Quilt Testers In Action

Quilt Testers In Action


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Torii Gates

If you have come here from the website of my friend Mary Grace, Welcome! I hope you enjoy your visit. If you don't know Mary Grace, visit her at Hooked On Needles. She likes to try all sorts of needlework, and is very generous with sharing her knowledge.

Torii Gate

This piece from the last post is finished. It's a small quilt, only about 11 inches by 12.5 inches. It is called Torii Gate, because it reminds me of pictures of beautiful Japanese gates. I've never seen them in real life, but who knows? Maybe someday I will.

Here's a secret about this quilt. It was made from left-over strips of fabric that have been mashed into a drawer over the last 20+ years of quilting. The drawer can't even close anymore, so for the last year I have been trying to work from it. I haven't made a dent in the pile. I would show you a picture, but that would be even more embarrassing than telling you....

Another secret? This was supposed to be a test piece for something I want to do with some of my hand-dyed fabric. But, I think I like this more than the one I was planning. Maybe my dyed fabrics need to get more exciting.

Torii Gate, detail

This detail shot shows some of the quilting. I did it the same way I have been doing my free-motion stitched drawings for Creative Cue , going over the lines several times. The result is a heavier line than I usually use for machine quilting. It seems to give the drawing a stronger role in the quilt.

In place of a traditional binding, the edge was zigzagged, and then I applied an edging made of twisted yarns. I have been using this technique on some of my smaller quilts for several years now, especially when a regular binding looks too heavy. To do this, I first choose several coordinating yarns, and hunt down my spindle (that I use to spin bunny fur into yarn).

Then the yarns are twisted together.

When I get the right length, Weasley gives his approval. (Or, since he's a rabbit, his disapproval.)

In this case, I removed the yarn from the spindle, and let it double back on itself. The resulting yarn was stitched to the quilt using a tiny whip stitch that just caught one strand of the yarn. The stitches are not visible on the quilt, because the yarn puffs up to cover them. On some quilts I have used larger stitches, made with embroidery floss, that are visible, as a design element.

I encourage you to try this. If you don't have a spindle, tie your yarn ends to something solid, and start twisting. It's a fun look, and gives you another reason to grow your yarn stash!


Raphaela said...

A beautiful little piece. I never used twisted yarns for edging. I like it very much. The yarns you selected for this piece much nicely.

Raphaela said...

Sorry. What I wanted to say was of course that the yarns match nicely ...

sharon said...

Love the little quilt, the wool trim looks wonderful on it! Sharon.

Michelle (Shell) May said...

Torii Gate is a stunning piece and I do love the edge treatment! So fabulous! Of course seeing Weasley is too. ;)