Implied Spiral: Mini Quilt #3

Mini Quilt Mania continues this week with Implied Spiral which is the third mini quilt finish for the year!

Implied Spiral Mini Quilt Front

Implied Spiral: Front View


I started this week by doing some drafting for a theatrical scenic design which included two spiral staircases.

Initial Stages of Spiral Staircase Drafting

The first thing I do when drafting a staircase is to rough in the stair placement, and it occurred to me that this type of visual may be an interesting inspiration for a quilt.  I especially like seeing several spiral staircases together (like in the step by step image above)  When looking at a spiral staircase from the front, the stair placement shifts from one side of center to the other.  I sketched designs with and without the central post, but ultimately decided I liked the simplicity of the design without a separate vertical design element.  I did, however, want to emphasize the shift from one side of the quilt to the other.  This is how I decided to use a color shift to define the vertical areas of the design.

I started a pair of bright colors for the background with a single, sharply contrasting color for the stairs.  Then I experimented with a black and white version in which the stair and background colors would reverse on each side.  Finally, I combined the two ideas by using a consistent “stair” color with contrasting background colors.

Implied Spiral: Color Options

I enjoy using complementary color schemes, and blue with orange is one of my favorites.  In looking through my stash, I was happy to discover some Carolyn Friedlander prints.  The architectural feel she uses in many of her designs reinforces the architectural influence of this design, and I had the same print in both the white and blue color ways.  Another fabric from her line is used for the orange “stair steps.”

Implied Spiral Detail

Implied Spiral: Detail

I made up a quick cut list and layout for the design to help in translating the design from the computer to fabric.

Cut List for Implied Spiral

Once the quilt top was assembled, I selected a blue from the stash to serve as a background.  I knew I wanted to do heavy horizontal quilting, so I thought a solid would show off the stitching without competing with it.

Implied Spiral Mini Quilt Back

Implied Spiral: Back

The quilting lines are mostly orange, but I did incorporate two white stitching lines through each “stair.”

I wanted to create a sense of continuity in the application of the quilt binding, so I chose to split the binding fabrics at the center line of the quilt.

Implied Spiral Binding Detail

Implied Spiral: Binding Detail

I like the linear simplicity of this quilt, and I may create a longer version to function as a modern table runner.

Quilt Stats

Title:  Implied Spiral

Size: 12″x25″

Techniques:  Traditional piecing

Quilting:  Tightly spaced horizontal lines

Fabrics:  Front and Binding- Carolyn Friedlander prints.  Back- Blue solid from stash fabric

Batting:  Scrap of Cotton/Polyester blend

Thread:  Pieced with white Gutermann Mara 100.  Quilted with orange cotton Mettler and white cotton machine quilting thread

Binding:  Straight grain binding, cut in 2″ strips, machine stitched to the quilt front and hand stitched to the back.  Binding color shifts to match the background fabric.

What was New:

  • Using fabric from one designer for an entire quilt design
  • Matching binding to the background fabric
Quilt 3 / 50

Quilt 3 / 50

Goal #2 is Finished!

Goal #2 is Finished!

I am linking this post to Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She, Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts, Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, and Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  Please drop by to see all of the wonderful work being done!

Fibonacci on the Seashore: Mini Quilt #2

This week, I set out to create a snow inspired wintery-beyond-belief mini quilt.  That did not happen.  There were unexpected technical difficulties that I have not been able to resolve yet.  I still have a couple options to explore to make this work, but I need to track down some supplies.  This quilt is not eliminated (although the original design may end up altered), so I will share those challenges when I write about the finished mini quilt.

If I can’t play in the (fabric) snow this week, I decided to celebrate the beach!

Fibonacci on the Seashore

Fibonacci on the Seashore: Front View


The Fibonacci spiral has long been inspiring to me as a designer.  I am fascinated that art can be derived from mathematics, but since I am definitely not a mathematician, I will not be going into any specific details about how it works!  The Fibonacci spiral is based in a grid which starts with a square which is duplicated.  Then those two squares together determine the length of the sides of the next square. Now the size of all of these squares determine the side length for the next square.  This can continue on forever if you want it to!  This gridded image shows the basis for the spiral.

/Users/cassandra_ireland/Desktop/Quilt/Quilt Designs A.dwg

To get the spiral, you draw a quarter circle in each square.

/Users/cassandra_ireland/Desktop/Quilt/Quilt Designs A.dwgFor my mini quilt I started with two 1″ square blocks, and added 2″, 3″, 5″, and 8″ blocks.  Each block is essentially like sewing a Drunkard’s Path block, but the illusion created due to the size shifts is like a seashell.

Fibonacci on the Seashore with Grid Overlay

I selected subtly colored batiks with the thought of having the quilting thread inject a bold moment of color to the shell.  There are six different blue, pink and lavender batiks used to create the “Shell” and the “Sand is created with one batik which is both incorporated into three of the blocks as well as the border strips.

