Infused Plaid

If you follow me on Instagram, you will probably recognize “Infused Plaid” since it is one of my favorite quilts and has traveled quite a bit.  However, I recently realized that I had never blogged about this quilt.  Since this week is the Blogger’s Quilt Festival over at Amy’s Creative Side, I thought I would take the opportunity to have a more in-depth look at this quilt.

Much of quilting is done in a standard routine.  There may be slight variations depending on the specific project and the person making the project, but it usually looks something like this:

  1. Design/create a pattern, or set personal parameters if it will be an improv project
  2. Select fabrics
  3. Construct the quilt top
  4. Choose a quilting design
  5. Layer the quilt backing, batting, and top through basting or loading on a longarm
  6. Quilt the project
  7. Trim and finish the quilt edges.

For Infused Plaid, I decided to mix up the process by starting with designing the pattern of the quilting stitches first.  Then, based on where each color of quilting stitches intersected with the same color, I placed a rectangle or square of matching fabric that would be pieced into the quilt top.

Drafting of the Infused Plaid design

Following the design process, most of the construction of the quilt is done in a standard manner.  The quilt top construction is fairly straightforward and goes together quickly, but the design doesn’t come together until the colorful quilting stitches are added.

This quilt was basted on the longarm machine and then quilted with a walking foot on my domestic Bernina.  For this project, I basted with regular thread, but I since started basting with water soluble thread.  It is amazing to not have to pull out basting stitches!

When I do matchstick quilting, I quilt all one direction first, then quilt any stitching lines that go in the opposite direction.  The dominant, colorful quilting is done first by marking the lines using a 60″ ruler and a roll of masking tape.  In the negative space of the quilt, I place parallel lines of masking tape approximately four inches apart across the quilt to indicate where the first set of quilting stitches will go.  I stitch on either side of the masking tape and remove it as soon as I possibly can.  Next I place a line of stitching about halfway between the previous lines, then halfway between those lines.  The process continues until the lines are approximately 1/8″ apart.  Finally, I mark and stitch the colorful lines running in the opposite direction to complete the plaid design.

Infused Plaid is mostly about the use of quilting thread.  The brightly colored threads are stitched using 28wt thread on the top of the quilt and 50wt on the bottom.  The heavier thread creates a stronger design on the top of the quilt, while the thinner thread in the bobbin helps keep the quilt softer and allows more thread to be loaded onto the bobbin.  The rows of white matchstick stitching is done with 50wt thread on both the top and bottom of the quilt.

As I quilt, I try to make the lines as perfect as possible, but when minor (inevitable) variations occur, I never take them out to redo that portion of the line.  I prefer to leave these moments as a reminder that this is still a hand crafted item.  If the final quilt would become too perfect, it would look like it was constructed by an automated machine rather than a human being.  The “flaws” are what gives this type of quilt some character!

Dense quilting, particularly if it is done on a domestic machine, can result in a quilt that doesn’t want to lay flat.  To deal with this issue, I block my matchstick quilted quilts.  The planning for this process starts very early on when I make my quilt top, because I like to make my top at least a couple inches larger than I hope the quilt will finish.  Since I work with so much negative space, I can to this without worrying too much about how trimming the edges will effect the overall aesthetic.

As soon as a quilt like this is finished, I soak it to prepare for blocking (and remove water soluble basting thread if it was used).  Then I “stretch” the quilt on a simple wooden frame that I staple the edges of the quilt to.  The biggest concern at this point is to make sure the lines of colorful stitching remain as straight as possible.  While the quilt is wet, it is easy to inadvertently distort the lines of stitching.  The stapling process is done on the floor, but once it is complete, I can stand the frame up to allow for better air circulation.  Sometimes I even take the quilt outside for awhile to dry.  It usually only takes a couple hours to dry, but I try to leave the quilt on the frame overnight to make sure that it is completely dry.  I hadn’t taken any photos of Infused Plaid while it was on the frame, so the quilt you see on the frame below is Pivoted Plaid, a close cousin to Infused Plaid.  (What can I say?- I really like plaid!)

