Synthesized Slivers

May 26, 2018

A few weeks ago, I came across a call for entries for the Modern Mini Quilt Challenge hosted by Quilt Expo.  It has been awhile since I have done a mini quilt, and I was feeling the need for a relatively quick finish, so I jumped in.  One of my friends has been giving me a hard time about my extreme dislike of brown fabric, so I decided this would be a good challenge to incorporate my least favorite color.

Synthesized Slivers front

My initial fabric pull centered around a stack of quilter’s denim made by Art Gallery Fabrics.  I had received the fat quarter bundle during QuiltCon 2017, and I had been waiting for the perfect project to come up.  I love the utilitarian texture the fabric has and the value shifts between fabrics were seamless.  I did add a few other fabrics in to serve as accent pieces.  These included a bright green solid, metallic linen, and a silk/cotton blend.

Synthesized Slivers Fabric Pull

I started the quilt by constructing small blocks in a variety of sizes using background fabrics in a range of colors and values.  The slivers of accent fabrics finish at 1/8″ wide.  I used a ruler to cut the slits in straight lines, but only actually measured to square up each block after the slivers were added.

Synthesized Slivers process

At this point, my friend saw the progress and informed me that tan is most definitely NOT Brown, even though I still insist that it is ;).  In keeping with the challenge, I went out and purchased a small cut of chocolate brown Kona.  There wasn’t a speck of true brown in any of my stash!

Synthesized Slivers quilt top

After constructing a few more blocks, I started putting everything together.  I think this is the most challenging part of the process, but this top came together, and only required a couple partial seams.

Synthesized Slivers with Monty

Monty is my cat that demands likes to be held constantly.  I was taking photos right after he had woken up from his first afternoon nap, and he really wanted my attention!  If you manage to look past the cat, you can see the back of the quilt top.  I made sure to press all of the sliver seam allowances toward the background to make the slivers recede a bit.

Synthesized Slivers back of quilt top with monty

This is a small quilt so I quickly pin basted it and selected six colors of Aurifil to match the background fabrics.

Synthesized Slivers thread choices

I wanted to accentuate the angles that are incorporated into the design, so I used echo quilting to highlight the design of each block.

Synthesized Slivers quilting detail

The back is the same bright green accent color used on the front of the quilt.  I like how the different thread colors add value shifts to the back of the quilt.  I didn’t want to frame the quilt in with a binding, so the edges are finished with facings to match the backing fabric.

Synthesized Slivers back

I am so glad that I made this quilt, and even I think the brown actually works in it!

Synthesized Slivers angled quilting detail


Quilt Stats

Title:  Synthesized Slivers

Size: 22″ x 19″

Techniques:  Machine Piecing, Improvisational Piecing

Quilting:  Echo quilting using a walking foot on a Bernina 1008 domestic

Fabric:  Art Gallery Quilter’s Denim, Kona Cotton, Metallic Blend, Silk/Cotton Blend

Batting:  Hobbs Tuscany Wool

Thread: Quilted with 50wt cotton Aurifil in six colors

Binding:  Faced with Kona Cotton matching the quilt backing

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  • Reply
    Rochelle Summers
    May 26, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    A very nice finish…I’m with you regarding brown but sometimes it is necessary. Your model did well.

  • Reply
    Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl
    May 26, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    The brown works very well in it. I think that brown/tan/navy as a color palette (heavy on the light tans and navy) is very attractive. Using a mini quilt to explore new ideas or colors is a great idea.

  • Reply
    May 27, 2018 at 11:44 am

    Beautiful. I am also not a brown person, and I would say this is the least amount of brown you could put in a “brown” quilt!

    I once watched a video of Kaffe Fassett giving a workshop, where he commented that certain types of brownish fabric ( I won’t say what kind he mentioned, so as not to offend anyone who is a fan of those fabrics…) “look like a dead cat on the side of the road.”

    Kaffe’s words, not mine. 🙂

  • Reply
    May 27, 2018 at 3:16 pm


  • Reply
    Marla Varner
    May 27, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    Good job challenging yourself to use brown! I like your mini very much and your quilting was the perfect way to finish it.

  • Reply
    Entries for QuiltCon 2019 | The (not so) Dramatic Life
    December 2, 2018 at 11:53 pm

    […] 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! […]

  • Reply
    Least Favorite Color and How I Use It | The (not so) Dramatic Life
    December 13, 2019 at 10:00 pm

    […] color is to use it in very small amounts to provide a moment of contrast to the overall design. In Synthesized Slivers there are quite a few pieces of brown, but they are only exposed in 1/8″ wide […]

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    Give and Take – The (not so) Dramatic Life
    June 1, 2021 at 5:11 pm

    […] of the amazing submissions.  Until now I have never contributed an entry, but I enjoyed making Synthesized Slivers so much, I was eager to participate in another […]

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