Urban Cabins

Earlier this year a quilt group I belong to, The Columbus Modern Quilters, issued a challenge based on a photograph one of our members took in downtown Columbus, Ohio.  (You can see the photo and challenge requirements by clicking the link above.) In the image, parking garages with painted murals stand out against a bright blue sky.  We were challenged to use this photograph for inspiration in creating any type of sewn project.  Urban Cabins is my interpretation.

This quilt is entirely improvisationally pieced, although I did use rulers to help with construction.  I began with fabric bits from my scrap bin, and incorporated larger pieces of fabric as the project grew.  In the original photo, I loved how the brightly colored murals enlivened the surroundings even though they only took up a small portion of the image.  To capture this overall feeling, I included centralized areas of color that spark into their more subdued surroundings.  Concrete and sky colors of tans, greys, and blues dominate the most surface area of the quilt, but the bright colors give the piece life

With so much of the quilt being comprised of similar subtle colors, texture, both visual and physical, played a significant role in completing the design.  The use of both prints and solids create visual shifts in texture, while physical changes between cotton and linen create further interest.  Occasionally a selvage edge is exposed to further enhance the textural variations.

For the quilting, I decided to use evenly spaced, vertical lines to pull the design together, while not overpowering the design of the quilt top.  Vertical lines evoke the energy and feeling of a bustling downtown environment.

I was excited to discover the perfect backing fabric in my stash.  I had purchased it on clearance a long time ago, knowing it would make a great quilt back at some point.  I liked how the bold print varies across the width of the fabric, giving it a mural-like vibe that relates to the original inspiration image.

A facing was the perfect finish to this quilt.  With an energetic design like this, I think it is important to allow the viewer’s eye to continue all the way to the edge of the quilt without the visual barrier of a binding.  Fortunately, I had just enough backing fabric to line up the printed motifs on three sides of the quilt.  I would have loved a perfect match, but there wasn’t that much extra fabric!  The fourth side had black circles, so a solid black fabric worked to finish the edge.

Quilt Stats

Title:  Urban Cabins

Size: 30″ x 40″

Techniques:  Machine Piecing, Improvisation

Quilting:  Straight line quilting with digital channel locks on an A-1 Longarm

Fabric:  Cotton and linen solids and assorted cotton prints

Batting:  Hobbs Tuscany Wool

Thread: Quilted with 50wt Aurifil

Binding:  Faced with the remaining backing fabric and one strip of solid black fabric.

 

 

 

Composition

I am honored to be an Aurifil Artisan for the second year, and I am particularly excited to participate in a series of challenges that showcase the way their thread is used.  The first challenge is to use our welcome pack of thread to create something new.  (We were actually asked to try a different thread weight, but I have already used them all on previous projects!)  I decided to create a mini quilt that is mounted on an artist’s canvas.  I have been wanting to try something like this for awhile, and this was the perfect opportunity for some experimentation.

My thread choices tend to fall into two categories: bold and colorful, or a perfect match.  The fabrics for this composition were subtle and mostly dark in value.  Three narrow slivers of metallic linen were the lightest fabrics were the lightest values in the piecing.  The deep values provided the perfect canvas to experiment with very subtle shifts of color and thread weight.  The thread colors I selected were 2600 in 12wt, 2905 in 40wt, and 2605 and 2510 in 28wt.  I also added a black 50wt for piecing that I had in my thread stock.

12 and 28 weight threads are particular favorites for bold quilting, and they worked well in this piece too.  I particularly liked how they played with the green 40wt thread which blended the most value-wise to the main fabrics.  My only regret is not using a different batting for the project.  I made the mistake of grabbing an unidentified scrap, and I wish that I had used a black batting to prevent bearding on the dark fabric.  At least I’ll remember to pay more attention next time!

Quilt Stats

Title:  Composition 1

Size: 8″ x 10″

Techniques:  Machine Piecing

Quilting:  Walking foot quilting on a Bernina 1008

Fabric:  Cotton solids and tone on tone prints

Batting:  Unidentified scrap- big mistake!

Thread: Aurifil in 50wt, 40wt, 28wt and 12wt

Binding:  None! The quilt is mounted to an artist’s canvas frame.

 

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

QuiltCon Judging Feedback

Quilting is typically a solitary activity, so there are very few opportunities for feedback on your creations.  This is especially true if you are looking for critiques that will help to improve your work.  Entering shows with written feedback is one of the best means to get a fair assessment of your quilts, and QuiltCon typically provides very interesting comments since they have judges from a wider range of backgrounds.  The judging panel includes a certified judge, an industry professional, and a third judge with a strong artistic, but not necessarily quilting, background.  I also find it useful to read comments on other people’s quilts, so I thought that some of you may enjoy seeing what the judges had to say about my three quilts.

Complementary Convergence was in the Use of Negative Space category.

Ebb and Flow was in the Two Color Challenge category.

Synthesized Slivers was in the Small Quilts category.

I always appreciate the time that the judges spend looking at each quilt and offering comments on both the good aspects of a quilt and the areas that could be improved.  I can’t begin to imagine how challenging it would be to judge a show like QuiltCon.  It is so different than most shows-  A winning quilt is not necessarily the one with the most construction challenges. The emphasis on overall design combined with technical execution is what makes it one of my favorite shows to attend and enter.

2018 Year in Review

Around the beginning of every year, I like to look back on the previous year.  I have usually accomplished more than it feels like I have, and 2018 was no exception.

  • I started the year with a 100 Day project which culminated in Resonance.  Aurifil liked it so much they displayed it in their booth at Spring Quilt Market.  Later in the year, I became an Aurifil Artisan!

Photo courtesy of Sylvia of Flying Parrot Quilts

  • QuiltCon 2018 also included four of my quilts in the contest.  Lateral Ascension (upper left of the photo below) even received third place in the Minimalism category! (It also received an honorable mention at AQS Spring Paducah and a 2nd Place at AQS Grand Rapids!)

 

  • My first cover quilt also came around last year.  Raise the Roof is a particular favorite of mine, and it also received a third place at the American Quilter’s Society Fall Paducah Show.
  • Upward Perspective was a mini made for a Curated Quilts Challenge, and it was selected for inclusion in the magazine!

  • In 2018 I also started my second Block of the Month with Dabble and Stitch in Columbus, Ohio.  This year’s quilt has pictorial representations of key Columbus landmarks.

  • I also designed the 2018 Row by Row for Dabble and Stitch.  The theme was music, and I based the block on the state song, Beautiful Ohio.

  • My most exciting moment of 2018 was having my quilt, Infused Plaid, added to the permanent collection of The National Quilt Museum.

Photo courtesy of The National Quilt Museum

  • The 2018 colors of the year were Ultra-Violet (Pantone) and Tiger Lily (Kona), and I had a great time putting them together into this quilt!  Zenith received a second place in the Modern category at the American Quilter’s Society Fall Paducah Show.

  • As 2018 drew to a close, I had exciting news that three of my quilts, including Complementary Convergence (below), were selected for QuiltCon 2019!  I have added sleeves and labels to them this week, and will be shipping them off at the beginning of next week- now that is a great way to start 2019!