Sunday, February 19, 2017

Four Greater Than One: QuiltCon 2017 Charity Quilt

It took 6 months for our charity quilt to go from raw materials to finished quilt (see my previous post here), but I am so excited to finally be able to share the finished quilt:

Four Greater Than One: QuiltCon charity quilt 2017, measures 88.5" x 65.75"

Yvonne at Quilting JetgirlAfton at Quilting ModSara at Blue Quail Studios and I formed the Blue Moon Quilters to make this charity quilt as an independent MQG group.  Yvonne designed the quilt, we split up the piecing between the 4 of us, and I quilted and finished it. So my blog post will focus on the quilting!  Check out the other's blog posts for more pictures and information.

Four Greater Than One: quilt label (for show purposes). 

Before I started the quilting I talked with the others to brainstorm how to quilt it because I was drawing a blank and I wanted the quilting to be inclusive of their ideas.  We ended up with agreeing on straight line quilting (SLQ) in the grey and gold, and more organic/curving/flowing lines in the teal and blue.  Here's a look at the quilt about 2/3 through the SLQ:

Four Greater Than One: straight line quilting on the center areas.

I broke up the large blue spaces by adding rings that connect the storm at sea blocks--those were Yvonne's idea, and my older brother suggested continuing them across the top and bottom of the quilt (I made that part of the ring go "behind" the gold and grey blocks).  I love how the quilted rings are actual curves that connect the blocks that only have the illusion of curves.  Hopefully you can see the rings a little more from the back:

Four Greater Than One: Quilt back.

There are 4 rings, and each one has a different quilting filler: the center is all pebbles (including 4 small snails!), the second is McTavishing, the third is Flow Quilting (which is the idea of quilting in a "mental state of moderate enjoyable challenge, of being in the zone, but not frustrated with the challenge. A state of smooth progress" but more loosely meaning a variety of designs flowing from one to another without much structure or plan) and the very outer edges of the quilt are filled with tight loops.

Four Greater Than One: center and quilting detail.

I'm sorry to say I didn't document the quilting process anywhere except on Instagram, so if you're interested in seeing lots of progress photos of the quilting, go check out my feed: quiltsNfeathers .  

Four Greater Than One: Quilting detail--a small snail crawling up the right side of the blue square.

I spent at least 37.5 hours on quilting--which includes marking the straight lines.  The quilting was done over a 3 week period on my Janome 6300 (a domestic machine with a 9" throat), and I used 24 very full bobbins of Aurifil 50wt thread.  All of the threads for piecing and quilting were donated by Aurifil for this charity quilt!  Yvonne estimated we used about 2.5 miles of thread, so many, many thanks to Aurifil for sponsoring it!  The thread colors are Dark Deft Blue, Turquoise, Mustard and Aluminium.  I really put these threads through their paces and didn't have any thread issues.  I also love how the 50wt disappears when doing in-the-ditch work

Four Greater Than One: quilting detail.

Michael Miller Fabrics generously supplied 17 yards(!) of Cotton Couture solids for this quilt.  We wanted to use Cotton Couture for their soft feel and how nicely it drapes.  They were a joy to work with from cutting to piecing, basting to quilting.  The colors we chose are Royal, Gold, Lagoon and Fog. 

Four Greater Than One: Flow quilting detail.

My favorite designs to use in flow quilting are dense feathers, pebbles (with variations), arches, spirals, paisleys, orange peels (which require marking and planning ahead, but are worth it!), wishbones, and quilted paisleys (top left and bottom center of the photo above).  I also quilted in two large nautilus shells:

Four Greater Than One: quilting detail.

The flow quilting was probably my favorite part of the quilting, although it was hugely time and thread consuming!  I spent 12.5 hours on just the flow quilting ring, but I like that when I get bored of quilting one design I can just switch to another.

Four Greater Than One: flow quilting detail.

The Warm Company graciously sponsored the batting for this quilt.  They sent us their new Warm 100 batting to use.  I pin basted and quilted it SO much, and was really happy with how the batting behaved and held up to all the handling.  I was surprised how little the quilt shrank despite all my quilting--the quilt top was 88.5" x 68.5" and the finished quilt is 88.5" x 65.75" (how did it not shrink any in height?!).  Unfortunately I can't tell you how much it shrank in the wash yet (we'll wash it before it is donated to the charity we pick out), but I'll update when I can!

Four Greater Than One: quilt back quilting detail.

I really put everything I had into quilting this quilt, and feel confident that I was able to #QuiltTheLifeIntoIt!  Here is the quilt top before quilting (and before the 2" border, but the only before photo I have):

Four Greater Than One: Before quilting.

And here it is afterwards:

Four Greater Than One: After quilting

I would guess the total hours of work put into this quilt are well over 100.  I am SO excited to show it to the other ladies in my group while at QuiltCon next week-- they haven't even seen it finished since I put it in the mail right after finishing it.  If you get to see it at QuiltCon, don't forget to look for the 4 small snails in the pebble-ring, and share a picture of it on Instagram and tag it with #FourGreaterThanOne!


  1. What a beautiful collaboration! I love how you quitled the rings and filled in, just stunning! I'll be looking for it at QuiltCon!

  2. I can't wait to see it in person and look for those snails! Thank you so much for all your hard work and quilting magic. This was such a fun quilting collaboration. :)

  3. Wow! Your fantastic quilting enhances the overall design and theme of the quilt. I love it.

  4. This is just absolutely amazing! Congrats on this finish!!!

  5. I almost unpacked the box to look at it! So excited to see it in person.

  6. Really incredible. Wish I could see it in person

  7. The 4 of you certainly created an amazing quilt! You certainly did quilt the life into it, and for some reason it makes me very happy to know you included snails :)

  8. I can barely get my brain around this project. I think I'll need to see it in person to fully understand this labor of love. Congratulations to the four of you!

  9. Great job all of you! Your quilting is awesome as usual!