I had the opportunity to make a quilt for a lady who was missing hers. Her list of favorites and themes just clicked in my mind as I was reading the request for a swap angel. She liked roses, trees, pink, blue, aqua, dandelions, gray, stone, nature, trees, crazy quilts and Shakespeare. I was checking things off my list as I read it. I had a Romeo cat from embroiderylibrary stitched out and waiting for a less frustrating project than the one I intended. I had a piece of fabric already dyed aqua and pink. It was strange, because I could see the whole thing in my mind as I read the list. I responded as quickly as possible and was happy to be chosen to make it. I had more fun making this quilt than I can even begin to tell you.
First a bit of the hand quilting. I never really thought I could do this but it just fell into place. I really feel like I got into the stitching groove and made some pretty neat little stitches all outlining the hint of leaves. Once they were stitched, I realized that they weren't very visible. They didn't show up enough as leaves to fit the rest of the piece. I ended up going back in and carefully painting the them. I did get a little bit of bleed through to the back but not too much. Heat setting around the metallic embroidery was more of a challenge than that.
This a little detail from the quilt. You can see the machine embroidered Romeo with some sequin sparkles. You can also see the start of my poor attempt to do thread painting around the applique elements. I ended up stitching a border with the metallic thread and then hand quilting around the block.
This is from the back of the quilt. You can see some of the bleed through from the paint on the leaves. But don't think it is to bad. At least it isn't as bad as I thought it was going to be when I was half way through and stressing about getting enough color and flow on the front without getting too much bleed on the back. I absolutely love doing the random stitching with pearl cotton for a quilting technique. There is an almost zen state to taking the stitches and then there is the fabulous texture it creates. I love how I get the impression of a tree without actually having to try and draw a tree.
The pink in the window was not part of the original design. I had planned on stitching on enough sequins and beads to fill the window space. As I was working, I decided that I preferred the hint of sparkle, just behind the window, about to emerge so I stopped with the beading. but the rest of the space was too gray. I finally decided to try filling it with more pearl cotton in pink. I think it worked out well. It gave enough color to the space while preserving the mystery of the sparkle. I also did some of the regular quilting stitches in pearl cotton. They worked out OK. I really like the way it looks from the back.
In this shot you can see some of the stitching, machine and hand, that I did on the stones of the castle. The gray fabric was actually a semi mess created by my son. He was dying a kilt and grabbed a couple yards of my 'spare' muslin to mop up the mess. It ended up a lovely textured gray. It has been waiting for the perfect project. Fortunately, this one only used up a tiny bit. The blue fabric is a batik scrap. I mentioned earlier that the Romeo was a leftover. I was making pillows with the embroidery and the batik. I finished Hamlet and the Jester with reasonable results, but I made so many errors on Romeo that I just stopped and walked away from finishing. Luckily, that meant it was ready and waiting when this project popped up.
And here is the whole thing!
Edited to add some more images: