Friday, July 13, 2018

Third Smocked Quilt Finished: High Desert Garden

On Monday I blogged about the early stages of my third smocked quilt and today I wanted to share the smocking part.  After finishing/facing the large fabric I marked it for smocking.  I started out with a vertical smocking pattern I found, but the written diagram did not match the picture.

It made these vertical channels (which I wanted), but they were extremely close together.  I didn't get a picture of it fully smocked, but the 84" wide quilt was ~24" when smocked and the pattern felt way too dense.  I tried just taking out two middle rows (the picture below), but the spacing wasn't really right.  I took out the rest of the smocking and sighed.


Next I tried a more organic-feeling pattern.  I really liked the crumpled look in the middle of the quilt, but it didn't fit evenly into the grid I had marked, (which I didn't realize until after smocking) so there was no way to get both side edges to look right.  It was really aggravating since I liked the pattern, but unlike a pillow or something in which the smocked edges will be enclosed, the edges on these pieces are loose, so they have to look reasonably presentable.  Alas, I took out all the smocking a second time (!!!).


Finally I went with this more linear pattern,  I wanted something that still felt like it had organic shapes but that would allow the edges to line up properly.  I made my grid a little bigger which gives it a bit more depth and fewer repeats.  In general the depth is good, but it seems to be a tradeoff between depth (good) and fabric floppiness (bad).

Like the one before,  I made a frame for the back of this quilt.  For the last one, I just stitched the quilt to the frame, but I didn't really like that approach.  For one thing, there's no easy way to remove the quilt from the frame, and for another if the thread wears against the wooden edge of the frame, it breaks.  So this time I hand stitched a bunch of pieces of velcro (the soft side) to the back of the quilt (you could see them in the last picture I shared Monday), and stapled the rough side of the velcro to the frame.  I like this better- you can make fine adjustments to the placement and easily remove the quilt from the frame if needed.





Here's what it looked like mounted to the frame, but after looking at it, I thought it needed a tiny bit more color, so I added some flicked spots of strong green, gold, red, and pink.  It doesn't change a lot, but adds a bit of depth I think.


And final pics.  I've had fun doing this series of smocked quilts, but I think this will be the last one for a while.

High Desert Garden, c. Shannon Conley, 2018, 41" x 34" x 6"
Photo: Mike Cox

High Desert Garden-Detail, c. Shannon Conley, 2018, 41" x 34" x 6"
Photo: Mike Cox

High Desert Garden-Detail, c. Shannon Conley, 2018, 41" x 34" x 6"
Photo: Mike Cox

High Desert Garden-Detail, c. Shannon Conley, 2018, 41" x 34" x 6"
Photo: Mike Cox

High Desert Garden-Detail, c. Shannon Conley, 2018, 41" x 34" x 6"
Photo: Mike Cox







2 comments:

  1. Just read your I Like post Shannon, how happy to attend a wedding.
    I loved seeing this last of your smocked works...the up close photos of the quilting and the beautiful photo taken by Mike showing the overall effect. I think you should be very happy with this.

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  2. Given the name, I find the “flicked” paint to be very evocative of desert blooms. I am comfortable with the rhythm and regularity of the end result.

    I can hardly wait to see what you do next!

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