After lamenting on my last podcast about not feeling like I knew where I fit in quilting this quilt came to be. I designed it on Monday afternoon (July 8th) on a post-it note, came home that night and got to work. My local modern quilt guild had a negative space challenge and originally I hadn’t intended on entering anything. Then this design popped into my head. I had to do it. Cut the applique pieces on Monday and basted the quilt sandwich, Tuesday night I started the quilting and zig-zag around all the applique edges, Wednesday was more quilting, Thursday was labeling and binding and tonight (Friday) It might not have been done in a day Eleanor Burns but a quilt done in a week isn’t too bad right?
Did you know the Pembroke Welsh Corgi has a Welsh legend surrounding it’s origins? It’s kind of a cute story.
Legend has it that the Welsh Corgi is the “enchanted” dog of the Fay. They were used by fairies and elves to pull their coaches or to serve as the steeds for their warriors. At night, the Welsh Corgi would sneak away to the hills of Wales to play with the magical little people. It’s said that those who have an understanding heart and a sharp eye can see the faint fairy saddle on the back of a Welsh Corgi and the harness marks on their shoulders.
This quilt is my homage to the corgi legend. I traced the outline of the corgi onto the background fabric with a water soluble marker and cut pieces to fit inside the outline. Each piece was cut to fit and I created the rainbow as I went. The fairy itself was traced onto fusible web and I decided it would be one color – one of my favorite Kona gray fabrics.
There are a few firsts for me with this quilt. I used two layers of Warm and Natural batting. I wanted the extra texture and didn’t want to have to cut my batting in half after unrolling it off the big roll. I’ve never tried quilting a quilt with two layers of batting and wasn’t sure how my machine would like it. It didn’t seem overly thick though after basting it. I pin basted the quilt (I much prefer this over spray basting, gives me more control) and used a white tone-on-tone for the backing.
The entire quilt is quilted using 50wt Aurifil Mako cotton thread. I used approximately 14 full bobbins by the time I was done. I need a new large cone after working on this quilt! The design is my version of “McTavishing” done on my Pfaff Creative 2.0 domestic sewing machine. My tension was set to 3.0, feed dogs dropped, spring free motion mode on. Having a large quilting surface on my Arrow Bertha cabinet definitely made a difference.
It was my first time doing McTavishing as an all-over quilting design. I did my version in larger scale than what I’d seen before. I wanted lots of movement and texture on the quilt. I wanted the background to be as beautiful as the color gradation on the corgi. I didn’t want the quilting so tight and dense it would make it super stiff or take forever to quilt so I spread out my mctavishing “hairs”.
My practice sample was awful. I didn’t like how it looked at all and thought to heck with it, I’m going to try it on the real thing and see how it goes. I think the two layers of batting helped it a lot. Once I got into the repetitive motion and building the pattern I loved it. I can totally see using this for many, many quilts. It’s a very different design for me to do, totally different than meandering. Controlling my speed was key for this design. I worked hard to keep my stitches as even as possible but it’s not perfect. The white thread on a white background is very forgiving though and many mistakes are hidden in the quilt.
I don’t use gloves, hoops or anything grippy. Just my clean hands moving the quilt sandwich around. I broke one needle during the quilting and one during the binding. The binding is a bit of a rainbow batik that I had left sitting in my closet. I don’t have many rainbow fabrics but I need to add more since I seem to use them a lot.
This quilt screams me. I’m proud to have my name on it.