

So what is the opposite of a curve (much easier than the raven and writing desk riddle)?  Why a straight line of course. Or let's say straight-ish.


Every so often I would mark a straight line to keep my straigh-ish lines from going wonky off-course.  I realize now this would have been the perfect time to practice my ruler work, but honestly I wasn't looking for perfection.  I was looking for my zen, and I do believe I found it.  Stitching the background was one of my favorite parts.  There was something quite meditative about stitching the lines and pebbles over a rather large space.  Once I found my rhythm, my mind switched to autopilot and my hands guided the fabric under the needle.

After my background was filled and the quilt was trimmed up, it was time to attach the binding.


I'm going toot my own horn for a second...I was pretty proud of my connecting of the binding tails on this one.  Darn near perfect the first try.  I wish I remembered how many glasses of wine I drank to do it.  Joking.

It's been a while since Oliver has made an appearance on my blog.  Maybe part of his bad behavior was jealousy of his little sister, but I could not keep him off of this quilt.  He felt his black hair should be all over it.  I had to keep a lint roller close at all times.


So after a good lint rolling and soak in the tub, my zentangle quilt was finally finished.






Will this be my last zentangle quilt project?  I sure hope not.  I have several new ideas floating around in my head that I would like to give a try.  Over all I'm over the moon with how this quilt turned out.  Next time around I want to experiment more with thread color.  If only I could get my hands on Aurifil Brillo metalic thread.  A girl can dream, right?

Also, if you haven't already, check out my post A Quilter Is Born for a chance to win a copy of Sandra's (mmmquilts) newest pattern Blue Skies/Sunny Days.  The giveaway is open till Friday, June 10th.


Today I'm linking up with Midweek Makers,  Sew Cute TuesdayLinky Tuesday, and Main Crush Monday.

28 comments:

Dave S. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave S. said...

Ok. I don't like that you can't edit your post on here as
I found a spelling mistake. Anyways, what I said previously was...this is the first time I have seen the fully completed project. It is beautiful!!! I remember you with your earphones in working on this project while I "criticized" the result of my inputs into the PlayStation. Again it is awesome!!!

Just keep in mind you have no excuses for not pulling off my rising sun and feathers
In my quilt....flimsy...fetus....chassis ....whatever you wish to call it. Love you!

Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl said...

The pop of navy in your flange binding is a great touch! I also really like that the background quilting motif changes - stones (pebbles) on the bottom and air (back and forth lines) on the top. :) And I love that I could provide a bit of a happy inspiration for you when you needed it. I think that as we all practice motifs we'll become more comfortable "flowing" from one to another. I certainly am still in the stop and ponder phase, too.

Jayne said...

WOW! You knocked this one out of the park! I keep looking and finding new things! You are such an inspiration to me Tish...I even tried to find my inner 'tish' on my latest project with FMQ. Clearly I did not find it, but trying is half the battle! The flanged binding is perfection to me! You did find the Zen! Great job...perfectly beautiful!

Soma @ whimsandfancies.com said...

Thank you for sharing the process, great idea with the plexiglass. Your FMQ is really incredible!!! Love the finish!

-Soma

Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts said...

Well. All I can say is WOW!!!! I am so seriously in love with this quilt Tish. I love all the different designs, the way you transitioned from pebbles to straight lines and the large overlapping circles. This is a beautiful inspiration piece for me. I love that you shared your inspiration and your thought process behind the quilting. Simply fabulous!

desertskyquilts said...

I like this very much! There's a nice balance of lines and curves, and the overall look is just beautiful. Congratulations! Cat hair and all. Thank you for the detailed documentation. I still am sticking to WFQ, but if I ever get a longarm again, I'm definitely playing with this kind of thing.

Janice Holton said...

That. Is. WONDERFUL!!! I love that you used Zentangle as your inspiration. I was a big follower of that blog for a long time as I just loved the design aspect of it. Never even occurred to me to use it in quilting! Great post, Tish!

Stitchin At Home said...

Wow you knocked this one out of the park WOW! I love everything about it. The pebbles and straight line combo is perfect. Wow I may have said that already but WOW.

Sandra Walker said...

Huge intake of breath!! It is .... spectacular. I used my plexiglass last night for the first time and it is a TERRIFIC tip; thank you dahhling. I want to do one of these so badly! The quilting is fabulous. Fab. Yoo. Luss. I could gaze (and I did) at it for ever. The navy is just the perfect exclamation mark to this fantastic piece. Are you hanging it? Where? How? Oliver will be mad...you need to make a smaller one for him. David is absolutely right to do his rising sun and feathers on his fetus/flimsy/chassis!

Bernie Kringel said...

Outstanding Tish. Total inspiration and a joy to read about your process!

Marlene said...

WOW Tish this is soooo... wonderful. Thank you for walking us through your design and quilting process. My eye is going from one design to the next and finding new things all the time. Love the magic binding and the Navy pop finishes it beautifully. It obviously has the Oliver approval!

deb @ frugal little bungalow said...

this is absolutely stunning!

Kate @ Smiles From Kate said...

Great post Tish, I loved the way you talked us through your thought processes. I love your quilting and the finished result is stunning.

Vicki in MN said...

Absolutely gorgeous! I too love zentangle(drawing it that is) but haven't done it for a while. I love the pop of navy, it added to it for sure.

France Nadeau ❅ inspiration imagination creation said...

Very impressive work. I love it!

The Colorful Fabriholic said...

It's magnificent! You are so brave. And skilled. Congrats on your beautiful finish!

Mad Cat Quilts said...

Wow! Lovely!

Judy@Quilt Paradigm said...

OMG, Tish! HOW did I miss this post??? I'm speechless! Seriously, this is fantastic! Thank you for discussing your process. I tend to be SO regimented when I think of doing whole cloths and your description of how you went about marking and quilting is awesome! I want to pull out some fabric and thread right now!!

That flanged binding - perfection! Girl, you totally knocked this one out of the park! BTW, you look pretty damn good standing there naked in front of the masses ;)

Cut&Alter said...

This is just fabulous!!!! I was really interested in the progress shots as you were doing it but the total is soooo much more than the sum of its parts. Thanks for sharing your process it's really helpful to know how people tackle something like that. I think I will take a look at the craftsy class you mention. I have just signed up for a wholecloth design challenge so this may well be the inspiration I need!

Sally Hurley said...

Wow. How freaking cool is that?!? Wonderful quilt.

Susan said...

WOW! What a lovely quilt! Isn't it amazing that when you get into the groove of things the ideas just flow? Very inspiring! Thanks again for linking up to Midweek Makers
Susan @ quiltfabrication

Lara B. said...

There was definitely no need to fear Tish! I do know what you mean, but .... This quilt is divine! You took your inspiration and created something very beautiful! I hop you do make more Zen Tangle quiots. It was really terrific to read through and see the great photos of your process! That's a lot of work just there and I appreciate it!
David's comment cracks me up. He should call all his quilt tops "chassis". Hee hee

Pat said...

I am in serious awe. This is just stunning.

Valerie Reynolds said...

OMG! Tish!! This is amazing...funny you were nervous to share...yet...Look at you...you did great! I'm inspired to check out the course you took....as it looks like there were some really good lessons.

Connie Kresin Campbell said...

Beautiful quilting! Great job Tish!

Cheryl said...

Wow, just simply wow! I really do not have anything to say but that I am completely blown away by the design and quilting of your quilt!

Caryl W said...

amazing and wonderful.............thank you so much for sharing!

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