You may have noticed that I use a lot of machine embroidery designs that are not “things.” No animals, no people, no coffee cups, no still lifes. Sometimes floral designs. But mostly, I really like swirl designs that lend themselves to many different looks. I’ve written about two other designs in this post and this post. Today I’m featuring a set of designs (yes, Zundt!) that I’ve used in several ways.
The designs have a satin stitch outline around a long, open, running-stitch filled center.
Here I used just the smallest design, repeated and mirrored to form a border.
When those center fill stitches are stitched with metallic thread, it creates a soft, shimmery look that almost looks like it’s been painted.
All four of the designs were used in “Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining.” (2010)
The swirl design here is just to the left of the butterflies. I also used a couple of large floral designs and free-standing lace. The fabric is silver gray Radiance, and all of the embroidery (all Zundt) was done with gray Isacord and silver metallic thread. The butterflies, the large lace motifs (the quilt was cut from behind the motifs) and the wide lace edging (not visible in this photo; look at the full shot above) are free-standing lace. It is 85 inches square, and the embroidery used approximately 47,000 yards of thread and nearly 5,000,000 embroidery stitches. After the embroidery on the fabric was done, I free-motion quilted with Superior Threads silk Kimono thread.
This photo is from before it was completed, but it really shows the sparkle from the metallic thread (and Stella the cat says she needed to be in this post!)
This quilt won the Pfaff Best Machine Workmanship award at Houston in 2010
and a first place at Paducah in 2011.
But I wasn’t finished with these designs! This is a very different look in “Distraction.”
I pieced white and dark gray Kona cotton, then embroidered swirls over the pieced fabric. I love the way the piecing shows through the metallic-filled swirl centers – a lovely transparency!
One of my favorite parts of this quilt is that I pieced the binding to match the pieced stripes in the fabric! Details matter! 🙂
Actually, I wasn’t pleased with the way the edge of the quilt was slightly stretched, so I later took off the binding and re-did it so it would be smoother, but I couldn’t find a picture of the final edge.
Finally, here is a little quilt I made, “Lime Frost”, which will probably be a donation quilt at some point.
It is Radiance, apple green and silver metallic thread, and a few Swarovski crystals. Besides the large central swirls that were also used in the other quilts, the smaller corner swirls are from my Craftsy class project.
I hope this has inspired you to think of using those embroidery designs in multiple ways, and to use them as the base for lovely quilting!