It's finished!!! At long last I have finished the silk screen printed silhouette quilt - over four years in the making.
My daughter and I worked on this quilt together. Tash turned photos into line drawings, which she then screen printed as silhouettes.
Tash finished her end of the job over four years ago, not long after we attended a fantastic silk screen printing day with Saffron Craig.
Then it was up to me to take 64 screen printed silhouettes, together with contrasting fabrics, and create a quilt.
I stalled over so many stages throughout the making of this quilt. The process was not straightforward for me. You can read about some of the processes and decisions...
Basically, this was all make it up as you go - is that what improv quilting is?
It's by no means perfect, but I love this quilt - so many memories. What began as a birthday present for my daughter - the screen printing workshop we did together - ended up as something we can both treasure. It lives in Tash's home, and I get to see it every time I visit.
The kids were so little in the photos, come line drawings, come silhouettes. If you look closely, you can see their fingers on either side of the quilt at the top. They're a lot bigger now. Holding it up for me, whilst standing on the lounge caused lots of laughter on both sides.
Each time I showed progress of the quilt, I asked for suggestions on the next stage. I so value the contributions of my readers. Your comments helped me so much and gave me a lot to think about - many ideas I would never have thought of.
I ended up quilting with a pale pink on the front and black on the back. After doing lots of testing to check the tension so that thread colours didn't show on the wrong side, I was happy that the two colours would be OK. And they were!!!
However, using a quilting needle during the testing process seemed to produce slightly larger than I wanted needle holes in the pale fabric, so I changed needles, to a jeans needle. BUT I didn't test!!! It's not disastrous, but the needle apparently wasn't sharp enough, and so in some places it's brought tiny pieces of batting through to the wrong side.
Photos didn't work out, so I can't show you, and I'm probably the only one that can see it. When I did my first ever quilting - retro flower power pillow - the same thing happened and I couldn't work out why. I didn't know there was such a thing as a quilting needle at that stage.
No excuses now - I do know about quilting needles and I chose not to use one. In retrospect, I think I should have experimented with different sizes of quilting needle. I definitely shouldn't have changed to a jeans needle. Tell me your thoughts to help me next time.
It's all straight line quilting for the bulk of the quilt. Without sewing over the silhouettes, I was able to sew right across the width of the quilt in most cases. A couple of times I had to stop and begin again in the middle. Quilting unbroken straight lines down was no problem due to the construction. A few wavy lines on the black border finished off the quilting.
I can start quilting in the middle without it showing, but stopping I haven't yet perfected. Black on black thread would have been better for those half a dozen stops.
As you can see, I went with black binding, and thanks to Kitty for her suggestion, I threw in a few in a few little pops of colour.
Much as I love this quilt, I am pleased it's finished. So, I'm sure is my daughter. I think she thought I'd never finish. And to be honest, so did I at various stages. But it was worth all my worrying - would I wreck Tash's silhouette blocks and do them justice? I know Tash had complete confidence in me right from the beginning. Now I need to learn to have confidence in myself.