Two layers of Embrace Double Gauze from Shannon Fabrics with Pellon Wool Batting in the middle makes for a super soft and cuddly quilt. The wool is lighter and fluffier than cotton batting — the only difference in care is that it can't go in the dryer. It's just returned home from Spring Quilt Market and I'm looking forward to using it!
I used all the colors of Finca #8 Perle Cotton to hand quilt it, which I believe is about 123 different spools. I love the texture of the hand quilting.
When I received the double gauze from Shannon Fabrics, I was thrilled to discover a subtle 1" grid in the weave of the fabric. This enabled me to stitch straight lines without having to mark the fabric first! I quilted two rows per linear inch of the quilt, so I alternated stitching on a grid line with between lines.
I stuck numbered tags inside all the spools of Finca so that I would be able to keep track of the color order, partially because I wanted a record of it and also because I thought it could come in handy if I needed to start repeating colors. I started with reds, deep oranges and yellows, then some orangey browns and olive greens.
Then all the greens!
It took me ten rows or so to be comfortable with slightly wonky stitches and I actually redid a few here and there. After that, I was okay to 'embrace the wonk'. :)
It was fun to watch the ombré effect grow. I started this as a slow stitching project and then it got bumped up on the priority ladder when Shannon asked to display it in their booth at Market. With a deadline, I was able to get it done!
After blues and purples came pinks.
And then back to reds and oranges, although I never had to repeat any of the colors. I decided to bind it in jersey knit, which wound up being an interesting choice. If you've ever worked with jersey, you know the edges like to curl after being cut. What I wound up doing was cutting three-inch-wide grey jersey (54" fabric width) and then creating a crease down the center of the strip. Then I covered the edges of the quilt with the jersey, lining up the crease with the quilt edge. I pinned like crazy, making sure to catch both front and back of the jersey with the pins, and then I sewed two rows of zigzag stitch on the machine around the whole thing. Zigzag stitches stretch with the jersey and the double gauze. Straight stitches have less give and would tear far more easily. Then I trimmed the exposed raw edges of the jersey close to the top row of zig zag stitches and let it curl under! I know it sounds crazy, but it worked.
There is no front or back, although as I did all the stitching with the white facing up that side has more regular stitches. I like the contrast of the teal on the other side. Finished size is 36 x 55".
I will be doing a lot more hand stitching and quilting. In fact, I've recently started a Facebook group for hand stitching enthusiasts. If you hand sew, quilt, embroider, appliqué, use Boro or Sashiko in your work, etc. search for "Hand Stitching CLUB" on Facebook and request to join (or click this link!). Hope to meet you there!