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!

Hour Basket Swap

This month one of my local quilt groups, The Columbus Modern Quilters, had a swap of one hour baskets, and I was eager to sign up.  The tutorial we used is by Hearts and Bees, and is available on Craftsy.  I had never made one before, but all it took was one practice basket, and I was hooked!

Hour Basket Exterior

Hour Basket Exterior

My partner listed Carolyn Friedlander as one of her favorite designers, so I thought it would be fun to make a basket entirely with her fabrics.  Flying geese patchwork made up the design on both sides of the basket.

Patchwork panels for an hour basket

Patchwork panels for an hour basket

For the interior, I used a strip of orange fabric that matches the arrows on the exterior of the basket, and finished it off with a wide grid that also coordinates with the basket exterior.

Hour Basket Interior

Hour Basket Interior

The swap was so much fun, and everyone loved the basket they received.  I was delighted that this basket was for me!  This is one of my favorite shades of blue, and it is just perfect for spring!

The Hour Basket that I received in the guild swap

The Hour Basket that I received in the guild swap

This also completes my One Monthly goal entry for March!

 

Travel Bag

This week will be my first Quilt Con, and to mark the occasion I made a new carry on bag.

Carry on Bag for QuiltCon 2016 front view

I drew up this pattern to work with a fat quarter bundle that I had of Tula Pink’s Elizabeth line along with some denim scraps that I had from another project.  The effect is unified, yet scrappy.  The front and back of the bag are identical with a zipper pocket and an open pocket behind it.  Behind each zipper pocket is a section of coordinating fabric that was pieced in to help stretch the main bag fabric.Carry on Bag for QuiltCon side view

The bag is quilted in sections to allow all of the raw edges to be enclosed as the bag came together.  The final construction seams attach the bag front and back to the side panel.  These seams are stitched with the seam allowances toward the exterior of the bag which will help to give a bit of extra structure to this soft case.  The raw edges are enclosed using a custom made bias tape from one of the striped fat quarters in the Tula Pink bundle.Carry On Bag for QuitlCon Interior

I am excited to take this bag on its inaugural voyage this week so I will have a better idea of what adjustments I should make if I were to create this design again.  If you are at QuiltCon, I hope to have a chance to meet you and perhaps exchange buttons!QuiltCon 2016 Buttons

Goal #8 is Complete!

Goal #8 is Complete!

Moroccan Star: A Michael Miller Challenge Quilt

This summer, the Modern Quilt Guild (MQG) announced this year’s Michael Miller fabric challenge, and I couldn’t resist signing up.  Those metallic prints are so much fun!  I had an idea at that point, but once the fabrics arrived, I decided to change directions based on the exact prints that arrived.Moroccan Star finished quilt

Glittery metallics made me think of shining stars and opulence.  I typically prefer silver, but for this project I was really drawn to the gold printed fabrics.  To supplement the package of fabric sent by Michael Miller, I purchased some of the white and gold confetti dot also from the Glitz collection, and a Michael Miller black solid.MM Challenge

This design started with the fabric printed to imply interlocking circles.  I started experimenting by creating circles highlighting different sections of the print.  Once the circle sizes were determined, I drafted the motif that would create the final star design. I started the construction by hand appliquéing the circles to the white background pieces.  Those pieces were then added to the solid black background.  Moroccan Star process shot

 

Moroccan Star finished quilt top

For the quilting, I wanted to break up the background by using different quilting designs on either side of the appliquéd star motifs.  The quilting thread is a very dark grey which added a bit of extra dimension to the solid color surface.  I used the longarm for this quilt and the circle pattern was entirely free-motion using a dot to dot technique.  It is far from perfect, but it was the first time I had attempted this, so it could have been far worse!  I tend to like a hand drawn quality in free motion quilting, so I ultimately decided to leave it in and embrace the character of the piece.  Moroccan Star finished detail A

The lines around the stars and the tightly spaced vertical lines are also free-motion, but for the horizontal lines on the left side of the quilt I did lock the machine on the track before hand guiding the stitching.Moroccan Star finished detail B

This quilt was one of my entries in to QuiltCon, so now I (like many of you!) are waiting to hear which quilts we will see at the show in February.

Quilt Stats

Title:  Moroccan Stars

Size:  41″ x 40.5″

Techniques:  Needle turn appliqué

Quilting:  Free motion and linear quilting done on an A-1 Longarm

Fabric:  Michael Miller Glitz collection and Michael Miller solid

Batting:  Hobbs 80/20 in black

Thread:  Hand appliquéd with Gutermann Mara 100 in white, Quilted with 50wt Aurifil in a a dark grey

Binding:  Michael Miller solid black fabric (to match background) cut in 2″ wide bias strips, machine stitched to the front, hand stitched to the back

Goal #23 is finished!

Goal #23 is finished!

 

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!