Judith is enthusiastic about what she likes: “I love color and detail. I love appliqué and embroidery. I love art quilts.” She’s an artist who has been a quilter for ten years, and this is the first year she has entered a quilt in a national show.
A year ago, Judith was invited to join the Cover to Cover book club, a group that has been meeting for 11 years.
“It’s a ten member group, and I was asked twice before I agreed to make it an 11 member group! Every year we read two books, and then each make a quilt about something that represents that book. Sometimes the book is illustrated, and sometimes the book is a novel. Our current challenge is Kaffe Fasset’s book Dreaming in Color. THE VALUE OF GEARS is based on the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick.” When Judith entered it in AQS QuiltWeek – Paducah, Kentucky 2014, she never dreamed it would be accepted.
To make the quilt, she first sketched several pictures that reflect the story. Using a light box, she traced each picture onto solid white fabric. Each drawn block was then layered with Warm & Natural batting and a solid black backing. Securing the layers in a wooden embroidery hoop, she used her Viking home sewing machine to thread-paint with Sulky, Maderia, YLI, Gutermann, and Coats & Clark rayon thread. “I used whatever brand thread I could find that gave me the range of black to white values I wanted, to get a black-and-white photo look.”
With contrasting fabrics on the quilt back and front, her threadpainting detail expertise is evident: “I made the quilt to be viewed from both sides.” Judith threadpainted each block individually. When the blocks were complete, she layered and quilted the sashings and borders. All the sections were joined with turned-under seams, and machine topstitching. Even after completing this step, she took apart the sashing and borders several times before being completely satisfied.
Judith’s final quilt embellishments are in the center block. Using invisible thread, she attached by hand numerous small gears purchased from a craft store. Identically positioned gears are also on the quilt back. She admits “it was challenging to hand stitch through the quilt layers to attach gears simultaneously to both sides.”
Judith pieces and quilts on a Viking home sewing machine, saying she especially likes the “hover feature of the pressure foot that lifts slightly when the machine stops.” She most often uses Schmetz Microtex sewing machine needle, size #70 or #80, and says she went through three or four packs of needles while threadpainting this quilt.