Blue Ribbon Quilt, 41" x 46", Nov. 2012
This quilt is made using ribbons that Hannah won at horse show competitions. She gave me over 150 ribbons but luckily I didn't have to use them all.
The most difficult part was dealing with the bulk. It was tricky arranging the ribbons temporarily to take photos to send to the client so she could approve the layout ideas.
Usually quilt tops are made by placing two pieces of fabric with the good sides together then sewing them together 1/4" from the edge. When you open them, the stitching can't be seen because the fabric folds to form a seam in the back. I didn't think the ribbons would work well being sewn together that way and folded back so once the final design was decided on, I layered the light green background fabric with some batting and the backing fabric then started attaching the ribbons to the top, so the stitching that holds down the ribbons is also the quilting.
Detail of the woven flat ribbons.
I started at the top. I wove the flat ribbons into groups that were 4 ribbons wide and 3 ribbons deep. I held them together temporarily with blue removable tape while I was sewing them down.
Detail of the ribbons with rosettes.
Next I added the ribbons with rosettes. I started with the purple one in the top center then working on either side of that ribbon, I added the ribbons in descending order, sometimes leaving parts unsewn because the next ribbon needed to be tucked under it. I changed to my regular sewing foot instead of the walking foot normally used for quilting because the regular foot was smaller and allowed me to get closer to the rosettes.
Once the center ribbons and the horizontal ribbons were in place I switched to my freemotion "hopping" foot which allowed me to zig in and out of the rosettes to make sure they were attached to the quilt.
The long brown and white ribbons, the medium-length green and purple ribbons, the center white ribbon, and the horizontal green ribbons were set aside until I did the ribbons with the medals.
Detail of the ribbons with medals.
I tried to do as much as the rosettes before I did the ribbons with the medals because I knew once I started those, the quilt would become more difficult to maneuver. Luckily these ribbons were attached going straight down.
I sewed the one in the center to get it in the correct place then I moved to the left side and attached the three on the left, then did the long brown rosette and the green one above them. Then I did the three ribbons with medals on the right and the two rosettes above them. Then I finished adding the rest of the ones with medals.
Detail of the variegated thread.
Because of all the bright colored ribbons, I didn't want to have to change the thread color for every ribbon so I decided to use a variegated thread in rainbow colors which went from red to yellow to green to blue. Some of the rosettes were sewn with the variegated thread, while others were sewn down with a neutral thread, somewhat visible in the photo above around the white rosette.
Because of the weight of this quilt, which is 3.5 pounds, the hanging stick has two picture hangers attached to it, one one the left and one on the right side of the stick.
All photos can be viewed at a larger size by clicking on them.