In common with my other smocked quilts, I started with a large piece of solid color fabric. In contrast to previous quilts, this time I used a fabric with a raised pattern woven into it and without sheen. In the end I was really sad to be missing the sheen- one of the things I loved about the previous two smocked quilts was the shiny look. I realized after comparing this to those that that shine really did come from the original fabric surface rather than the paint.
|backing fabric is on the left, front fabric on the right|
Anyway, I painted the fabric to look like an abstracted field of flowers- indian paintbrush or red-hot pokers which are two of the high desert flowers from where I grew up. My mom sent me this picture of the red hot pokers at her house this year.
In this painted picture it looks a little shiny, but that's just because it's still wet. The actual fabric has quite a matte finish.
After painting, I basted it (with much "help" from the dogs), and quilted it. It was a lot of fabric to wrestle under the sewing machine, and unfortunately, at one point I got the edge flipped around the back, so that meant lots of ripping. Sigh.
It was a quite large piece of fabric, about 84 inches wide and 58" long- as you can see here when I had it pinned up to block, but you'll see in the final piece how much of that gets sucked up by the smocking.
The wavy edge nature of these smocked quilts means that sometimes the back/back edge are visible from the front, so when I painted the front fabric, I placed the back fabric underneath it so the paint that seeped through the front soaked into the back. Thus the back was the same colors (if not quite so intense) as the front. I made the facing out of strips of the front/back that I trimmed off when squaring up so they too would blend. The facing is a bit narrower than I usually do because I didn't trim off very much. But I much prefer a blendy facing to one that stands out whenever you catch a glimpse of the back.
Come back Friday to see the final quilt and see the smocking.