Monday, May 7, 2012

::Inspiration:: Wholecloth Quilts

This summer I'll be making a wholecloth baby quilt. It's something that's been buzzing around my mind since I first set eyes on Joelle Hoverson's Follow-the-Lines baby quilt from Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts.


A wholecloth quilt is made with one large piece of fabric. Joelle's was hand quilted, which is just what I have in mind since this baby quilt will also be a project for week 5 of Handstitched class.  Joelle's quilting follows the lines of the print, which would be such a relaxing journey and certainly creates a sweet effect.  But, many wholecloth quilts (or most?) actually use the quilting to define something entirely new and separate.

Wholecloth inspiration
1.  Almost Wholecloth mini by Kate of Swim, Bike, Quilt.  2.  Stitched Squares by Anna of Six White Horses  3.  Circles quilt by Ashley of Film in the Fridge  4.  Hand quilted pillow by Anna Maria Horner

Aren't these pretty?  The first up at the top left is not truly a wholecloth quilt, since Kate did include a stretch of improv piecing.  I love how the patchwork inspires the character of her quilting.  It's improv hand quilting.  Sounds like fun to me!

The next, at top right, is a study in simplicity.  Instead of piecing patchwork, Anna began with a machine quilted grid.  Then she hand quilted squares in various colors and using several stitch patterns in a sparse patchwork formation.  You could use any color solid base cloth and establish a triangle or diamond base, instead of squares.  Lots of potential here!

At bottom left is Ashley's vibrant circles wholecloth quilt.  She used a simple dot print on the front and solid on the back, both which allow the circles quilting to shine.  With a wholecloth quilt, especially if hand quilting, you can easily make intricate curves and all over patterns that would be difficult to piece.

And then there's Anna Maria Horner's famous pillow.  What gets me here is how wholecloth quilts can really allow a dramatic, oversized print to shine.  Anna's stitching adds that bit of texture that says this surface is loved.

Isn't it interesting that wholecloth quilts lend themselves equally well to minimalist styles and flamboyant prints?  I wonder where I'll end up.  Are you inspired by wholecloth quilts?

31 comments:

  1. Oh yes, I think it would be fun and beautiful! I have the book you mentioned, it is full of inspiration. I can't wait to see what you stitch : )

    ReplyDelete
  2. I did my first whole cloth quilt recently...it started out as a practice piece for 15" spirals and i had so much fun i could not stop! you can see it here if you like: http://chezstitches.blogspot.com/2012/04/it-all-began-with-practice-spiral.html

    I since have put a binding on it and titled the quilt "More frosting on your wedding day" and gave it as a wedding gift to my cousin.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Beautiful! Yes, they are very inspiring.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Whole cloth quilts can be beautiful! I'm ready for something more relaxing.

    ReplyDelete
  5. They are all great but I really like the one with the squares.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's certainly fascinating how just quilting can create an amazing look. I have a quilt in the works right now where there will be a strip with feature fabric in, but the majority will be solid. I just hope I can do the quilting justice...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow they all look great with the different quilting styles. I think it might be easier with one of these than trying to think up a design! Truly inspiring. =D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think they're a great project for a new quilter for sure! At the same time, they're a good experience for someone like me who loves patchwork, but doesn't always put enough thought into quilting.

      Delete
  8. I have wanted to make a wholecloth quilt forever!!! And Joelle's in particular (I always wanted that EXACT piece of fabric). I've never made one because, while I've hand quilted a million miles of quilt, I couldn't find the "perfect" fabric to follow. Cause if I don't follow the lines, it'll be a white on white wholecloth, and that just makes me tired (cause it'll take so long, unless it's for a babe, which is a definite possibility, but not white on white).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I felt the same way at first, wanting to use Joelle's exact fabric. But, I have a feeling that if I start trying others there will be ways to follow them after all. I'm going to try anyways!

      Delete
  9. These are so pretty, even as they are so different! I tend to shy away from large prints because I don't know what to do with them, but using them as a whole cloth quilt looks beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love that you did a post about whole cloth quilts. It makes me even more excited to start my brother and future sister-in-law's quilt. Oh, and I had no idea there was a name for it! I can't wait to see yours. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. And I thought I couldn't be more excited for class...

    ReplyDelete
  12. Yes! I was inspired by some of the same quilts and have made two wholecloth quilts this spring! LOVE them since I'm mostly a garment sewer that rarely quilts. I'm still new to quilting, and I agree that wholecloth quilts are great for learning the process.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, after visiting your blog I see that I ran into your quilts when researching for this post. Small world! They're both lovely!

      Delete
  13. I love the idea, especially for someone like me who is dipping her foot gently into quilting. Could you recommend tutorials or perhaps fill us in on the technique, pretty please?

    ReplyDelete
  14. It's been on my wish list for the last few years to make a whole cloth quilt. I've seen some beautiful ones that were made from a single solid color with closely spaced stitching, and the quilting just creates the most beautiful texture. Looking forward to seeing what you do... I know it will be lovely!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've done a few whole cloth quilts ~ ages ago before I knew how to piece and before I knew how to machine quilt. They all turned out great. I've got one waiting to be quilted ~ just couldn't bear to cut into it, so I bordered it and love it!
    I'd forgotten about it, thanks for the reminder!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love whole cloth quilts! I've been meaning to make one for years! I love hand-quilting and, yes, it would be so easy just to pick up a patterned fabric and just follow the designs.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Love this post, Rachel. I've been drooling over those whole cloth quilts for a while now. It might be time to give it a go.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I like whole cloth quilts, too. My mauve sofa is so out of date. I made a whole cloth quilt to tuck into the seat to make it more up to date. It doesn't hide the mauve but it makes it better.

    ReplyDelete
  19. These are so pretty! love it!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hola, felicidades por tus trabajos, haces cosas muy bonitas. Quisiera pedirte si podrías poner un gadget para traducir el blog (como google translate) y sería más fácil leerte desde cualquier parte del mundo. Un saludo.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Like Elsa mentions above, I could see myself making one out a fabric I couldn't bear to cut. I definitely love all of the examples you shared. Beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Ohhh, I can't wait to see what you do. My sister is having a baby this fall and I'm so torn about what quilt to make the little one. It has to be gender neutral as well...eek! This would be fun though...especially with my love of prints!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's funny, I have a baby boy quilt to make that I'm feeling very uninspired about. Maybe i should go with this idea. I really hadn't connected those dots until now!

      Delete
  23. I like them. Especially the hand quilting. So so so pretty.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh this had never even occurred to me to even try, and now I am dying to have a go. I think I will try a new baby quilt like this, I may even be brave and try some hand quilting.

    ReplyDelete
  25. oooo thanks for featuring my quilt! I agree, so much potential for these, and different base shapes would be awesome. I first became interested in whole cloth quilts when I noticed I liked the backs of my quilts just as much as the fronts ;) There's something so special about curling up with some handwork, and whole cloth quilts are so approachable and satisfying, great combo in my book.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I love the idea of a whole cloth quilt...what a great way to spend the summer hand stitching one.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts with Thumbnails