To continue the visual lines of the plaid design all the way to the edge of the quilt, I used facings to finish the edge of the quilt rather than a visible binding.

Infused Plaid has been shown in quite a few venues.  It started by being a project in Modern Patchwork magazine.  Then it went to QuiltCon in Savannah where it received a first place in the Negative Space category.  Next it went to the American Quilter’s Society Spring Paducah show where it won a first place in the Modern Quilt category.

It went to several more shows and was included in the book Modern Quilts: Designs of the New Century.

Infused Plaid in Modern Quilts: Designs of the New Century

Recently, Infused Plaid joined its new home as part of the permanent collection of the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky.  The museum collection focuses on quilts made since the 1980’s, and I am thrilled that this is the first modern quilt to join their amazing collection!

Infused Plaid at The National Quilt Museum

Quilt Stats

Title:  Infused Plaid

Size: 61″ x 61″

Techniques:  Traditional machine piecing

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

Fabric:  Kona Cottons

Batting:  Hobbs 80/20 Cotton Poly Blend

Thread: Quilted with 28wt and 50wt Aurifil

Binding:  Faced with fabric matching the quilt backing

This and That: March Edition

There has been so much happening in my quilt-y world lately, but not everything needs its own post, so I’m combining a bunch of cool stuff into a single post!

Quilt Shows

I had a wonderful time at QuiltCon and it was just as exciting to have my quilt returned to me the following week.

The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts hanging at QuiltCon

The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts hanging at QuiltCon

Next up in quilt shows: I have THREE quilts heading to the American Quilter’s Society Show in Paducah this Spring!  I was stunned and thrilled to receive three positive notifications, and I am eagerly awaiting the show.

Quilts that are heading to AQS Paducah

Quilts that are heading to AQS Paducah

The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts will continue its show tour in the Large Wall Quilt: Modern category, and will be joined by both Can You See (m)E Now? in the Small Wall Quilt: Pictorial category and Rainbow Rotary in the Miniature category.  Even more exciting than having my quilts in the show is seeing that these, as well as several other quilts in the modern aesthetic are being accepted into the show in categories stretching well beyond the modern category.  It is fabulous to see wonderful, long established shows, embrace the differences in the quilt world.

The Collection Quilt Class

The Collection Quilt block of the month classes I have been teaching at Sew to Speak in Columbus, Ohio have been going well, and it is so much fun to work through this delightful quilt with such a wonderful group of women.  I have been making a version of this quilt that is perfect for a princess loving little girl.  The first month’s block features this cute frog print.

Section One of the Collection Quilt

Section One of the Collection Quilt

Block two is especially fun due to the opportunities to incorporate lots of fussy cutting!

Collection Quilt Section Two

Section Two of The Collection Quilt

If you are in the Columbus area, and would like to join the class, we would love to have you!  There is still plenty of time to learn the technique and come out of the class with a fantastic quilt.  Please contact Sew to Speak to get signed up!

Quilting Bee

I am in my first block bee this year with The Columbus Modern Quilters.  I signed up for the six month version since this is my first time, and I never know exactly where or how busy I’ll be in a year.

In January our queen selected the Wanta Fanta block, and I was thrilled by how quickly it went together.

January Bee Blocks

January Bee Blocks

This month we are making the same block for another queen, and I am even more excited to see how both of these quilts go together.

March Bee Blocks

March Bee Blocks

February was my month, and everyone made a filmstrip block that I will be incorporating into a border of a medallion quilt.  I just love the blocks that everyone brought- Aren’t they awesome?!  I have the free pattern available on Craftsy if you are interested in making some filmstrip blocks of your own.

Filmstrip Bee Blocks

Filmstrip Bee Blocks

A Win

Have you been participating in One Monthly Goal hosted by Red Letter Quilts?  It is great for me to be able to set a single goal for the month, because my quarterly lists are ridiculous- they help me keep an overview of large goals, but all of those goals are never getting finished in a single quarter 😉

 

My February goal came with an added bonus: when names were drawn from the completion link-up, mine was selected!

