Irish Chain Beauty

I’ve been so busy quilting that I have neglected posting pictures to my blog, but I took the time to download a couple of memory cards worth of photos to the computer today, and found a few shots I wanted to share of this beautifully pieced Irish Chain top by Linda that I had the opportunity to add my quilting to this spring.

The small piecing in the chained blocks needed a motif that would do a good job of stabilizing all of the tiny pieces.  I’ll admit that deciding what to quilt took me a while on this project, as I wanted to do something really unique.  One strategy I use when unsure of what to quilt is to utilize a clear acrylic design board, which I can lay on top of the patchwork and draw different motifs on until I find just the right one.  I didn’t get a picture of this part of the process, but I did catch a quick photo of the motif’s I settled on before using the tool on my next project.
My husband even took some video of me quilting out one of the chain blocks:
For those of you who don’t want to take the time to watch me quilt out the whole motif, here is a detail shot of the chain blocks:
When designing the motif for the lighter blocks, I wanted to repeat a feathered motif, and also create a secondary pattern for visual and textural interest on the finished quilt.  I also wanted to give the wool batting a place to shine, and really show off the loft you can get with this wonderful batting option. I would highly recommend wool batting for clients who are investing in custom quilting.
By utilizing a large circle template, I was able to create a secondary design of rings which can be seen as either large rings or wavy lines depending on what your viewing perspective is.  It was fun looking at it from different angles while it was loaded on the frame being quilted.  I wish I would have taken some shots of it in progress, but sometimes I get so involved in the process I forget little details like progress photos.
I used a light silver thread on the body of this quilt, as it went well with both the very light grey fabric and the purples and greens in the chains.  But I had also gotten this lovely variegated King Tut thread that I knew would really show itself off on those dark purple triangles around the edges of the top. This photo shows how I utilized continuous curve in the partial blocks, and how I divided up the larger purple triangles into different quilting motif’s that echoed some of the elements used throughout the body of the quilt.  Isn’t that variegated thread gorgeous and perfect for this quilt’s colorway?
I really like how all the different elements came together for a gorgeous quilt I would love to call my own.   I even feel inspired to make my own King Size quilt after seeing this beauty finished!

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