Saturday, April 16, 2022

Janet's Kintsugi Quilt: Not Your Grandma's E2E Quilting

Good morning and Happy Passover/Happy Easter to all who are celebrating this weekend!  The quilt I'm sharing today was made by my client Janet in a Kintsugi workshop taught by Pepper Cory.  (You can read more about kintsugi, the ancient Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold, and how Pepper translates this idea into quilting, on Pepper Cory's blog here).  

Detail of Janet's Kintsugi Quilt with Geoglyph E2E

If you don't have time for the in-depth read, here are the basics: When you take this class with Pepper, you bring in an assortments of similar orphan blocks, incomplete and no longer loved projects you don't feel like finishing, and other odd bits and pieces ("shards") you might have lying around your studio.  Pepper guides students to create a layout with an abstract, modern art feel and teaches how to "glue" those pieces together with yardage of a complementary background fabric that acts as the golden lacquer to hold everything together and create a finished work that is more beautiful than all of its bits and pieces were on their own.  Janet chose a Moda Grunge fabric (this post contains affiliate links) for her background that sets off her bright, scrappy blocks and string strips.

Detail of Janet's Kintsugi Quilt with Geoglyph E2E

Janet's Kintsugi quilt is quite large, 88" x 88", with ample negative background space.  We chose a modern digital panto design by Jess Zeigler called Geoglyph that mimics extensive ruler work quilting, and when I set the design up in my computer I flipped, mirror-imaged, and staggered the rows of the design so that there is no traditional design repeat on the entire quilt.  


YLI 40 weight Variegated Machine Quilting Cotton thread in color Great Barrier Reef helps to marry the brightly colored blocks and scrappy bits to the neutral Grunge background fabric and ensures that the quilting design is bold and dramatic in the negative space while blending into the patchwork areas.

Janet's 88 x 88 Kintsugi Quilt

Other cool things about this quilt: Not only did Janet use up leftover bits and orphan blocks on the front of her quilt -- her batting was cobbled together from lots of odd-sized scraps and she even pieced orphan blocks in more muted colors into her backing fabric.  I used So Fine thread in Snow in my bobbin to ensure that any specks of bobbin thread visible on the right side of the quilt would blend into the batting in the needle holes, while also taking into consideration how well the off-white bobbin thread would look with the ivory, brown and beige backing fabrics.  Don't you love how Janet pieces her inked label into her quilt top as well so it gets quilted in securely and can never fall off the quilt?

More Orphan Blocks in Muted Traditional Colors on the Backing

Here's what Janet's Kintsugi quilt top looked like prior to quilting:

Janet's Kintsugi Quilt Top Prior to Quilting

This was such a fun one for me to quilt using a design that I'd been itching to try when the right quilt came along.  I think Janet's quilt WAS the right one, don't you?  Thanks for entrusting me to quilt for you, Janet!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...  

iPad Doodles of Possible Quilting for Retro '80s Building Blocks Quilt

Nope, the blocks haven't yet been assembled into a quilt top, but I've been doodling possible custom quilting ideas for my Retro '80s Building Blocks sampler quilt on my iPad.  I almost wish it didn't have to be quilted at all because I love how it looks right now.  I don't want to see any quilting on this one (weird thing for a long arm quilter to say, right?!) and, because it's going to be a functional bed quilt, I want evenly distributed quilting without the dramatic textural relief of heavy custom quilting that would mash down the batting loft in some areas to make adjacent areas pop.  If I could, I would just SID (stitch in the ditch) the whole thing to emphasize the patchwork seam lines and call it done.  That's likely what I'll do in the smallest 5" blocks where the seam lines are fairly close together, and I might could even get away with it in some of the 10" blocks.  But several of those 15" to 30" blocks contain patches that are far too large to leave unquilted from a functional standpoint, in a bed quilt that will be subjected to laundering from time to time.  Whatever quilting I end up doing, I think I'll be using Aurifil cotton threads individually color matched to my fabrics to keep the quilting as inconspicuous as possible.  Meaning there will be LOTS of stops and starts and knotting and burying of thread tails...We'll see.

That's it for me today.  I'll be linking up with my favorite linky parties, listed on the left sidebar of my blog.  Thanks for stopping by, and I hope YOU get some sewing time today! 

22 comments:

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

Awesome quilting, Rebecca! And great job on the kintsugi, Janet!!!!

Sandy said...

Oh my, Rebecca Grace! Janet's quilt is striking by itself, but your quilting really "makes" it! As for your sampler, I think it's going to be amazing, no matter what you do about the quilting. :)

chrisknits said...

Wow! What a gorgeous way to use up orphans. And the quilting is perfect for the top!!

The Joyful Quilter said...

What an interesting way to use Orphan Blocks! Lovely job on the quilting, Rebecca. Definitely the perfect E2E for the project!

Marty Stanchi said...

Who knew E2E could look so fabulous! It does look like custom quilting. Great job!

Rebecca Grace said...

Thanks, Marty. I know, right?!! Best of all, since everything is sized and laid out on the computer screen, there's no need to make any markings at all on the quilt top. Which is not just a time-saver, but so much safer because I never know whether or not a client has prewashed and checked her fabrics for unstable dyes prior to making the quilt top. I've heard so many horror stories from custom hand guided long arm quilters who removed markings from hundreds of quilts with no problem, but then ONE quilt comes along that bleeds red dye onto a white background when they spritz the quilt with water to remove water soluble blue pen, or the blue marker isn't disappearing on a certain fabric for some reason. Scary!

Linda P in IL said...

Totally agree with all the above comments, wow.

LA Paylor said...

very graphic quilting!

Quilting Gail said...

Great quilting! As always!

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

Now that's an interesting way to use up those orphan blocks! And your quilting really adds an extra dynamic!

Frédérique said...

wow, this quilt is really special, and I love the way it was made, using scraps in every step.
Your quilting is stunning, and what a brilliant idea to reverse the rows! Bravo, très bonne idée, et le résultat est magnifique, comme toujours !
J'adore tes blocs ensemble, ça va être un quilt splendide.
Thank you for sharing your work, and linking up ;)

Kathleen said...

What a gorgeous quilt and great job you did with E2E. I like that you flipped/mirrored the design - so very effective. It is funny about your own quilt and its doodles - wanting and not wanting to quilt it. I totally get what you are saying. Superior was the only thread company at the show; it was a small one, so I didn't get much info on cottons. I know you will come up with a brilliant plan, once your quilt top is assembled!

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

Goodness - that turned out amazing!!!!

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

that is a lot of open space that you needed quilt - unusual and looks great!

Preeti said...

How did you know what the quilt really needed??? I am amazed, jaw dropped!!!

Judy Hansen said...

Your quilting is perfect for this quilt. Great job!

Nann said...

Oh, how awesome! Thanks for sharing the maker's design process and for the closeups of your spectacular quilting.

Pat said...

great job on the quilting and the to the quilt artist!

Jennifer Fulton Inquiring Quilter said...

Kintsugi is fascinating! Your quilting choices married so beautifully with the quilt to create a lovely masterpiece. I love the quilting ideas you have for Modern Retro. They play the same role--emphasizing what makes the quilt so pretty in the first place. Hope you go that route. Thanks for sharing on Wednesday Wait Loss.

Susan said...

Gorgeous quilting on this - it fits it so well!

Karin said...

That looks stunning!

Quilts & Comforter Mum said...

Awesome quilting job, bravo

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