OMG February Prize

This lovely bundle of fabric arrived a few days ago, and I can’t thank Heidi of Red Letter Quilts enough for hosting this event every month and supplying lovely fabric for a prize!

Block Hop

Last year I had a great time participating in the New Blogger’s Block Hop, so when the opportunity arose to participate in another New Block Blog Hop, I jumped at the chance.  Paintbrush Studios sent out fabric to each blogger in the Ocean Sunrise Palette which was curated by our wonderful hosts.
2016 Paintbrush Studio New Block Blog Hop

You’ll want to mark your calendars for March 28-30 to stop by and see all of the wonderful new block patterns that are being given to you by more than three dozen bloggers!  What makes this project even better is that all of the blocks created for this blog hop are collected by our hosts to make into some gorgeous charity quilts.

Publication

For the first time I have a quilt design making an appearance in the pattern section of a magazine.  If you’re interested in making this Italicized Hashtag Quilt, make sure you check it out in Generation Q.  I’ll be writing more about this quilt soon!

Spring Issue of Generation Q Magazine

Spring Issue of Generation Q Magazine

Bits and Pieces

November really flew by this year, particularly with the deadline for QuiltCon entries looming at the end of it!  Here is an overview of the projects that have been happening in the last few weeks.

First, I want to thank everyone who visited during the Blogger’s Quilt Festival hosted by Amy from Amy’s Creative Side.  (Thank you for all of your work in hosting this fantastic event!)  It is so exciting to have the opportunity to see so much wonderful work gathered in one spot.  Each time I discover even more talented people to follow.  This time around I was ecstatic to receive the prize for the Mini Quilt Category.  (My quilt actually came in second, but the first place winner had already received a larger prize, so the quilty love was spread around.)Simply Starred front view

Moda sponsored this category and they really outdid my wildest expectations with this box!Moda gift package

Inside the box was a tote bag filled with a large fat eighth bundle, two layer cakes, three charm packs, a tin of more fabric, Aurifil thread, spray baste, pins & needles, and lots of other notions.  I am so excited to start creating with all of these amazing products.  (Actually I have already used some of the fabric!)  Thank you, Moda!

The past week held deadlines for entries to both the Modern Quilt Guild’s (MQG) QuiltCon and the American Quilter’s Society (AQS) show in Paducah.  My entries were similar to both shows, and I will be writing more in depth posts about each quilt in the coming weeks.

Two of my QuiltCon entries were made specifically for challenges.  The first is the Michael Miller Challenge quilt.  It is hand appliquéd and free-motion quilted on the longarm.

Moroccan Star: A MQG Michael Miller Challenge Quilt Entry

Moroccan Star: A MQG Michael Miller Challenge Quilt Entry

The other challenge quilt was for the EZ Quilting triangle challenge.  The entire top is English Paper Pieced triangles and is longarm quilted with ruler work and free-motion techniques.  I also entered this quilt in the AQS show in the category: Small Wall Quilt, Longarm Quilted.

Star Crossed Triangles:  A MQG EZ Quilt Triangle Challenge Quilt

Star Crossed Triangles: A MQG EZ Quilt Triangle Challenge Quilt

My third QuiltCon entry was based on a mini quilt that I made earlier this year.  It was machine pieced and matchstick quilted on my domestic machine.  This was also entered into the AQS show in the Large Wall Quilt, Modern category.

The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

This quilt was a fairly last minute addition to my entries.  It is a block based, machine pieced quilt finished with an edge to edge computerized quilt design that I designed using AutoCad.  For AQS I entered this in the category: Small Wall Quilt, Pictorial.  This is definitely a representation of an object, but it is also well outside the box for the types of quilts typically entered in this division.

Can You See (m)E Now?

Can You See (m)E Now?

The final entry for QuiltCon is one of my favorite mini quilts and it went into the small quilt category.  It is also entered into the miniature quilt category for AQS.

Rainbow Roundabout

Rainbow Roundabout

I have also (finally) set up a business Facebook page.  I hope you will like and follow along with me there, too.  The link is also available toward the top right of this page.

