Crystalized Citrus: A Hoffman Challenge Quilt

Crystalized Citrus is my first Hoffman Challenge quilt, and I am thrilled with the result!  I was cutting it really close time wise, so it was quite a relief when they extended the deadline by a week- it saved me a late night getting the binding on!
Crystalized Citrus full view

For many years I had seen the Hoffman Challenge quilts exhibited at the Rotary Quilt Show that coincided with the AQS show in Paducah.  It was my first introduction to the concept of a challenge quilt, and I was intrigued.  This year was the first time I was able to find the fabric in a local shop before it completely sold out, and it is the best fabric challenge print yet!  The butterfly print on the right is the required challenge fabric and the print on the left was an optional coordinate that I really liked, but didn’t end up using in the finished design.  Both of these fabrics are printed digitally so there is an almost infinite range of colors since the process isn’t limited by traditional printing processes.

Hoffman Challenge Fabric

When I’m designing with a specific print in mind, I like to alter it to see it in a new way.  I had thought about creating a “Butterfly Garden” by turning the wings into flower petals, but as I was starting the idea of vibrant citrus came to mind.  The butterfly wings turned into the flesh of the fruit and the neutral space of the print became the membranes.  I pulled a variety of prints from my stash to create the skin of the fruits.  My main goal was to keep the challenge fabric the star of the show.

Crystalized Citrus detail

 

 

I intentionally chose to balance the representational aspects of this design with the abstract.  The pieces of fruit do not overlap and the improv piecing in the flesh of the citrus doesn’t create an ultra realistic image.  These aspects of the design allowed for quilting that defies realism and creates a more abstract overall design.

The primary quilting design is matchstick quilting going both horizontally and vertically.  Most of the horizontal quilting is done in white with guest appearances from purple and the local color of each fruit to create a grounding shadow.  The color of each piece of citrus infuses the background above it with colorful vertical matchstick quilting.  Free motion quilting further defines each piece of fruit in the composition.

Crystalized Citrus

 

Quilt Stats

Title: Crystalized Citrus

Size: 24″x21″

Techniques:  Machine Improv Piecing, hand appliqué

Quilting:  Matchstick and free motion quilting done on my A-1 Elite longarm

Fabric:  Hoffman Crystalia digitally printed fabric in opal, assorted cotton prints and solids.

Batting:  Hobbs 80/20 cotton blend

Thread:  Pieced and appliquéd with Gutermann Mara 100 in coordinating colors, Quilted with six colors of 50wt Aurifil cotton thread

Binding:  Facing done with the same white fabric used for the background and backing of the quilt

Goal #1 is Finished!

Goal #1 is Finished!

Baubles Quilt Finish

Baubles is one of my oldest UFOs, and I am thrilled that I finally finished it up this week!Baubles Front View

The blocks were designed on EQ7 when I was first experimenting with the program.  These are some of the first paper piecing blocks that I designed from scratch.  Once they were assembled, they got set aside, and I didn’t touch them for nearly a year.Baubles Blocks

From the start, I didn’t have a particular plan for the blocks, but eventually I brought them together in a configuration resembling hanging ornaments.Baubles Flimsy

The quilting was probably the most fun of the entire project.  I really enjoy doing all over free motion quilting, and this quilt is done almost entirely with this technique. Baubles Front Detail 2

 

Baubles Front Detail 1

The only exception is that each bauble is quilted with coordinating thread and a combination of free motion and ruler work specific to each block.Baubles back detail

Once the quilting was finished, I embroidered silver hanging strings for each ornament.Baubles Front Detail 3

I decided to keep the binding white to allow the illusion of the baubles floating in space.

Baubles back view

Quilt Stats

Title:  Baubles

Size:  44″x53″

Techniques:  Foundation paper piecing, traditional piecing, hand embroidery

Quilting:  Hand guided longarm quilted on an A-1 Elite using free motion and ruler work techniques

Fabric:  White Kona cotton and assorted pink, red, blue, and turquoise cotton prints

Batting:  Warm and White cotton blend batting

Thread:  Pieced using white Gutermann Mara 100, Quilted with white, bright pink, and blue Aurifil 50wt cotton thread, embroidered with silver Wonderfil and Gutermann Metallics

Binding:  White Kona, cut in 2″ wide strips on the bias, machine stitched to the front, hand stitched on the back.

This quilt was my One Monthly Goal for January!

 

Goal #1 is Complete!

Goal #1 is Complete!

The Web We Weave: Mini Quilt #33

Happy Halloween!  I have been eager to try out metallic threads with the longarm, and this Halloween-appropriate mini quilt was a great opportunity to experiment.  Web We Weave front view

The piecing on this quilt top is very simple with only five pieces.  I cut a 12.5″ square out of solid black fabric and then slashed it in two places where I wanted to indicate abstract tree branches.  The fabric for the trees is a batik that is actually printed to look like trees, but I cut it on the cross-grain to create a Birch tree-esque effect on a slightly larger scale.  The resulting quilt top gave me a great space to play with the metallic thread.

