The Value of Coral: A Work in Progress

Coral is just about the perfect color as far as I’m concerned.  It sits so nicely between pink and orange which is one of my favorite color combinations.  So when Pantone announced the color of the year for 2019, I was ecstatic!  So far this is my second project to incorporate Living Coral, and I have another in the works that has lots of coral pieces included in a wider color scheme.

I think a lot about value when I design a quilt, and success of this particular design depends on it.  A monotone interpretation of the color Coral helps create the illusion of dimension.  Living Coral has a value that sits near the middle of the value scale, so I selected two lighter fabrics and one darker fabric for the design.  Since coral doesn’t easily go to a really dark value without drastically muting the color, I selected a dark violet for the receding squares. The dark, cool color ended up setting off the coral nicely.

I have thoroughly enjoyed exploring a mostly monotone quilt with more traditional piecing techniques, and I can’t wait to finish it up!

Quilt (top) Stats

Title:  The Value of Coral

Size: 42″ x 56″

Techniques:  Machine Piecing

Fabric:  Solids

Thread: Pieced with 50wt Aurifil

This quilt top is my entry in the 2019 Pantone Quilt Challenge hosted by No Hats in the House and Bryan House Quilts.  I hope you will check out all of the exciting entries!

I am a resident of the United States

 

Forward and Back

This Spring one of the quilt groups I’m in issued a challenge to try out a technique called interleaving, and this mini quilt is the result.  The idea behind interleaving is to take two relatively simple quilt blocks, cut them into strips, and alternate the strips to create a single block.

Starting out, I had to keep reminding myself to keep things simple.  I have a tendency to add extra piecing to create interest, but this was not the place to add too many seams!  I wanted the color palette to evoke a feeling of a sunset over the ocean, so I decided to make one block with warm colors and the other with cool colors.  The first block is a machine pieced circle with the Pantone color of the year, Living Coral, as the center.  (I love this year’s color so much that it is appearing in a few more projects, too!)

The second block is three wedge shaped segments in cool colors.  Most of this quilt is made of quilting cotton, but I decided to incorporate a piece of Art Gallery denim into this block to add a slightly different texture.

Maintaining the overall circle shape was important to what I wanted to achieve in this design, so I knew I had to cut the blocks into 1″ strips. This width of strip means the finished area is equal to the seam allowance- 1/2″ exposed and 1/2″ of seam allowance.  When the strips of the two blocks are alternated, the circle shape is maintained.

The piecing is really the star in this design, so I decided to do simple stitch in the ditch quilting using Aurifil monofilament.

The faced edges of the quilt allow the linear design to visually continue to the edge of the quilt.

Quilt Stats

Title:  Forward and Back

Size: 19″ x 19″

Techniques:  Machine Piecing, Interleaving

Quilting:  Stitched in the ditch with a walking foot quilting on a Bernina 1008

Fabric:  Cotton solids and lightweight quilters denim

Batting:  Hobbs Tuscany Wool

Thread: Quilted with Aurifil monofilament

Binding:  Faced with the solid to match the backing

This mini quilt is my entry in the 2019 Pantone Quilt Challenge hosted by No Hats in the House and Bryan House Quilts.  I hope you will check out all of the exciting entries!

I am a resident of the United States

I’m on the American Patchwork & Quilting Podcast!

Have you had a chance to listen to this week’s episode of the American Patchwork and Quilting Podcast?  If you haven’t, I hope you will, because I had the opportunity to be interviewed for it!  This is my first podcast interview, and it was wonderful to have the chance to chat with Pat Sloan.

Each episode of the American Patchwork and Quilting Podcast has multiple interviews, so you get lots of inspiration packed in!  I tend to listen on iTunes, but you can use your favorite podcast player or listen here: https://blog.patsloan.com/2019/05/listen-to-pats-newest-podcast-for-may-20th.html  I hope you enjoy the episode!

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

Entries for QuiltCon 2018

QuiltCon 2018 is coming up in February, and Thursday was the last day for entries.  I always end up having one quilt that I either:

1) Have to make by the deadline – or

2) Allow to grow from a small project to a big one.

My Michael Miller Challenge quilt was definitely the second.  It was going to be a small-ish wall quilt, but it ended up being a generous lap quilt at 63″x69″.

Complementary Composition full

“Overlay” is my second entry and is entered in the Modern Traditionalism category.  This was also my entry in the Riley Blake Challenge earlier this year.  I really hope this one gets in- it is a personal favorite!

Overlay full

For my negative space entry, I continued exploring the idea of highlighting the use of thread to tell the story of the design.

Pivoted Plaid full

“Lateral Ascension” is entered in the Minimalism category.  The design is inspired by the drafted front elevation of a spiral staircase.

Lateral Ascension full

Franklin Park/Greenery in the Garden” is the only quilt I have actually written a more in depth post about.  It is entered into the Improvisational category.

Franklin Park full

Even though there is now a maximum number of five quilts accepted per entrant, I couldn’t resist adding a sixth entry.  I would love to share it with you, but it is a piece of secret sewing, so I will have to wait (and so will you!)

I have been away from the blog for awhile, and I am really missing it.  In the hopes of encouraging myself to make it more of a habit to blog, I am going to try participating in the 31 Day Blog Challenge hosted by Cheryl Sleboda at muppin.com.

BlogChallengeYr3-1