It’s been a productive week! Finishing the red vase

suppliesThis week, in between packing up supplies for teaching at International Quilt Festival, this is about half of what I’ve had to pull together for all my classes, 4 other boxes have been shipped,


and finishing a cable sweater I’ve had in the works for 2 years, did I ever mention how much I love knitting cables?cable-sweater


I also finished quilting and binding the red floral vase quilt.


red-vase-1I used wool rayon felt as my batting for this piece, because I wanted a smooth flat surface and I wanted the quilt to have more body because of it’s long narrow shape, it’s only 10″ wide.

After preparing my quilt sandwich, I pulled out a variety of threads in shades of red, pink and burnt orange.

One of my concerns when quilting this piece was not wanting to lose the painterly quality of the image. Sometimes quilting can obscure those subtleties. So I leaned towards using lighter weight threads that would blend into the background more. The heavier the thread the more visually dominant it becomes. It draws the eye to the stitching line making it a stronger design element. In this case, I wanted the quilting to be a secondary design element.


I started with echo quilting, outlining the plants to fill the space, but using only contour outline stitching seemed a bit boring, so I began to fill the open spaces with more plant forms.

As I worked, I began to notice that in some places the quilting was covering too much of the lovely brush strokes, so I ‘drew’ in some more leafy plant forms with open areas to let more of the fabric show through.





Because the vase was a large and less visually interesting painted area, I decided it needed quilting that would be more of a focal point. I wanted to make it look like a painted urn with a designed floral pattern instead of random doodling type quilting.


To create the design, I placed tracing paper over my quilt and traced the outline of the vase.



Then I used a second piece of tracing paper to lay over the first tracing paper to work out a design.


The benefit of using a second layer of tracing paper, is you can try out a variety of designs without having to retrace the vase each time.

After my design was worked out, I transferred it to the fabric using Transdoodle® chalk paper made by Mistyfuse. It comes in white, yellow and blue and easily rubs off with a soft cloth after your stitching is done.


To transfer the drawing, lay the chalk paper (darker side down on the fabric) place the tracing paper on top and trace over the design with a pencil.

When I’m quilting a chalked design, I try to avoid touching or holding the quilt where the chalk is, so I don’t accidentally rub it off before I’ve finished


The finished stitching on the bottom half of the quilt.

I really like how the straight lines on the table top contrast all the curved stitching in the rest of the quilt and the way the beautiful mottled colors show through.

One of my favorite alternative binding treatments is a couched cord binding.

red-vase-couched-bindingalternatively-bound-and-stitched-cover-smI pull a variety of yarns and cording from my stash in colors used in the quilt and twist 3-5 yarns together at a time in different combinations holding them up against the quilt, until I get the combo that accents the quilt best.

You can find complete directions for doing a couched binding in my book Alternatively Bound and Stitched.

Red Floral Vase 10″ x 37″ painted with acrylic inks


I’m off to International Quilt Festival in Houston on Monday for a full week of classes. If you’re going to be at festival, please stop and say hi, it’s always fun meeting online friends.

I’d love to spark your creativity at one of these upcoming events:

January 12-15  Craft Napa – Sign up Now!
Jan 12 Painting Imagery with Textile Paints
Jan 12 Fast and Fun Foam Stamps
Jan 13 Paint and Print-a-palooza
Jan 14 Blessings in the Wind, mixed-media prayer flags

May 5-7 Paint and Print-A-Palooza 3 day workshop, SLO Creative Studio, San Luis Obispo, CA

Keep creating, Judy

IMG_5538Judy is an artist, explorer, image wrangler, knowledge seeker, instructor, speaker, creative alchemist, and purveyor of inspiration, helping others channel creativity on a daily basis.

9 Responses to “It’s been a productive week! Finishing the red vase”

  1. Janice says:

    Your red floral vase is lovely. Thank you for sharing your quilting process.

  2. Michelle Weatherson says:

    Beautiful work, Judy! The quilting made the whole piece come together in an incredible way.

  3. Ruby Koch says:

    I love it esp the colors. I don’t understand the pointy bottom tho.

  4. Cathy Willoughby says:

    Love the sweater! Cables are my favourite to knit too.

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