Anna Maria Horner & Aurifil Showcase Project

If you have followed me long, you may have noticed that I love a good challenge, so when Aurifil offered their Artisans an opportunity to make a project using Anna Maria Horner’s fabric and Aurifil thread, I was excited to sign up!  It is hard to commit to a particular project without knowing what exact materials you will be given, but based on Anna Maria Horner’s  overall design aesthetic, I thought that a pillow would be a fun project.

Three fat quarters and a spool of Aurifil were provided for the challenge.  I had requested 12wt thread because I intended to incorporate some large stitch hand quilting into the cushion.  I didn’t even think about the design of the pillow until the fabrics arrived because I knew I wanted the fabric to be the key inspiration for this project.  As soon as I saw the large floral inspired print, I was sure that it needed to be the focus of the design.

I had just enough large floral motifs to use one for the center of the pillow and a half motif for each corner.  To start, I marked where the center circle would eventually be cut out and placed the  corner motifs based on that mark.  I then used 80wt Aurifil to hand appliqué the motifs.  Once this was complete, I cut out the center circle and machine pieced the center circle into place using 50wt Aurifil.  To finish the construction of the top, I placed the central motif and used needle turn appliqué to secure it.

With the piecing and appliqué complete, it was time to begin the quilting process.  I selected a wool batting so the pillow top would have a bit of poof to it and really show off the hand stitching.  The quilting on this project really embraced decorative stitching, and I used it as an opportunity to try out several different techniques since the back of the quilting would be enclosed in the pillow.

I started by machine quilting around the circle and each floral motif.  I had 12wt thread on top and 50wt thread in the bobbin, and I loosened the tension slightly so I could have enough give to the stitching to wrap each stitch by hand with a strand of 50wt thread.  This resulted in a stitch that looks like a whipped backstitch, but it took a lot less time!

The rest of the pillow top is quilted using a total of seven colors of 12wt Aurifil that I selected to accent the colors in the fabric.  The bronze color was sent for this project, the light green came in this year’s Aurifil Artisan box, and the remaining colors had been used in previous projects.

I used a standard running stitch and several embroidery stitches to quilt the pillow including the closed fly stitch, French Knots, seed stitches, and variations of cross stitches.

The back of the quilted panel shows off how much stitching went into this project.

A yo-yo in the center of the floral motif completed the pillow top.  I thought that it would be fun to finish the center of the motif with the background print the motif was cut from!

To make the pillow cover easy to remove for cleaning, I inserted a lapped zipper into the backing fabric.

The final touch that I wanted to add was a piped edging covered with the remaining striped challenge fabric.  I love how the bias cut fabric looked with all of the angle changes within the fabric design.  This would make amazing quilt binding!

I selected a feather filled pillow form, and combined with the wool batting it creates a delightful feel for a throw pillow.

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.

 

2018 Year in Review

Around the beginning of every year, I like to look back on the previous year.  I have usually accomplished more than it feels like I have, and 2018 was no exception.

  • I started the year with a 100 Day project which culminated in Resonance.  Aurifil liked it so much they displayed it in their booth at Spring Quilt Market.  Later in the year, I became an Aurifil Artisan!

Photo courtesy of Sylvia of Flying Parrot Quilts

  • QuiltCon 2018 also included four of my quilts in the contest.  Lateral Ascension (upper left of the photo below) even received third place in the Minimalism category! (It also received an honorable mention at AQS Spring Paducah and a 2nd Place at AQS Grand Rapids!)

 

  • My first cover quilt also came around last year.  Raise the Roof is a particular favorite of mine, and it also received a third place at the American Quilter’s Society Fall Paducah Show.
  • Upward Perspective was a mini made for a Curated Quilts Challenge, and it was selected for inclusion in the magazine!

  • In 2018 I also started my second Block of the Month with Dabble and Stitch in Columbus, Ohio.  This year’s quilt has pictorial representations of key Columbus landmarks.

  • I also designed the 2018 Row by Row for Dabble and Stitch.  The theme was music, and I based the block on the state song, Beautiful Ohio.

  • My most exciting moment of 2018 was having my quilt, Infused Plaid, added to the permanent collection of The National Quilt Museum.

Photo courtesy of The National Quilt Museum

  • The 2018 colors of the year were Ultra-Violet (Pantone) and Tiger Lily (Kona), and I had a great time putting them together into this quilt!  Zenith received a second place in the Modern category at the American Quilter’s Society Fall Paducah Show.

  • As 2018 drew to a close, I had exciting news that three of my quilts, including Complementary Convergence (below), were selected for QuiltCon 2019!  I have added sleeves and labels to them this week, and will be shipping them off at the beginning of next week- now that is a great way to start 2019!

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!