I hope you have had a wonderful November and are enjoying the rest of the upcoming holidays!  I am looking forward to checking more projects off my WIP list this month and catching up on blog reading as well!

2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

This summer, I am thrilled to have joined up with a group of amazing new quilt bloggers for the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop.2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

The hosts this year are:

2015 New Quilt Bloggers Group

I am so happy to be a member of Cheryl’s group, The New Bees.

New Bee Button

I really encourage you to stop by the other New Bees members who are posting this week:

I started blogging in December of 2014 and the first quilt that I shared, Petals in the Wind (Low Volume Fail, Pastel Win!), is still one of my favorites.  This quilt has been accepted into the American Quilter’s Society shows in Syracuse, Grand Rapids, and Chattanooga this year.

Petals in the Wind

Petals in the Wind

Modern Log Cabin is the first quilt that I made after I returned to quilting last year.  It is a “potholder” style quilt that reverses from grey to blue.  This quilt was exhibited at the AQS show in Paducah earlier this year and will also be in the Modern Quilt categories at Grand Rapids and Chattanooga.

Modern Log Cabin

Modern Log Cabin

My pet project for 2015 is to make 50 mini quilts over the course of the year.  So far, I have completed 23/50.  Mini Quilt Mania gives me a format to experiment with a variety of quilting techniques without having to commit to a large project- it’s like keeping a sketchbook!  Details about this project as well as a full list of the mini quilts can be found in the Mini Quilt Mania post.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Winter Trees

Winter Trees

π, pi, PIE!

π, pi, PIE!

Embellished Spring

Embellished Spring

Marsala Mini Quilt

Marsala Mini Quilt

Rainbow Roundabout

Rainbow Roundabout

Fruit Crush

Fruit Crush

May Flower

May Flower

Yellow Rays

Yellow Rays

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that you’ve seen a bit of my work, would you like to hear how I got here?

How did you learn to sew?  My Mom started teaching me to sew before I was even in Kindergarten, so the details are a little hazy.  My first quilt was completed when I was about eight, and once I was old enough for 4-H,  I did sewing projects every year for the next decade.  As I grew older, I moved away from quilting and toward clothing construction.  Quilting by hand was just so painfully slow, and after finishing one twin sized quilt, I was done.  In high school I did make a couple of machine quilted jackets that I received student awards for at the American Quilter’s Society Fashion Show in Paducah.

What did you do then?  I went off to college to get a BFA, and since I could sew, I was assigned to do my work-study job in the costume shop of the Drama Department.  I ended up double majoring in Painting and Theatre Design and Technology and later went on to earn an MFA in Scenic Design.  I have worked with many theaters over the years, including ten seasons with the Utah Shakespearean Festival, and have worked at a few universities as well.

What has Theatre taught you about sewing?  I am pretty sure I can sew almost anything at this point.  I have created custom patterns and constructed clothing for almost every historical period, sewn stage curtains and drapes, done upholstery, and devised stage props ranging from drawstring bags to a 25′ long pleated, cylindrical (and very phallic), pink velour pillow with tassels at the ends.  Knowing that something very specific has to be created within a certain time frame means  there is little time to worry about messing it up- at some point you just have to dive in and make it happen.  You also become really adept at solving the “challenges” that seem to develop with each project.  This is excellent preparation for devising quilt patterns!

How did you return to quilting?  I was at a job where I wasn’t required to sew a lot, and I thought that maybe I would sew something for myself.  I wandered into a locally owned shop and was stunned to see all the new quilting fabrics.  Pair that selection with fact that machine quilting is now far more acceptable (even expected!), and I was hooked!

Quilting Tip:  Every once in awhile create your own challenge.  Limit it to a small, quick project like a mini quilt or simple bag.  Restrict parameters  so once you start so you will have already limited the choices you have because sometimes having infinite options can really slow us down.  I like to preselect a project, color scheme, and time frame.  An example could be:  One weekend to create a quilted bag using only the colors of black, white, grey, and green using fabrics and supplies already on hand. These small projects can force us to think creatively and can help improve our problem solving “toolbox” for other larger projects.

