If you’ve never been to the Ky State Fair to see the quilts you are missing out. There are typically around 400 quilts submitted and hung. It is always fun to see your quilt hanging with all of its friends. They look so happy together. The blue, red and white ribbons look beautiful placed upon so many lucky winners. But the quilts that have won the big awards get a special place to be displayed. These quilts are placed in hand carved, hand made heirloom wooden cases.
Having one of your quilts in the wooden case is the absolute best feeling in the world and this year, I got to see a quilt I did win Best of Show and get into the wooden case. If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen the photos I shared as I was working on this quilt. If you don’t follow me over there… well, zoom over there and fix that! 🙂
The quilt top was hand embroidered by Joe Mallard who is affectionally called Sunshine Joe. When Joe brought this quilt top to me I was knocked over by it. I’ve never seen anything like it. The entire thing is made up of small knots.
This quilt was an homage to Miles Davis. It features a panel for his albums, his band mates and the history of his music. Joe embellished it with ties, buttons and other 3D elements. He said it took him about 3 years to make it and the fact that he trusted me to do the quilting on it was humbling.
I had it on my design wall for a while trying to determine how I should quilt it to highlight all of his hard work without taking away from any of his design. I knew that my quilting wouldn’t show on the front. I was only going to be able to add texture to the top. Of course, you can see the quilting on the back side but the front is true to his vision.
I decided to use my new APQS Mille30 machine for the quilting because it would allow me to do the quilting without having to roll it forward very much. Joe had so many 3D elements on the quilt and I didn’t want to take a chance of breaking them.
I also used the new APQS scoop foot because I didn’t want to take the chance of my hopping foot getting caught on the edges of any of the elements. Finally, I chose to use a grey Microquilter 100 weight polyester thread. I knew it would melt into his embroidery and just give structure to his creation.
Finally, I bound the quilt and put the hanging sleeve on it so Joe could get it into the Ky State Fair. Finding it behind glass in the wooden cases with the Best of Show ribbon hanging from it was a THRILL!