Monday, October 12, 2015

Russian Tiles Quilt

I felt a lot of pressure on this quilt. It is my highest profile quilt to date. It came to me from Linda, owner of Rumpled Quiltskins store in Okotoks. She designed and embroidered this stunning piece as an example for a class she's teaching this fall. I had not worked with anything this heavily embroidered, and the exquisite intricacy of it, frankly, intimidated me. What if I messed it up??? Linda also requested I use some of the same shapes and motifs that were present in the Russian-style embroidery of the quilt. Not exactly in my wheelhouse, so I took to my sketchbook and started practicing. Then I practiced quilting on muslin, then other quilts that I had ready for practicing. I kept putting it off, worrying about how I was going to pull this off. But eventually I got to the point where I just had to pull the trigger. Linda wanted this piece to go to Calgary's Creative Stitches show, to be hung in her booth (for all the world to see!), so I had a deadline. Eek! There are things that I think turned out well, and there are things that I desperately wish I'd done differently, but thanks to the lessons of my quilting hero Angela Walters, I won't be pointing those things out to you!

Will you just look at the amount of thread that was put on this thing? It's amazing!

I sketched and practiced the corner motif so much!

It was based on this shape that appeared a lot in the embroidery and I'm told is a very "Russian" shape.

The three comma-like swirls were my attempt at copying....

this shape in the embroidery. I really love this shape and am glad I was nudged into learning it. It's similar to swirls that I already have been using in my repertoire, but enough different that I think it adds a bit more character to the design.

The intertwining ropes reminded me of Irish designs I've seen. I did a much simpler version of a rope beside it, because honestly, I just don't think I'm capable of quilting with that amount of intricacy yet. Hopefully it compliments the more ornate rope designs in the embroidery.

The end-cap I put on the outer border designs remind me of a fleur-de-lis you often see in French design.

It was inspired by THIS place in the embroidery.

And here it is on display at Creative Stitches. I wasn't able to be there myself, because I was already double-booked with a quilting class in Edmonton and another quilt show at my church where I had a booth the same weekend. But thanks to a few Facebook friends, I got to see posts of my work on display in the Rumpled Quiltskins booth in Calgary. I felt like an actress seeing her name on a marquee for the first time!


  1. Carrie - you did one FANTASTIC job on this! Wish I could have seen it in person! How long did you say you've had your Lenni - jeez you picked that up fast!!

    1. Well, gee, thanks, Miss Beverly! I got my Lenni in August. 2 months from when I received it until I did the Russian Tiles quilt. I had been free-motion quilting on my domestic machine for a few years before-hand, and I found that a lot of the muscle memory transferred nicely for me to the longarm setup. I'm just having so much fun!!