Here’s my completed quilt for our Ecosystem prompt: California Buckeye. It’s one of the native plants around my house that has evolved perfectly for its ecosystem. If you want to read more about Aesculus californica, see my post here. Like my previous quilts, I created the image in Photoshop using a few of my photos and sketches. Here are some of the iterations.
Sometimes I play with images for days, weeks or months. This one came together very quickly. If I remember correctly it was almost ready to print 3 hours after I started. Then came the hard part—waiting for the image printed on fabric to arrive. Again I used MyFabricsDesigns.com and had it printed on the Silk Crinkle Linen blend. I don’t recall if I mentioned it before, but if you choose that fabric they print with fiber-reactive dye. This was the type of dye we (Pixeladies) used to print with. The colors turn out so luscious.
Sometimes they come out too luscious. I really liked the colors, but when I looked at the backside of the fabric I was in love. Slightly muted with white lines and slubs from the weave of the fabric. It just looked so… so much more buckeye. And years ago my mom told me you pay for both sides of the fabric, (Isn’t that a great saying?), so I used the back as the right side. Here’s a comparison the “right” side is on the left and the “wrong” side is on the right. Yes, I made a mirror image of one of the images so you could compare easier.
Although MyFabricDesigns.com recommends that you dry clean this fabric, I know my fibers and dyes. There is no reason that this fabric couldn’t be washed. I machine wash all my silks, linens, and other fabric printed with fiber-reactive dye. I don’t know why I prewash the fabric for a quilt, I think it’s just a habit from my garment sewing days. But I’m so glad I did. For me, the hardest thing about creating a quilt is designing the quilting lines. When I took this fabric out of the dryer the wrinkle lines were amazing. They reminded me of the crinkles in a sprouting buckeye leaf. There were my quilting lines. Again the “right” side of the fabric is on the left, and the “wrong” side, the side I liked better is on the right.
I got out my handy water-soluble marker and drew some of the wrinkle lines onto the fabric. I hand-stitched the lines with perle cotton. Since there were some large areas left unquilted, I had to figure out a way to quilt those parts. The California Buckeye flower spike is made up of lots of little tiny flowers, so I stitched 3 crossing lines to represent the tiny flowers.
Here’s the finished quilt and another close-up.
Title: California Buckeye
Dimensions: 40" x 31"
Materials: Linen/silk top, wool batting, cotton backing. Perle cotton
Techniques: Digitally created image printed on a linen/silk blend. Hand quilted