Isn't it weird how when you get really bogged down with work, have a million important things to do, the ONE thing that you SHOULD be doing is absolutely not necessary, but is actually the thing you NEED to do?
Or...well...maybe this is just me...
Regardless, I've spent the entire weekend working on Hot Cast, hauling her off the wall and refusing to put her back up until she is painted, sealed, bound, and... drum roll please....FINISHED.
I've run the gambit with this quilt, through many highs, days where I could eat up miles of thread hand appliqueing or quilting the surface, and lows where she would set for days on end and I would avoid her.
This Friday, I made a list of all the projects I have going on. The list is long and includes not just quilts, but also my new book and DVD, all of which really should have priority over Hot Cast, but when it comes down to it, she needs to be finished right now.
So here's a few shots of this quilt progressing over the weekend. I finally fixed the troublesome columns by going much darker than I'd planned, but this is metallic paint which reflects darker in my basement, but lighter when she hangs on the wall:
Last night I stayed up until 2 am painting the steps and checkerboard floor. While I hate to cover up the quilting, this area was just too light with too much white fabric showing through. Even covered with a layer of silver paint, the quilting still shows quite a bit:
I've learned loads with making this quilt and one thing I'm definitely going to improve on is the way I design. Coming downstairs this morning I decided to add even more color to the background by painting the sky:
From now on all of my goddesses will be designed in layers. The landscape and sky section was the background and could have been a lot more interesting if it had been designed separately from the body and columns.
It's all a learning process! I don't claim to have it all figured out yet, and that's exactly why I'm never bored with quilting. There's always something new to learn or try. Even the techniques you've tried before can be tried again for better / different results.
With Hot Cast, I tried mostly relying on a wholecloth base, with the body and hair of the goddess as hand appliqued elements.
But as I've learned many times, I really can't handle loads of white space on my quilts. Even with the dense quilting texture, I like more color!
So if I try this again, it will be on black fabric with lighter colors of thread. Paint does work, but as I was reminded with this quilt, one wrong move, one bad color choice, and you risk messing up the quilt.
It's also messy, time consuming, and takes up lots of space! Twice I had to move Hot Cast upstairs to hang because I needed my tables for cutting or pressing fabric. A lot of times she's been in my way and that added to my frustration here at the end.
But it's over now and just like all my other quilts, I go through a cycle of love to hate to absolutely despising them to loving them all over again the second they're done.
Now for Hot Cast, I did choose a rather weird binding color. This dark purple batik definitely stands out on the edges:
Well, it will when I get a better picture of it!
The fact is, I couldn't decide on a binding color for this quilt for the longest time. I was leaning towards white, but when I consider how easy it is for a quilt to get dirty or the edges to rub up against something and discolor it, white is about the worst color for binding in the world.
Black didn't feel right either. If I'm going to put a black binding on something, it's usually a border and a definite statement for the overall quilt, like with Shadow Self.
So I've wondered for awhile how I should handle this. I even considered devising a totally new binding method, but in the end, I know Hot Cast needs a solid bias binding. When I walked into my sewing room and sorted through the stash, a bit of dark purple called my name, and I just went with it.
You might be wondering - Why a bias binding?
The truth is, all quilts have issues. It might be the density of quilting or the angle I was quilting these edges, but the bottom and lower sides are all doing a bit of the wave:
This is caused for a number of reasons, and can be easily dealt with by carefully steaming the edges, but from what my quilt Appraiser Susan Fetner has told me, a bias binding combined with steam can work out the waviness more permanently.
It's not a huge concern because I've already decided to do something that might disqualify Hot Cast from any quilt show it could have entered. I'm hanging the hanging sleeve on the top of the quilt, around the binding.
I know, I know, hanging sleeves are supposed to be hidden on the back of the quilt. They're supposed to be attached across the top, under the binding, then hand sewn to the back of the quilt. Maybe I should do a video on this???
But here's the problem, I like the back of this quilt almost as much as the front.
I always felt like Release Your Light was more beautiful viewed from the back, but because the hanging sleeve is attached on the back, I rarely ever hang it up that way.
So I'm attaching a black sleeve to the top of Hot Cast. I'm not picking a front or back. I'm just not! (imagine me stomping my foot)
I honestly don't care if it gets be disqualified from a quilt shot, though I think it would be ridiculously silly if it does, but that's the way I've decided to work this quilt.
Here's a few close ups of the quilting just in case you've missed seeing it:
The heart quilted with Pebble Maze (pebbled first, then echoed into a spiral), the body was quilted with dense stippling called Microstippling.
Floor area quilted with Matrix (white) and Ocean Current (black thread). Steps quilted with Gentle Flames and Pebbling.
Columns quilted with microstippling, landscape quilted with Landscape Stitch, and sky quilted with Striated Earth, Flame Key, and Ocean Current.
Column top filled with pebbling and arch filled with Echo Feathers.
Okay, that's it for now! Time to go chill out on the couch with a needle and thread and hand bind until she's finished. I'm so happy she's finally done!
Let's go quilt,