Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Herringbone Hearts...Anatomy of a Border

There was this experiment I just had to try.
I've been wanting to see just how far I could push the use of a single stitch in a crazy quilt, to put a greater focus on the threads and use of the supplies in general within the context, of well..... herringbone, without the distraction of the visuals caused by lots of combination stitches.
And this push of my personal CQ envelope involved some 38 mm silk ribbon. And pliers!

I started by laying out the "base" fabrics for the border, green silk that had been interfaced and then the edges sewn because it is very ravel-y and was going to be subject to some heavy stitching abuse.

I measured the distance across the quilt every 12" or so to make sure my strips were parallel as I pinned them on.  I knew that I had to applique them as I would never be accurate enough otherwise.  No turned under seam was necessary though, as it would be covered by trim later.

May the quality control expert took a break to look out the window while I was sewing on the green silk.
Then came the trim.

I got this green woven metallic trim off of Ebay from a seller of Indian sari silks.  There are lots of great trims to be found on Ebay!  I liked it for this quilt because it has hearts in it, and the metallic would add some shine.
So I pinned it in place...

....with many extra pins where the trim would cover the Evil Velvet.  Otherwise, no matter what, the trim would slip while I was sewing it down.
Ha, you velvet!  I own you.....

Corners are always a big deal in quilting--no avoiding that fact.  So I did my best to miter these neatly.

I forgot to photograph running that line of brown herringbone along the upper edge of the trim after it was sewn on.  I was too excited to try my experiment, using really wide silk ribbon in a herringbone stitch.  This is 38 mm from Dharma that I dyed.  It has a woven edge; it's not bias cut.  I needed it that way because it would shred as I pulled it through the silk otherwise.  But this ribbon, in a giant needle and pulled through with pliers for each stitch, held up perfectly fine.
It is really puffy, isn't it?

It was so big and wide that I used my finger as a laying tool as I pulled my stitches into place!

After the 38mm ribbon was on, I went back and wrapped the herringbone stitch above it along the trim.  I was going for more of a raised look and added just a little more color, to blend in with the stitching on the blocks.

This definitely changes the look and feel of the quilt.  It is exceedingly textural now.

In this picture I have ironed under the base border fabric and pinned it.  I will back the quilt later but this is about how it will look finished (squared up better though.)  I have to be very careful with the iron around that puffy herringbone because one false move and it is flat forever.

I'm going to be away teaching the next two week-ends so it will be a little while before I am back here..but I'll keep in touch by reading your blogs and will be posting to Facebook along the way as I travel to Santa Cruz, California and Olympia, Washington.  See you soon!

11 comments :

Deb said...

The CQ is just beautiful. You are such a wonderful artist.

Deborah McLaughlin said...

Beautiful!

Shirlee Fassell said...

Love the way the brown ribbon worked up!! How big of a needle did you use?? The CQ has a personality all its own... Beauitful

Wilma said...

Your experiment did work out great, how long did it take you?

Rian said...

I just want to run my hands over the whole thing! Love your words..."exceedingly textural."

mary said...

To Allie - I purchase narrow sari silk trim by the yard at our local yarn shop in austin texas called Hill Country Weavers - Mary in Austin

Susan Elliott said...

It's a great element to add all around the edge. and the color...perfection...

Have a great time teaching. We'll miss you but know you'll tell us great stories when you get back...

Pam Kellogg said...

Gorgeous Allie! And absolutely brilliant! I love how open minded you are with your finishing techniques. For years, I was stuck in my thoughts, thinking I had to do everything the traditional way. You've always had a knack for working beyond the traditional. Just beautiful!

Barbara C said...

I love that big ribbon edging: it's just gorgeous.

Enjoy your travels.

Deb H said...

Such an amazing job! The tenacity that it would take just to stitch with ribbon that wide, blows me away! It reall is beautiful

Unknown said...

How will you attach the back? Do you use some inner batting of some sort?
I so enjoy your work. Love your book. Keep on inspiring so many of us.