Out of the Woods

Out of the Woods {Friday Finish}


Out of the Woods was my final quilt in my “to be quilting upon return from QuiltCon” queue. I completed it a week ago and this time I took my husband with me into some green rolling hills for a photo shoot. He was a wonderful and patient quilt holder.

Out of the Woods
Out of the Woods

This large graphic quilt was really asking for a lot of quilting detail, and my recently acquired box of Aurifil thread came in handy! I purchased 2 large spools of Aurifil 50wt that color coordinated with the sky and lighter green / smaller mountain when I made my initial fabric purchase, and I was thrilled I was able to color match to the remaining fabrics using the Drift collection.

Out of the Woods - Aurifil Color Matching
Out of the Woods – Aurifil Color Matching

For the sky, I selected 50wt Light Robins Egg (2710), for the border and binding I used 50wt Delft Blue (2730), for the larger mountain I used 50wt Light Jade (1148), for the smaller mountain I used 50wt Medium Mint (2835), and for the sun I used 50wt Medium Butter (2130). The thread blended in perfectly leaving behind only wonderful texture after the quilting and wash!

Out of the Woods - 50wt Aurifil Thread Used for Quilting
Out of the Woods – 50wt Aurifil Thread Used for Quilting

I wanted to use another new (to me) quilting pattern for the sky that I learned from Angela Walters, swirl chains. So I practiced a bit with pencil and paper before starting on the quilt. As you can see below, I even made sure to practice how I was going to quilt into the corners of the sun pattern. As I was practicing, I realized that I wanted to use the swirl chain without the additional paisley that she sometimes uses for filler. To me it kept the swirls representing wind and all the amazing air currents that glider planes around our area take advantage of to stay aloft and flying for 11-12 hours at a time.

Out of the Woods - Developing Quilting Pattern for the Sky
Out of the Woods – Developing Quilting Pattern for the Sky

In combination with Carolyn Friedlander’s awesome Sky print from the Doe line, I think the quilting detail creates an awesome texture and depth for the sky.

Out of the Woods - Sky Quilting Detail
Out of the Woods – Sky Quilting Detail

For the sun, I chose to quilt small pebbles and swirls to give a boiling texture. My hope is that the swirls kind of represent solar flares and other solar activity and that the dense quilting texture gives the sun a fun texture to run hands over when snuggling under the quilt.

Out of the Woods - Sun Quilting Detail
Out of the Woods – Sun Quilting Detail

As you may have seen in my free motion quilting tree tutorial on Tuesday, I also developed a pattern to use specifically for the large mountain on this quilt. As the quilt is named “Out of the Woods”, I felt that the mountain needed a forest. Because I was already using a lot of back and forth lines for the quilting (in the borders and as a filler around the swirl chains in the sky), I thought having the style continuity in the tree design was a nice touch. I kind of just made up the pattern in my head one afternoon, gave it a few practice sketches, and just went for it.

Out of the Woods - Developing Quilting Pattern for the Large Mountain
Out of the Woods – Developing Quilting Pattern for the Large Mountain

I varied the size of the trees as I moved down the mountain to hopefully give a bit of perspective change. The trees at the top are about a third of the size of the larger trees at the base of the mountain.

Out of the Woods - Forest Quilting Detail
Out of the Woods – Forest Quilting Detail

Laying the quilt out on top of grass and wildflowers created a wonderful ripple and texture in combination with the setting sun. 🙂

Out of the Woods - Quilting Detail
Out of the Woods – Quilting Detail

For the smaller mountain in the foreground, I chose to use really dense matchstick quilting. Most of the hills around our town are covered with paths made by grazing cattle, and those horizontal lines create a really interesting visual texture. My goal was to try to recreate that, and again I kept the lines tightly spaced at the top of the mountain and then grew them further apart farther down the mountain to give a feeling of size and a slight 3D effect.

Out of the Woods
Out of the Woods

Because the back of the quilt is a print, the quilting does not stand out as dramatically as it would had it been a solid fabric, but because I matched the bobbin thread to the thread on top, the lighter green and yellow thread are recognizable from a distance on the quilt.

Out of the Woods - Quilt Back
Out of the Woods – Quilt Back

Up close, the quilting shows up much better on the back.