Fibonacci on the Seashore: Detail

Fibonacci on the Seashore: Detail

I quilted the “shell” first using a silver metallic thread as well as bright pink and purple.  This was done using the walking foot, but I shifted to free motion quilting to create “pebbles” in the sand.  My free motion quilting is definitely a work in progress, but this is a vast improvement over past attempts.

Fibonacci on the Seashore Detail 2

The back of this quilt is another batik print that I selected to incorporate both the yellow of the sand and the blue tones of the shell (as well as implying water).  I think the quilting on this piece makes the back as interesting as the front, although in hindsight, I wish I had used a batik with a less rigid pattern.

Fibonacci on the Seashore: Back View

Fibonacci on the Seashore: Back View

The binding is another purple batik that I selected to: (1) Draw the purple used in the center of the quilt out to the edge, and (2) play off the yellow of the sand fabric- I seriously love using complementary colors.  To create a greater sense of definition in this quilt, I used a decorative stitch to secure the binding and enhance the spiral shape.  I liked using this technique of finishing the binding, and now I wish a had a few more options on my wonderful little mechanical machine!

 

Fibonacci on the Seashore: Binding Detail

Fibonacci on the Seashore: Binding Detail

Quilt Stats

Title:  Fibonacci on the Seashore

Size: 12″x16.5″

Techniques:  Curved Machine Piecing

Quilting:  Outline and curved quilting using a walking foot, and free motion pebbles in the background.  All quilting was done on a Bernina 1008

Fabrics:  Batiks (I have never done an all batik quilt before!)

Batting:  Warm and White cotton batting

Thread:  Pieced with Gutermann Mara 100 in white.  Quilted with Light Blue cotton machine quilting thread, Gutermann Silver Metallic thread, and Mettler cotton quilting threads in Magenta and Purple

Binding:  Blue and Purple batik- cut in 2″ strips, machine straight stitched to the front, top stitched to the back, and accented with purple decorative stitches.

What was new:

  • An entirely batik quilt
  • Using bright quilting threads on a pastel background
  • Trying out metallic thread for machine quilting (I need to explore other thread and needle options for use in the future- Does anyone have suggestions?)
  • Decorative stitching for quilting and securing binding
Quilt 2 / 50

Quilt 2 / 50

Finish #1

Goal #1 is Finished!

This post is linked with Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts.  Please stop in to see all of the wonderful creations that have been shared!

2015 First Quarter Finish Goals

2015 Finish Along

With cautious optimism, I am joining the finishing fun with the 2015 Q1 Finish-Along hosted at On the Windy Side!  Some items aren’t necessarily a huge time commitment (goals 1-12), but others (goal 13) will take a significant amount of time and thought.  I am also hoping to dip my toes in the pattern writing waters in the next couple months, so I think I will be pretty busy!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Goals 1-12

In order to keep up with Mini Quilt Mania I am planning to make 12 more mini quilts for the first quarter of this year.  Most are sketched, I have drafted patterns for others, selected some fabrics, and a couple are started.

Quilt 1 / 50

Goal 13

I loved making Low Volume Fail, Pastel Win!, and I am planning a quilt based on similar ideas and techniques.  I am currently sketching and selecting fabrics.

Goal 14

A Secret Project that is a generous twin sized quilt.  It is currently quilted and ready for finishing.

Goal 15

A Secret Project that will be a lap sized quilt.  The blocks are made and ready to be assembled, quilted, and bound.

Quilt Blocks

Goal 16

I am thrilled with the results of Mini #1, and I want to make a lap or twin sized version of this pattern.  I have scaled up the pattern and started pulling fabrics.

Mini #1

Goodness, I better get busy!  I wish everyone the best of luck in the next few months, and I’m looking forward to seeing the exciting projects that are planned!

Happy New Year 2015! Mini Quilt #1

I am excited to kick off Mini Quilt Mania with finish #1!  For this quilt I wanted to use the New Year as an inspiration.  For a lot of people, New Year’s is a time for big parties and fireworks.  For me, the New Year is celebrated by watching the Times Square Ball Drop on television.  So I decided I would focus on that iconic piece of lighted metal and glass for my inspiration for this quilt.

Happy New Year! Front


While I usually like to observe my objects of inspiration in person, I am in the midwest, and the Times Square Ball is not.  Turning to the internet, I looked at several sources including the fact sheet found on the Times Square Alliance page about the New Year’s Eve Ball.  Not really a true sphere, the ball is made up of triangles within triangles.  These triangles are lit using LEDs (really exciting to the theatre designer part of me!) which allows for almost endless color combinations and patterns.  I started out by creating a line drawing of triangles within triangles.  Then I added borders around each main triangle to represent the metal structure of the ball.

/Users/cassandra_ireland/Desktop/Quilt/Quilt Designs.dwg

 

I knew that I wanted to use medium to dark greys in the borders of the triangles to give the design a slightly industrial feel.  (I like to juxtapose “utilitarian” with “pretty!”)  Then I started to experiment with color.  At first I was thinking along the lines of emphasizing the hexagons formed in the design, but I soon moved onto star configurations.  The gallery below is a small sample of the designs I considered.

