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!

Op-Art: Mini Quilt #26

One of the remarkable things that happens when we quilt is that we start to see quilt patterns everywhere we go and in everything we see.  I had been thinking about making a quilt based on op-art for many years- ever since high school when I made a pen and ink op-art painting in art class.  It is fascinating to me that alternating different size and color rectangles can trick the eye into seeing dimension in a 2-D object.OpArt Quilt front view

The largest segment of this quilt finishes at 1-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ and the smallest is 1/4″ x 1/4″.  I started this quilt top by strip piecing alternating rows of black and white fabric.  Each strip of fabric became more narrow as I worked toward the center of the quilt and then grew progressively larger again.  Since this quilt is symmetrical I was able to cut the strip pieced segment into perpendicular strips in the same manner as the initial strip piecing.  I then flipped every other row over so the bottom square became the top.  This created the grid pattern.OpArt detail

Quilting lines move diagonally in both directions across each black square in the quilt.  This creates a subtle design that does not distract from the main optical illusion.  The backing and binding is the same black fabric that appears in the front grid.OpArt Quilt

Quilt Stats:

Title:  Op-Art Grid

Size:  20″ x 20″

Techniques:  Machine piecing

Quilting:  Linear quilting running diagonally across each black rectangle using a walking foot on a Bernina 1008

Fabric:  American Brand Solids in black and white

Batting:  Warm and White ( In retrospect, I think I should have used a black batting (even though there are white segments on the front) because the white batting seems to be bearding through the fabric a bit.)

Thread:  Pieced using polyester 100wt InvisaFil by WonderFil in light grey and quilted with black 50wt cotton quilting thread

Binding:  Coordinating black binding, cut on the bias in 2″ widths, machine stitched on the front, hand stitched to the back

What was new?

Creating an optical illusion in quilt form

Quilt 26 / 50

Quilt 26 / 50

Goal #3 is finished!

Goal #3 is finished!

 This week I’m linking up with Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She, Pet Project Show at Pink Doxies, Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts, Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, and Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  Please stop by to see all of the awesome work being created!

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!