Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Jokers Jest

Jokers Jest is finally finished! Right now it is snuggly packed in my suitcase waiting to fly to MQS with me. Let me rewind just a a bit.
Jokers Jest - 35" x 35"
Back in January Gina Perkes asked me if I would be willing to donate a piece to the Machine Quilters Showcase (MQS) Audacious Auction as she was this years Mistress of Ceremonies. My answer, of course!  I didn't quite know what I would be donating -- possibly something old, possibly something new, but I definitely knew I wanted to participate.

So fast forward to last month.  I was sitting on the patio sipping on my coffee and doodled my piece.

I had a plan. I then put the mirrors up and saw the full view:

Ehhh... it was a plan, I saw a couple of things I didn't like so I erased, doodled a bit more and viola:

I'm usually great at naming quilts, but this one had me a little stumped. My hubby kept saying it looked like a joker card and said I should doodle some more to make it more joker-ish. I posted on Facebook and someone mentioned jester. And then, it hit me... Jokers Jest.

Now for the fabrics. Back at Houston I purchased this amazing yardage bundle from Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics - it was the North Shore bundle. Isn't it beautiful?!! I decided it would be perfect for this project.

And on to tracing all the pieces -- it's just like making a big puzzle:

I finally decided on these six colors from the bundle:

Now to take all those foundation pieces and turn them into fabric beauties: 

What was I thinking?!! Look at the skinny point on that heart shape:

All went well, even better than I thought!

And there they are - all the pieces to the puzzle (well, except for the little circles):

Starting to look like a quilt!

Did I mention the circles?

I also decided to add a few elements on the taupy beige border. It was looking a little plain to me.

And then I spent a full Sunday doing invisible machine applique:

And more... 

Oh, and even more...

 It was time for the quilting. I used two layers of Quilters Dream wool (my absolute favorite) and started stitching away on the Gammill:

If you look closely you might just see something: 

And then on to blocking. Here comes a bit of a story. I always block my show quilts, always. I wasn't about to treat this piece any differently. I dipped it in the tub, soaked the foundation pieces soft, and pinned it flat, like always.

Well... I also posted the picture above on Facebook (like always). I received a message from Karla/Cherrywood telling me that perhaps I might want to throw the quilt in the dryer and not block the quilt. She explained that sometimes the fabrics, while drying slowly (as in blocking), had wicking occur.  What? I had never heard of wicking. So, I walked over to my quilt and, OMG!  This is wicking:

What to do?!! Karla suggested I put the entire quilt in some Synthrapol.  Okay good, go find the bottle... hmm... where did I put it? Can't find it anywhere.  I call my friend, Nancy, yep she's got some, but it was entirely too late for me to drive over. Could it wait until morning? Not sure, so I decided to take the quilt and soak it again (as it is still fairly wet) in some cold water. I swished and scrunched and swished some more and the wicking areas went back to normal - yay!!! Into the dryer it went. Not my top choice, but still okay. So after it was dry I then proceeded to steam it flat.

It looks okay, not as flat and smooth as when I block a quilt, but still good:

And then the binding and label - and yes, I'll share the label:

I totally can't wait until Thursday night - that is the auction. I can't wait to see all the other amazing pieces as well, from what Gina has been posting online it is going to be awesome! Oh, I can't forget, if you are unable to attend and would like to set up phone bidding, contact Gina to set up the arrangements at !!


  1. Please tell me more about wicking and blocking. I block my quilts also and have had pre-washed fabric do something similar. Can you tell me more about what you know? Thank you for sharing!

  2. Your quilt turned out beautiful! If you ever have any problems with a bleeding fabric you might be interested in the research I did and process I developed. It works on hand dyes and commercial fabrics and yo don't need synthrapol!

  3. What an amazing work of art! I'm curious about the appliqué process --when/how did you remove the backing papers from the shapes and still maintain the integrity of the shapes, especially those super fine points?