Blogging Tip:  At the beginning of the year  I created a eight inch square mini quilt that I have used as a background image for all blog “signage” that I have needed.  It provides a consistent element within the blog, and I always have an image available for posts that don’t have a feature quilt picture.

Random Facts:

  • Right now I do freelance work.  Most recently, I worked as a draper (costume pattern maker) for the Summer Nutmeg Series of the Connecticut Repertory Theatre.  If you would like to see photos, please check out their Instagram at https://instagram.com/ctrepertorytheatre/  This summer we did Les Mis, Peter Pan, and Xanadu.  The metallic silk chiffon dresses for Xanadu are especially fun- so shiny!
  • I have traveled to 29 US states and lived in Ohio, Missouri, Utah, Kentucky, Connecticut, and Indiana
  • My favorite food is a pretty even tie between pizza, saag paneer, and any sweet baked good
  • Growing up I raised chickens (mostly White Plymouth Rocks)
  • When I sew I almost always watch Netflix (Downton Abby is a favorite) or listen to a podcast (I’ve been catching up on Modern Sewciety)
  • My most commonly requested baked good is a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter filling and chocolate cream cheese frosting.  Yum!

I have been thinking a lot about gathering inspiration for quilt designs and color schemes and will probably be writing a post on this soon.  What are your thoughts?  Where do you find your inspiration?  Do you tend to be more inspired by quilt related items (books, magazines, quilt shows, etc.)?  Or do you tend to draw more inspiration from seemingly unrelated sources (art, nature, architecture, etc.)?  Is it a combination of these?

Thank you so much for coming by, and I hope to have you visit again!

Modern Log Cabin is Back!

Modern Log Cabin” has spent the last few weeks in Paducah for judging and exhibition in the American Quilter’s Society Quilt Week show.  It was exciting to have one of my quilts hanging in a national show, and I was so glad that I was able to go see it there.  (I will be posting more about the show as I work my way through the photos I have taken.)

"Modern Log Cabin" at the American Quilter's Society Quilt Week Show in Paducah, Kentucky

“Modern Log Cabin” at the American Quilter’s Society Quilt Week Show in Paducah, Kentucky

Last week my quilt arrived back home, which is always a relief.  Even though I know that it is pretty rare for a package to disappear in transit, I am always just a little worried whenever I send something that is not easily replaced.  Does anyone else feel that way?  Has anyone ever actually lost a quilt while with a shipping company?  If so, did it ever turn up again?  Maybe I don’t want those answers- no- I do . . . I think 🙂

Included in the return package with the quilt was the show book, display card, judging sheet, and cloth tag for the quilt.  This picture also show the Catalog of Show Quilts open to “Modern Log Cabin.”

AQS Quilt Show Tags and Books

I always like to see judge’s comments that people have shared for their show quilts, so I thought I would share mine as well.  I wasn’t sure what to expect since this was my first time receiving a comment card.  My quilt was also in the Modern Category of Large Wall Quilts, and much more simple in appearance than most of the quilts at this particular show.

AQS Judging Card

Best Feature(s):

  • Clean- Fresh accent
  • Fabric Choices
  • Quilting

Area(s) to Improve:

(nothing)

While I am most likely in the minority, I am always surprised and even slightly disappointed when there are no suggestions for improvement.  There is something strangely comforting to have a tangible goal to work toward.  I will qualify this by saying that my BFA is in Painting and my MFA is in Theatre design, so over the years I have become accustomed to pouring myself into a project only to have it painstakingly critiqued and/or ripped apart (sometime literally).  Repeating this process  weekly over the course of seven years results in a pretty thick skin.  It almost feels like I’ve been cheated if there is nothing to improve upon! A bit sick- isn’t it!

I consider it a great honor to have a quilt displayed in a national venue.  I have entered this quilt in a few more shows, so I hope it may have some more travel in its future!

I’m linking up with Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts this week.  Please drop in to see all of the lovely work being created!