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.

 

 

 

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!

Walkabout

Walkabout has been a work in progress for well over a year, and I finally decided that I just needed to get it finished and entered into some shows.  The first entry is into the American Quilter’s Society Spring Paducah Quilt Week.

The idea for this quilt came when I was walking through German Village, a historic neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio.  This pattern of embossed brick kept appearing in the sidewalks, and it just cried out to become a quilt design!

I wanted to maintain the feeling of an embossed design, so I knew that I wanted to work with two fabrics and focus on value and density of quilting to create the texture.  I designed the quilt on AutoCad, which helped me to create accurate templates for all of this very specific piecing.  The lighter fabric is a Moda Grunge print, and the darker areas are a Kona solid.

The design is entirely machine pieced, and each circular ring is cut as a single piece which is set into the adjoining circles.  Here is a back view of part of the quilt top:

For the quilting, I decided to keep it simple for the light blue-grey fabric, but do a more dense design in the dark blue areas.  I was very undecided on what to do for the denser quilting, but I ultimately landed on doing mixed motif organic quilting.  I liked the idea of exploring the juxtaposition of the geometric embossing of the brick with the leaves, moss, and pebbles that land on and surround the brick.

Quilt Stats

Title:  Walkabout

Size: 53″ x 68″

Techniques:  Machine Piecing

Quilting:  Free motion quilting and ruler work on an A-1 Longarm

Fabric:  Moda Grunge and Kona cotton

Batting:  Hobbs Tuscany Wool

Thread: Quilted with Aurifil 50wt in two colors matching each fabric

Binding:  Faced with the Moda grunge backing

Quilts Accepted into AQS Daytona Beach!

I have definitely caught the quilt show bug!  When I first started entering, I would enter a show here and there, mostly if I thought I might be able to attend.  But once my quilts started getting accepted, I couldn’t help entering more too!  And after I received my first ribbon at a national show, there was no going back.

Quilt shows have their own cycles and rhythms, and your quilts have to be available for each show for a lot longer than the week the show takes place.  You also have to enter well before the show takes place.  The entry deadline is often 2-4 months before the show week.  Submitting entries, receiving jury notifications, shipping the quilts, and (if you’re lucky) attending some shows can quickly become a year-round event.  It can make for some fun days if, like last Friday, you are submitting to one show while receiving notifications for another!

The Daytona Beach American Quilter’s Society show is the first notification of the 2019 shows, and I am ecstatic to have four quilts that were juried into the contest.

Lateral Ascension is in Large Quilts: Stationary Machine Quilted

Taking Flight is in Large Quilts: Movable Machine Quilted

Zenith is in Wall Quilts: Stationary Machine Quilted

Raise the Roof is in Wall Quilts: Movable Machine Quilted

I have never been to the Daytona Beach show, but I hope my quilts have a wonderful time there!

 

Resonance: A 100 Day Quilt Project

My 100 Day Quilt project was a success, and I want to thank everyone who followed the progress on Instagram!  Resonance is the ultimate result.  It was named in reference to the quilting stitches which echo out from a central point.  If you would like to know more about the start of the project, check out the first post about the 100 Day Circle Quilt Project.

Resonance front view

Constructing the blocks for the quilt took the most time- 89 days.  Most blocks had two-three concentric circles, but several included multiple circles set near each other.  Here are a couple of examples:

Block 89

Block 8

The next two days were spent trimming the blocks to their finished size.

Trimmed Blocks

Laying the quilt out was a bit tricky.  Since it was too large for my design wall, I cleared out the kitchen and arranged the blocks on the floor.  This photo was taken with my phone touching the ceiling, and I still couldn’t get far enough away to capture the entire quilt design.

Block Layout

After a couple more days, the quilt top was finished.

Quilt Top

There were 13 different colors of thread used to quilt the project.  A different thread was used for each fabric.  This extended the color beyond the edge of each circle, and ensured that the back, as well as the front of the quilt, would show each color change.  I knew that I would want lots of lines of stitching around each circle, so I decided to use 50wt thread so I could do lots of stitching without excessive thread build up.

Quilting Thread

Here is the quilt loaded and basted on the longarm.

Loaded Quilt

The quilting process took quite a long time.  I quilted each circle from the inside out to prevent bunching in the fabric, so there were a lot of thread changes.

Circle Quilting Process

Once the circles were quilted, I did large scale bubble quilting in the background.

Quilting Process

 

Resonance Detail 1

 

Angled Quilting Detail

There were more than a million quilting stitches in this project.  I’m pretty sure that is a personal record!

Stitch Counter

The binding is mostly white, with some sporadic shots of color.

Binding

I love the way the back of the quilt looks!

Resonance back view

To cap it off, Aurifil asked to use this quilt in their booth at Spring Market this past weekend!  This is my first quilt to be included at a Quilt Market, so I was very excited!

Photo courtesy of Sylvia of Flying Parrot Quilts

Photo courtesy of Sylvia of Flying Parrot Quilts

Photo courtesy of Aurifil

Photo courtesy of Aurifil

Quilt Stats

Title:  Resonance

Size: 79″ x 79″

Techniques:  Hand Applique, Machine Piecing

Quilting:  Free motion quilting with an A-1 Longarm machine

Fabric:  Assorted solids and white-on-white prints

Batting:  Hobbs Tuscany Wool

Thread: Quilted with 50wt cotton Aurifil in 13 colors

Binding:  White Kona Cotton with colorful inserts, cut on the bias at 2″ wide, machine stitched to the front, hand finished