Out of the Woods - Quilting Detail (Back View)
Out of the Woods – Quilting Detail (Back View)

Out of the Woods – Quilt Time

  • Design: 4 hours
  • Top Piecing: 4.5 hours
  • Quilting: 11.75 hours (55%)
  • Binding: 1.25 hours
  • Total: 21.5 hours

Out of the Woods – Quilt Shrinkage

  • Flimsy Finish: 71-inches wide by 80-inches long
  • After Quilting / Binding: 69.75-inches wide by 79.75-inches long (~2% shrinkage)
  • After First Wash: 65.5-inches wide by 75.5-inches long (~8% shrinkage)

Out of the Wood – Materials

  • Carolyn Friedlander, Botanics, Hand Drawn Stripes in Fern
  • Carolyn Friedlander, Botanics, Foliage in Fern
  • Alison Glass, Sun Print Mercury in Yellow
  • Carolyn Friedlander, Doe, Breeze in Sky
  • Carolyn Friedlander, Botanics, Graph Paper Garden in Blue
  • 108″ Essentials Diagonal Dots Wide Quilt Backing – Blue/Purple
  • 50wt Aurfil Thread (2710, 2730, 1148, 2835, and 2130 for quilting and 2610 for piecing)
  • Quilter’s Dream Green batting

Previous posts about Out of the Woods

Linking up to TGIFF hosted this week at Quilt Matters and Can I get a Whoop Whoop (buttons to the right).


  • Quilting looks great! Especially the very windy sky (between swirl quilting and swirly print, it is a gale). In case i didn’t mention liking the trees,I’ll say so now. I’m going to try that sometime.

  • Fantastic! The texture is amazing!! I love how your tree design created a kind of 3D look to the mountain! And the pebbling is fantastic!! What a fun quilt 🙂 The pictures are amazing! AND you have included all of my favorite fabrics! 🙂

  • Oh my gosh, I’m crazy about your quilt!!! Swirl chain is currently my favorite Angela Walters design out there. You executed each and every quilting design beautifully. I love your trees – such a fluid, free-form idea. Bravo!!!

  • Beautiful Yvonne! I love the quilting, and you explanations about the process! And…your post finish analysis is thorough (can’t get away from who we are, can we?) 🙂 Thank you for sharing it!

  • I’m jealous of your rolling green hills! But what a lovely place to photograph your quilt! I love how quickly it seemed to come together, and the different quilting patterns you chose! Windy swirls are some of my favorite to quilt!

  • Wow! Let me start by saying: that first photo *swoon*! The quilt is lovely on it’s own but in it’s element and other green rolling hills it’s just perfect! The quilting you used work so great for the quilt’s theme and the fabrics you used. It’s so thoughtful and if I recall correctly it’s a gift for a friend and I’m sure they’re going to love it!

  • What a perfect backdrop for your photos, and all that quilting finishes this one off so beautifully, I do especially like those trees, very effective within the whole quilt.

  • Yvonne! The quilting is devine! I love the mountains and especially the air currents swirling across the sky. That is some awesome fabric on the back too. Beautiful job☺ Your client must be over the moon!

  • Wow! I am speechless! I want to know if you marked that all on your quilt or key points for reference? That is just crazy cool. I want to know if you hide your threads as you go or wait for the end? I saw a close up of a quilt someone photographed at QuiltCon and you could see their backstitching with the machine. I am not sure what I want to go with but I have never quilted and changed motifs part way so this is so inspiring.

  • This quilt is going to be so loved. It is peaceful and calm, and oh so beautiful. I love all of the touches your quilting and threads add to the overall effect.

  • I really like the texture of the sky quilting. I tried a simplified version of that lately for my frog (just the lines, no swirls) and it didn’t look right when I did it. It looks amazing here.

  • It looks like it has the best texture! Love the swirly sky! Those are my favourite kind of swirls though I’m yet to master them!

    That first photo looks amazing. Perfect spot for a quilty photoshoot!

  • Ahh, California in the spring with the green hills and wildflowers. So lovely. But the quilt…amazing! There are so many layers to marvel at. At first glance, it looks so simple. From far, the fabrics look like solids. And then you zero in and we can see the patterns, and then the texture from the quilting. I can’t stop looking.

  • You did one heck of a job for this quilt even with it being such a large and basic overall design. What you did with the negative space and your thought process through it is what always intrigues me with your work. It really does seem to make you feel as if you are looking at a piece of scenery with all of those little innuendos tucked into it.

  • I’ve been planning long swirly pattern for the sky on the ABQMQG banner for weeks now, and finally getting to the drawing-figuring-scale-and-shape stage and came back to this point to see what you did and suddenly realized how very similar this quilt is to the banner! The banner has mountains, but I added a sun to the upper left and more mountains to the lower right and now I’m going to quilt some swirly air currents…which made me wonder exactly how much of my design plans were influenced by this quilt and how much was from something internal? And just yesterday I was drawing out your tree design to use in some areas of the mountains! I swear it wasn’t intentional to copy every aspect of this quilt, lol…just good classic designs. Maybe you could add some hot air balloons to the next one 😉

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)