Turkey Quilt: A 2019 100 Day Project

Last year was my first time attempting a 100 Day project, and I love the resulting quilt, Resonance.  This year I am doing another 100 Day Project, but I am going with something with a more specific design.  I have been wanting to make a turkey quilt for quite awhile now (keep reading to find out why), so the 100 day time frame seemed like the perfect opportunity to give it a go.  This is the project design that I have been working on:

I like to start my 100 Day projects on January 1st because (except for leap years) my birthday falls on the 100th day of the year, and it feels perfect to sandwich this type of project between two key dates.  I have spent the first twelve days on the design process.  I will spare you every process photo, but here is an overview of the design process.

I wanted to give the turkey a certain amount of formality, so I spent a lot of time looking at art books, and ultimately decided to place the turkey in an archway with a checkerboard floor.  The inspiration for this design ranges from Renaissance paintings to 20th century Rock and Roll posters.  Most of the design process has taken place on AutoCad Lt.

After looking at a lot of turkey images, I sketched out a large wild turkey.

I took a photo of the hand drawn sketch and loaded it into AutoCad to trace over the main lines and insert the turkey into the archway.

For the semi circles surrounding the arch, I designed a bunch of somewhat formal designs to surround the turkey- I like to think that they all feel a bit feathery to coordinate with the turkey tail.

Once these designs were complete, I inserted them into the semi-circles around the arch.  Each these motifs are unique- there are no semicircle repeats in the quilt!  I then finished off the line drawing of the design.

By now, I’m sure you are all saying, “That’s nice, but why the turkey?”  There is actually a good answer to that.  When I was in the primary grades of elementary school, we colored what I am sure was at least 1,000 turkey coloring sheets throughout the month of November.  At one point there was a coloring sheet that had no specific directions, so I decided to take some artistic license.  I colored a gorgeous blue turkey with every shade of blue in my 64 color box of crayons.  As you may have guessed, this did not go over well.  I was informed in no uncertain terms that turkeys are brown, and apparently have tail feathers that alternate red, yellow, and orange.  From that point on, I never colored anything a color different than what it was “supposed” to be until I entered adulthood.  (Come to think about it, maybe my dislike of brown fabric stems from this incident!)  Since that time I have always had a nagging feeling that I am doing something wrong when I make recognizable objects an unrealistic color, even though I know logically that it’s really an ok thing to do.  My big hope is that the process of making this quilt will help to squelch those inner demons!

So here is the finished design again.  It will be constructed with a combination of traditional and foundation paper piecing along with a generous amount of appliqué.  The actual turkey will have a lot more detail once it goes into fabric.  I plan on using the turkey drawing as the general outline, and then getting creative from there.

 

QuiltCon Jury Results

Every year I enter at least seven juried shows, and QuiltCon is probably the one I fret over the most.  It is definitely the show that I have received the most rejections from!  Thankfully, the jury results come in very quickly for this show- just 17 days this year.  There were only 400 accepted quilts out of over 1750 entries.  With less than 23% of quilts accepted, it’s like going through the college admissions process each year!  I am ecstatic that this year three of my quilts will be in Nashville!  Below are all four of my entries with the description I submitted with each.  The first three were accepted, and the last was not, but more on that later.

Ebb and Flow (51″x64″) is my entry into the Two Color Challenge.

“This quilt stemmed from a desire to create a design that contained equal amounts of two colors while allowing each color to take turns holding a dominant position.   The choice of high contrast black and white fabrics enhance the overall effect of the composition.  The pieced strips in this quilt start at 1/8” wide and increase incrementally across the quilt.”

Complementary Convergence (66″x78″) is in the Use of Negative Space Category.

“Complementary Convergence is based on two separate diamond shaped motifs containing small pieced sections of complementary colors, one bright pink and green, the second turquoise and orange.  Each colorful section of fabric has matchstick quilting running through it that is done with a matching 12wt thread.  This extends the design across the quilt and activates the surrounding negative space.  The magic of the design happens when the quilting lines from the separate motifs converge at either side to create a new, dynamic, and entirely quilted plaid pattern.”

Synthesized Slivers (22″x19″) is in the small quilt category.  I have entered a small quilt almost every year, and this is the first time my entry in that area has been successful!

“Irregular, broken blocks merge together to create a cohesive whole in this improvisational quilt.  Breaks in each block are mended with the addition of a contrasting sliver of fabric.  These unexpected shots of color, metallic flashes, and shiny silk bring a sense of luxury to the utilitarian aesthetic of the dominant fabrics.”

“Resonance uses colorful quilting thread to create a sense of outward movement and reverberation from central points.  Thread that coordinates with each fabric creates a blending sensation as the quilting merges the appliquéd circles with each other and the background.  This quilt was my first 100 day project that ran from New Year’s Day 2018 to my birthday, which fell on the 100th day of the year.”

Resonance (79″x79″) was not accepted into the appliqué category, and I’m fine with that.  This quilt was completed in April, and was the result of my first 100 days project.  In the eight months since its completion, Resonance has been to Spring Quilt Market with the Aurifil booth, and it was in all three fall American Quilter’s Society Shows.  Between these four events, it has been seen by thousands of people already, and I hope some of them were inspired by it!

Ultimately, my main hope is that my quilts can inspire others as much as I am inspired every day by the work I see on Instagram, blogs, and in person at my guild meetings.  I am so excited for February to roll around so I can see and meet all of the amazing quilters at QuiltCon-whether or not they have quilts on display there!