Now for the fun part!  I was a bit nervous about trying metallic thread since I hadn’t yet ordered any specialty needles for the longarm.  The metallic thread I chose was a silver WonderFil with a rayon core.  I loaded a medium grey cotton quilting thread in the bobbin, and decided to give it a try.  It was awesome!  One of the nice features of the A-1 machine is a small pad that the top thread feeds through which holds a few drops of liquid thread conditioner.  It really does help decrease thread breakage.  I practiced some ruler work with the main lines of the web, defining the tree branches, and some background work with black cotton thread.  The curved areas of the web are free motion.Web We Weave back view

The backing and binding is made from the same black fabric used in in the quilt top.  The batting is Hobbs 80/20 in black which I pulled from a sample pack I received earlier this year.  It was so nice to not have to worry about white batting working its way through the fabric of the quilt.  My cat adds enough white fluff to my dark quilts without having the batting contribute!

Quilt Stats

Title:  Web We Weave

Size:  12″ x 12″

Techniques:  Machine Piecing

Quilting:  Ruler work and free motion quilting on an A-1 Elite longarm machine

Fabric:  American Made Brand black cotton and a batik print from my stash

Batting:  Hobbs 80/20 Batting in black

Thread:  Pieced with black Gutermann Mara 100, Quilted with silver metallic WonderFil thread with a rayon core (with medium grey Signature cotton thread in the bobbin), black cotton quilting thread

Binding:  Matching bias binding, cut in 2″ wide strips, machine stitched to the front, hand stitched on the back

What was new?

Metallic thread on a longarm

Quilt 33 / 50

Quilt 33 / 50

Goal #1 is finished!

Goal #1 is finished!

 

Running Hot and Cold: Mini Quilt #29

Fabric Modification is something that I really enjoy doing, but I haven’t been experimenting much lately.  So once I started having fun with the fabric for Fading Florals, I decided to keep going and give Suminagashi a try.Running Hot and Cold

This marbling technique uses a nontoxic ink that floats on the surface of water.  Using a paintbrush, I touched the surface of a shallow tray of water in several areas with one color of ink.  When the next color of ink is applied, it causes the first color to move away.  Once the surface of the water was mostly covered, I gently blew across the water and ink to increase the movement of the swirls.  When I liked the design, I carefully laid a piece of white Kona cotton over the inked surface.  The dye takes to the fabric instantly so you can pull it up immediately.  Once the fabric is dried, heat set, and hand washed and dried, it is ready for use.Running Hot and Cold hot detail

I wanted to have the fabric design be the main feature of the quilt, so I decided on a simple block design.  White Kona is used to define the blocks and is the only area of the piece that is quilted.  The bands of white are stitched in the ditch and then filled with pebbles.Running Hot and Cold cold detail

For the backing of the quilt, I went with a solid peach cotton to reflect the warm colored marbled fabric.  The binding draws its color from the cool colored marbling.Running Hot and Cold back view

Quilt Stats

Title:  Running Hot and Cold

Size:  16-3/4″ x 16-3/4″

Techniques:  Suminagashi, machine piecing

Quilting:  Stitching in the ditch with a walking foot, free motion pebble stitching, both on a Bernina 1008

Fabric:  White Kona Cotton, most portions treated with Suminagashi, peach cotton backing, cotton print binding

Batting:  Warm and White Cotton Batting

Thread:  pieced with 100wt polyester InvisaFil by WonderFil in light grey, quilted with 50wt Wonderfil cotton thread in white

Binding:  Bias cut in 2″ widths, machine stitched to the front, hand stitched to the back

What was new?

Suminagashi

Quilt 29 / 50

Quilt 29 / 50

Goal #6 is finished!

Goal #6 is finished!

Fading Florals: Mini Quilt #28

This week I am taking a slightly different approach to a whole cloth quilt.Fading Floral

When I came across this fabric, it seemed to call out for some sort of fun fabric modification.Floral fabric

I have done some different fabric painting and dying techniques over the years, but I hadn’t had the right project to try this one on before.  In this process color is added to fabric using Sharpie markers.  Using a paintbrush dipped in rubbing alcohol, you paint over the colored areas to create a watercolor effect.Fading Floral detail

The quilting is a free motion design that follows the printed design on the fabric.  The design blends into the front, but stands out nicely against the solid white backing fabric.Fading Floral back view

Quilt Stats

Title:  Fading Florals

Size: 14-1/2″ x  14-1/2″

Techniques:  Wholecloth quilt, Rubbing Alcohol/Sharpie fabric modification

Quilting:  Freemotion quilting following the printed pattern of the fabric

Fabric:  “Bellisimo” designed for Benartex by Michele D’Amore Designs, white Kona Cotton backing, black American Brand Solid binding

Batting:  Warm and White Cotton Batting

Thread:  Quilted with Black cotton machine quilting thread

Binding:  Black cotton, cut in 2″ wide strips on the bias, machine stitched to the front, hand stitched to the back

What was new?

Sharpie/Rubbing Alcohol fabric modification

Using a pre-printed fabric to determine the free motion quilting design

Quilt 28 / 50

Quilt 28 / 50

Goal #5 is finished!

Goal #5 is finished!