The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

I want to start 2016 off on a high note, so I decided the perfect first post of the year would be to share the quilt that will be heading to QuiltCon.Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

“The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts” is based on a Mini Quilt that I designed last summer, and is constructed in a similar manner.

Violet Calm

Violet Calm Mini Quilt

The central circle is created by assembling rectangles with strips of the white background fabric between the pieces.  Once this initial construction is complete, I cut the circle out of the assembled fabrics.  I used extra wide backing fabric for both the front and back of the quilt.  A circle with a 1/2″ smaller radius is cut from the quilt front, allowing for the seam allowance required to machine piece the circle in the quilt top.Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts detail C

Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts detail B

I used matchstick quilting in colors matching the fabrics the stitching passes through to draw the centralized design out to the edges of the quilt.  Most of the quilting is horizontal, but one section of vertical quilting add energy to the piece.Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts detail A

 

I really love the way the quilting looks, but this technique did result in thousands of thread tails to bury- I’m pretty sure that took longer than the actual quilting!Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts detail D

The binding is made of bias strips comprised of violet fabrics that are used in the central circle.  In the next couple of days I will be adding a hanging sleeve and label so it can head off to Pasadena!

I’m linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts.  Please stop by to see all of the lovely work being shared!

Quilt Stats

Title:  The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

Size:  63.25″ x 66″

Techniques:  Machine Piecing

Quilting:  Matchstick quilting done with a walking foot on a domestic Bernina 1008

Fabric:  Quilt shop quality prints in shades of violet and magenta, extra wide white cotton

Batting: Warm and White Cotton batting

Thread:  Pieced with white Gutermann Mara 100.  Quilted with 50wt cotton Aurifil in colors to coordinate with the fabrics they are stitching through

Binding:  Scrappy Violet fabrics, cut on the bias in 2″ wide strips, machine stitched to the front, hand stitched to the back

Goal #24 is finished!

Goal #24 is finished!

Star Crossed Triangles: An EZ Quilting Triangle Challenge Quilt

When the Modern Quilt Guild issued a challenge sponsored by EZ Quilting, I couldn’t wait.  I was in the midst of a “triangle phase” so this was perfect timing.  I decided that if I was going to take on this challenge, I was going to really embrace triangles, and create a design pieced entirely with that shape.

Star Crossed Triangles:  A MQG EZ Quilt Triangle Challenge Quilt

Star Crossed Triangles: A MQG EZ Quilt Triangle Challenge Quilt

The 45 degree mini template arrived in the mail, and I began drafting./Users/cassandra_ireland/Desktop/Quilting/My Quilts/Quilt Drafti

EZ Quilting Template and prepared triangles

EZ Quilting Template and prepared triangles

Triangles are intriguing in their ability to transform fabrics through careful cutting and reassembly.  I selected quite a few brightly colored, distinctively patterned fabrics to form octagons and stars that are the focal points of the quilt.  The overall design includes several blocks that are all low volume fabrics to give some areas for a visual rest.triangle blocks

Given the small scale of the pieces of the quilt, I decided to go with an English Paper Piecing technique to insure that the corners of each triangle would match up perfectly.  The majority of the 866 triangles in the quilt are cut with the provided template, but there are additional triangle shapes to fill in between blocks and around the edges.  When I took a step back to look at the completed top, I decided that the all-triangle approach was a bit too rigid.  I began experimenting with options to break up the field of triangles, and eventually landed on adding brightly colored appliqué circles.  Each circle is about the size of a dime and is hand appliquéd to the finished quilt top.

Quilt top with circles roughly placed

Quilt top with circles roughly placed

Each star and octagon is quilted with coordinating thread using ruler work on a longarm.  The spaces between each of these shapes is filled with wavy, swirling, organic free-motion quilting.Star Crossed Triangles detail D

Star Crossed Triangles detail C

Star Crossed Triangles detail B

Star Crossed Triangles detail A

This quilt was my second entry into the QuiltCon contest, and I also entered this quilt into the Paducah show of the American Quilter’s Society in the category: Small Wall Quilts, Longarm Quilted.

Quilt Stats

Title:  Star Crossed Triangles

Size:  36.75″ x 41″

Techniques:  English Paper Piecing, Hand Appliqué

Quilting:  Ruler work and free motion quilting on an A-1 Longarm

Fabric:  Scrappy low volume and brightly colored prints

Batting:  Hobbs Heirloom cotton batting

Thread:  Pieced with grey Decobob by Wonderfil, quilted with Aurifil in coordinating colors

Binding:  Scrappy low volume prints cut on the bias in 2″ wide strips, machine stitched to the front, hand stitched to the back

Goal #22 is finished!

Goal #22 is finished!


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!

 

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!

 

Simply Starred Mini Quilt

A few months ago I signed up for my first Instagram mini quilt swap, and it is currently wrapping up.  Now that my partner has received the mini I made, I thought I would share it here.Simply Starred front view

This quilt is also my entry into the Mini Quilt Category in the Blogger’s Quilt Festival at Amy’s Creative Side./Users/cassandra_ireland/Desktop/Quilting/My Quilts/Quilt Drafti

The pattern for this quilt is an original design that I drafted using AutoCad to create the foundation paper piecing templates.  It is pieced in eight wedge shaped segments and then the corners and borders are added.Simply Starred front detail three

There are 83 different fabrics used in this mini quilt, 80 of which form the star.  Each color is intended to flow into the next which results in a rainbow effect for the central image.Simply Starred front detail two

Simply Starred front detail one

The quilting in the central star is done using a walking foot on my domestic machine with threads which coordinate with the fabric.  Pebble quilting fills the negative space and was done on an A-1 longarm machine.  I love it when I have the opportunity to juxtapose organic elements with straight lines, and I was pleased with how the pebbling creates a delightful textural element.  The multicolored threads transfer a subtle version of the rainbow effect to the back of the quilt.Simply Starred back

Simply Starred back detail

Striped binding cut on the bias frames this piece, and I used the same fabric to frame the handwritten label for the quilt.

Simply Starred back

 

Simply Starred folded and labeled

Quilt Stats

Title:  Simply Starred

Size:  19.5″ x 19.5″

Techniques:  Foundation Paper Piecing

Quilting:  The center star is machine quilting using a walking foot on a Bernina 1008, and the negative space is free motion  quilted using a stitch regulated mode on the A-1 Elite Longarm

Fabric:  83 different quilting cottons

Batting:  Warm and White cotton batting

Thread:  Pieced using 100wt InvisaFil by WonderFil, quilted with assorted 50wt cotton quilting threads from WonderFil, Aurifil, Mettler, and Connecting Threads

Binding:  Striped fabric in 2″ wide strips made using continuous bias techniques, machine stitched to the quilt front, hand stitched to the back

What was new?

A new foundation paper pieced pattern

Combining domestic and longarm quilting on a single quilt

Goal #19 is Finished!

Goal #19 is Finished!