Implied Spiral: Mini Quilt #3

January 16, 2015

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!


  • Reply
    Mini Quilt Mania 2015 | The (not so) Dramatic Life
    January 16, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    […] Implied Spiral: Mini Quilt #3 […]

  • Reply
    January 16, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    This is awesome! Great design.

  • Reply
    Cynthia Brunz
    January 16, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    Brilliant! You are so very talented.

  • Reply
    January 17, 2015 at 12:05 am

    Your design process is fascinating as is your quilt. I enjoy reading your posts.

  • Reply
    Kate Yates
    January 17, 2015 at 8:26 am

    This is such a cool design, and I think the fabric you chose is perfect! it would make a really nice table runner too, very modern 🙂

  • Reply
    January 17, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    That is an awesome design! Beautiful.

  • Reply
    Megan Null
    January 19, 2015 at 4:36 am

    What a fun quilt! I loved seeing your design process.

  • Reply
    Maartje Quilt
    January 20, 2015 at 12:13 am

    I love your design and colorchoices. I will come back to see the results.

  • Reply
    January 21, 2015 at 2:54 am

    Very interesting to follow your design process – thanks for taking the time to put it all down. I like your finished quilt very much.

  • Reply
    January 21, 2015 at 5:02 am

    Such a cool mini! Love the bold orange quilting! It is always so interesting to read a quilter’s design process and you weave a great story! 🙂

  • Reply
    Lorna McMahon
    January 21, 2015 at 5:18 am

    When I seen your post title, the first thing that came to mind for me was spiral quilting. Seeing your drawings and plans brought me around. Love the fabrics and the quilting. And the matched binding. I am so enjoying seeing your mini’s each week. Your work is truly amazing!

  • Reply
    January 21, 2015 at 7:53 am

    I love your mini quilt, so simple, yet with a lot of thought put into it. Very different from many of the others I’ve seen around sewing world. Thanks for showing us how it’s done too!

  • Reply
    Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl
    January 21, 2015 at 10:21 am

    I love the design – I can totally see the stairs from the suggestion of your piecing and title of the work. I also really like your choice of orange for the quilting.

  • Reply
    January 21, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    Nicely done! I love your design and the visual effect. And it’s so generous of you to share your cutting specs!

  • Reply
    Sew Cute Tuesday - Blossom Heart Quilts
    January 26, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    […] And also a mini but unrelated to the swap, is this stunning take on a spiral staircase from Cassandra. […]

  • Reply
    April 8, 2015 at 3:58 am

    Another lovely quilt with lots of well thought out design details.

  • Reply
    April 12, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    It’s a lovely quilt and it’s so great to read about your design process too.

  • Reply
    Terry Aske
    April 13, 2015 at 10:50 pm


  • Reply
    Carolyn McMath
    April 15, 2015 at 10:58 am

    I am thinking of enlarging this design by doubling the measurements and duplicating it to have four of the spirals. With your deminsions, I’m thinking of converting it from 12″ to 24″ (x2=48″) and the length 25″ to 50″ for a lap size quilt of 48″ x 50″. I am always looking for quilts that can be masculine or feminine and this one is fantastic. Great quilt! Great inspiration! Fabulous detail of design process!

  • Reply
    Lateral Ascension | The (not so) Dramatic Life
    December 4, 2017 at 11:59 pm

    […] quilt is a larger and even more simplified version of a spiral staircase mini quilt I did a couple years ago.  A spiral staircase is a really beautiful thing to look at in its […]

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