Entries for QuiltCon 2019

I love to enter quilt shows!  It is so much fun to have the opportunity to share what I make with other quilters from around the world, and I am hopeful that I may be able to share a quilt (or more!) with all of the wonderful and talented quilters attending QuiltCon in February.  Here are the four quilts I have entered.

Complementary Convergence is my largest matchstick quilted piece, coming in at a bit under 6’x7′.  This one is entered in the Use of Negative Space category.

Ebb and Flow was created for the two color challenge.  I set out to create a design that uses equal amounts of the two colors, and this is what I came up with!

Synthesized Slivers is a small quilt that I used to experiment with the use of non-quilting-cotton substrates.  It also has lots of 1/8″ wide pieces!

Resonance was my 100 day project this year, and I had a blast using all of that colorful thread to quilt it!  I entered it in the Appliqué category.

My fingers are crossed that at least one of these will be included in the show- now I just have to wait for the jurying results to come in the next few weeks!

 

Resonance: A 100 Day Quilt Project

My 100 Day Quilt project was a success, and I want to thank everyone who followed the progress on Instagram!  Resonance is the ultimate result.  It was named in reference to the quilting stitches which echo out from a central point.  If you would like to know more about the start of the project, check out the first post about the 100 Day Circle Quilt Project.

Resonance front view

Constructing the blocks for the quilt took the most time- 89 days.  Most blocks had two-three concentric circles, but several included multiple circles set near each other.  Here are a couple of examples:

Block 89

Block 8

The next two days were spent trimming the blocks to their finished size.

Trimmed Blocks

Laying the quilt out was a bit tricky.  Since it was too large for my design wall, I cleared out the kitchen and arranged the blocks on the floor.  This photo was taken with my phone touching the ceiling, and I still couldn’t get far enough away to capture the entire quilt design.

Block Layout

After a couple more days, the quilt top was finished.

Quilt Top

There were 13 different colors of thread used to quilt the project.  A different thread was used for each fabric.  This extended the color beyond the edge of each circle, and ensured that the back, as well as the front of the quilt, would show each color change.  I knew that I would want lots of lines of stitching around each circle, so I decided to use 50wt thread so I could do lots of stitching without excessive thread build up.

Quilting Thread

Here is the quilt loaded and basted on the longarm.

Loaded Quilt

The quilting process took quite a long time.  I quilted each circle from the inside out to prevent bunching in the fabric, so there were a lot of thread changes.

Circle Quilting Process

Once the circles were quilted, I did large scale bubble quilting in the background.

Quilting Process

 

Resonance Detail 1

 

Angled Quilting Detail

There were more than a million quilting stitches in this project.  I’m pretty sure that is a personal record!

Stitch Counter

The binding is mostly white, with some sporadic shots of color.

Binding

I love the way the back of the quilt looks!

Resonance back view

To cap it off, Aurifil asked to use this quilt in their booth at Spring Market this past weekend!  This is my first quilt to be included at a Quilt Market, so I was very excited!

Photo courtesy of Sylvia of Flying Parrot Quilts

Photo courtesy of Sylvia of Flying Parrot Quilts

Photo courtesy of Aurifil

Photo courtesy of Aurifil

Quilt Stats

Title:  Resonance

Size: 79″ x 79″

Techniques:  Hand Applique, Machine Piecing

Quilting:  Free motion quilting with an A-1 Longarm machine

Fabric:  Assorted solids and white-on-white prints

Batting:  Hobbs Tuscany Wool

Thread: Quilted with 50wt cotton Aurifil in 13 colors

Binding:  White Kona Cotton with colorful inserts, cut on the bias at 2″ wide, machine stitched to the front, hand finished

100 Day Circle Quilt

Have you ever done a 100 day creative project?  I have heard about these so many times, and even participated in one of the sew-a-longs for the Tula Pink blocks, but I have never set out to do this type of project on my own.  As a confessed binge-quilter, it seems inspiring to work a little bit on a project everyday to end up with a major project.  Once I decided to do the project, there were two big questions: What to do? and When to do it?

Block 1

There were two quilts that I have been contemplating that would have worked well for a 100 day project.  The first is a form of structured improv quilting, and the second was a circle appliqué quilt.  The appliqué quilt ended up winning out since I am currently lacking a hand sewing project, and it is much easier to work on if I’m out of my sewing space.  Currently, I’m not scheduled to go out of town for the first 100 days of the year, but I do like a certain degree of flexibility.

Block 2

As I was deciding when to start the project, I was actually going to avoid starting on the first of the year so I won’t hear all of the statistics and news stories of how quickly people abandon their resolutions.  So why did I start this on January 1st?  I was looking at major days on the calendar, and realized that my birthday falls on the 100th day of the year.  I really don’t know how I had never realized this before, but that timing was too perfect to pass up.

Block 3

I am currently planning a quilt top that will have 100 blocks that each finish at 8″ square.  The first three blocks are shown in this post, and they have all been concentric circles centered on the background square.  I am not sure if I will continue this trend all the way through the project- there are so many other compositional options to consider, and I want to let the project evolve.  I am planning to use mostly solid fabrics, but there are going to be a few prints mixed in in the coming weeks.

I will be doing an occasional progress post here on the blog.  If you want to watch my progress daily, check out my Instagram feed or #100daycirclequilt