I am pretty sure the most challenging part of this process was decided which color scheme to go with!  Ultimately, I ended up choosing the Red, Orange, and Violet Stars.

 

Red, Orange, and Violet Stars

Red, Orange, and Violet Stars

I pulled from stash fabrics for this project, and decided to select one dark and one light material of each of the three star colors.  I also pulled three different grey fabrics for the triangle borders.  The top is constructed using paper foundation piecing techniques.

Happy New Year! Detail

For the quilting design, I wanted to emphasize the straight lines found in the quilt top, and I ended up choosing to outline and enhance each element of the design using a coordinating thread.  Since I was quilting in several colors, I used a white backing fabric to really show off the colors of the threads.

Happy New Year! Back

Overall, I am really happy with this quilt, and I may consider creating a larger scale quilt using this block design.

Quilt Stats

Title: Happy New Year 2015!

Size: 12.5″ x 14.25″

Techniques:  Paper Foundation Piecing

Quilting:  Outline stitching with additional interior lines using a walking foot on a Bernina 1008

Fabrics:  White Kona Cotton, 100% cotton prints and batiks

Batting:  Warm and White Cotton Batting

Thread: Pieced using Gutermann Mara 100 in white, Quilted using cotton machine quilting thread in dark grey, Mettler cotton quilting threads in Red, Magenta, and Orange

Binding:  Grey bias- cut in 2″ strips, machine stitched to the front of the quilt, and hand stitched to the back.

Quilt 1 / 50

Quilt 1 / 50

I am linking this post up with Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She, Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, Paper Piecing Party at Quilt Art Designs, Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, and Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts.  Please take a moment to stop in and see all of the wonderful projects being created!

Mini Quilt Mania 2015

I recently made my first mini quilt in many years, and I loved it!  Mini quilts are awesome because:

  • You can try a new technique without having to commit to a large quilt
  • They are a great way to use scraps or make a dent in your stash
  • It is super rewarding to have a project that you can produce quickly
  • A mini is like a sketchbook for a quilter!

Mini Mania 2015


Since we can now agree that mini quilts are marvelous, I am declaring that 2015 will be my year of the mini quilt!  This year I am going to attempt to make 50 mini quilts.  That means that every week (except for two weeks TBD) I am going to create a new mini quilt.  The requirements I am setting for myself are:

  • The term “quilt” will mean at least two layers of fabric with at least one layer of batting sandwiched between.  These layers will be held together using either hand or machine stitches.
  • A mini will be defined as any quilt which has a perimeter of 80″ or less.  (There is no minimum perimeter measurement)
  • The quilt may be any shape and proportion as long as size requirements are met.
  • All patterns will be original designs, but may be influenced by traditional blocks/patterns/designs (traditional meaning that these designs are old enough to be in the public domain) or a specific technique.
  • Provided the definition of a quilt is met, any and all techniques are fair game.  This could include, but is not limited to:  hand piecing, machine piecing, foundation piecing, needle turn appliqué,  machine appliqué, fusible appliqué, hand embroidery, machine embroidery, beadwork, hand quilting, machine quilting (either free motion or with a walking foot), whole cloth quilts, fabric dying and manipulation.
  • The completion rate for these quilts should average one per week, but quilts may be started at any time.  (I don’t have to start and finish a quilt in the same week)

What are your thoughts on mini quilts?  Do you love them? Hate them?  Have you ever given or received a mini as a gift?  Do you ever use mini quilts to experiment with a new pattern or technique?

I am linking this post up to the Small Blog Meet at Lily’s Quilts.  Please stop by to see what everyone is working on!

Mini Quilt Mania! Quilts

Mini #1

Happy New Year!  Mini Quilt

Fibonacci on the Seashore

Fibonacci on the Seashore

Implied Spiral

Implied Spiral Mini Quilt

Triple Heart

Triple Heart

Valentine Tic-Tac-Toe Set

Valentine Tic-Tac-Toe Set

Blue Improvisation Front

Blue Improvisation Mini Quilt

Repeat with a Twist Detail B

Repeat with a twist

Whole Cloth Mini

Whole Cloth Mini

 

Catch a Falling Star

Catch a Falling Star

Winter Trees

Winter Trees

π, pi, PIE!

π, pi, PIE!

Embellished Spring

Embellished Spring

Marsala Mini

Marsala Mini

Name Tag

Name Tag

Rainbow Roundabout

Rainbow Roundabout

Graffiti Feathers

Graffiti Feathers

Fruit Crush

Fruit Crush

April Showers

April Showers

Topsy Turvy

Topsy Turvy

Selvage Mug Rug

Selvage Mug Rug

May Flower

May Flower

Green Grass

Green Grass

Yellow Rays

Yellow Rays

Violet Calm

Violet Calm

Tiny Cottage Garden

Tiny Cottage Garden

Op-Art Grid

Op-Art Grid

Orange Segments

Orange Segments

Fading Floral

Fading Floral

Running Hot and Cold

Running Hot and Cold

Sashiko Min

Sashiko Mini