After the success of the first experiment with printing one of my mom's photographs on fabric and quilting it last July (see Quilting Fuchsia), we selected seven more images and had those printed at Spoonflower's largest possible size (about 27 x 40 inches without distorting the image). I've since shipped and carried those pieces of fabric all around the United States and even into Canada, twice. Two weeks ago, I finally managed to find the time to sit down and start to quilt again—truly one of my very favourite/favorite activities.
This is the resulting quilt that I created from the photograph "Golden Light" by Elizabeth Root Blackmer (you can see the original image in the middle of her Frozen gallery at BrootPhoto.com). The image is bubbles of air trapped in the ice of a frozen pond.
First of all, I had to find a fabric store. I was staying at my house in Nova Scotia when I finally found the time to quilt, and although I have spent extended periods of time here at the house over the past seven years (I took over the family home), I had never tried to find a place to source fabric here. I mentioned to my farming neighbour/neighbor that I need to ask his wife about a place to get fabric, and he looked at me like I was utterly obtuse. He said something along the lines of: "Everyone goes to Avonport Discount Fabric Centre over in Avonport, up behind the school—how do you not know that?" LOL.
Anyway, I found the most perfect backing fabric and thread for my project at this lovely store, and had a few wonderful quilting-related conversations with the ladies there while I wandered around looking at everything.
For some odd reason, I decided to use the dining table as my quilting space (but it's just me here this time, so I'm not in anyone's way). It might seem odd, given that I made myself a quilting area in another room, but this space is always warm, and that space doesn't need to be heated, so I ended up out here. By the time this quilt was done, five of the six chairs had been moved away from the table to give me access to all sides of the quilt.
And here is the original printed image.
I started by quilting the ice bubbles with gold thread and used a twisty stitch-line within each circle to make them stand out as separate elements. You can see the backing fabric here as well, a delicious mottled teal.
Then I quilted the darker section in the upper-right quadrant with a brown top thread. I used the diagonal line that runs through the image as the dividing line between the two sections of parallel stitching, and eyeballed the entire quilt from that one line. Teal thread was used for every stitch on the back of the quilt.
I used a variegated thread for the rest of the straight lines. Again, with teal thread on the back.
Quilting so many straight lines was exhausting, but I found my rhythm after a while.
You can really see how the variegated thread looks on the binding. I used three lines of it on the binding to make this element really stand out.
I had to go back to the fabric store to find a suitable edge fabric to use for the binding, but then I found a bias tape that was the perfect colour/color, so I used that.
And here's what the back looks like.
And here it is on the bed in one of the guest rooms ... I go in and visit it often, as I take stretch breaks from work-work and think about which image I'll quilt next ...
I only had one major blooper that I had to reëngineer with this quilt. Oh, and what a drag it was! My camera apparently couldn't register so much teal, so it displayed it as greyish/grayish, but even so, there's the epic snaggle of thread. Ugh.
And here are the test scraps that I used during this project. I can't imagine throwing them out unless I have a record of what they look like. It's that, or staple them into my diary, and that gets cumbersome.