Fibonacci on the Seashore: Mini Quilt #2

This week, I set out to create a snow inspired wintery-beyond-belief mini quilt.  That did not happen.  There were unexpected technical difficulties that I have not been able to resolve yet.  I still have a couple options to explore to make this work, but I need to track down some supplies.  This quilt is not eliminated (although the original design may end up altered), so I will share those challenges when I write about the finished mini quilt.

If I can’t play in the (fabric) snow this week, I decided to celebrate the beach!

Fibonacci on the Seashore

Fibonacci on the Seashore: Front View


The Fibonacci spiral has long been inspiring to me as a designer.  I am fascinated that art can be derived from mathematics, but since I am definitely not a mathematician, I will not be going into any specific details about how it works!  The Fibonacci spiral is based in a grid which starts with a square which is duplicated.  Then those two squares together determine the length of the sides of the next square. Now the size of all of these squares determine the side length for the next square.  This can continue on forever if you want it to!  This gridded image shows the basis for the spiral.

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To get the spiral, you draw a quarter circle in each square.

/Users/cassandra_ireland/Desktop/Quilt/Quilt Designs A.dwgFor my mini quilt I started with two 1″ square blocks, and added 2″, 3″, 5″, and 8″ blocks.  Each block is essentially like sewing a Drunkard’s Path block, but the illusion created due to the size shifts is like a seashell.

Fibonacci on the Seashore with Grid Overlay

I selected subtly colored batiks with the thought of having the quilting thread inject a bold moment of color to the shell.  There are six different blue, pink and lavender batiks used to create the “Shell” and the “Sand is created with one batik which is both incorporated into three of the blocks as well as the border strips.

Fibonacci on the Seashore: Detail

Fibonacci on the Seashore: Detail

I quilted the “shell” first using a silver metallic thread as well as bright pink and purple.  This was done using the walking foot, but I shifted to free motion quilting to create “pebbles” in the sand.  My free motion quilting is definitely a work in progress, but this is a vast improvement over past attempts.

Fibonacci on the Seashore Detail 2

The back of this quilt is another batik print that I selected to incorporate both the yellow of the sand and the blue tones of the shell (as well as implying water).  I think the quilting on this piece makes the back as interesting as the front, although in hindsight, I wish I had used a batik with a less rigid pattern.

Fibonacci on the Seashore: Back View

Fibonacci on the Seashore: Back View

The binding is another purple batik that I selected to: (1) Draw the purple used in the center of the quilt out to the edge, and (2) play off the yellow of the sand fabric- I seriously love using complementary colors.  To create a greater sense of definition in this quilt, I used a decorative stitch to secure the binding and enhance the spiral shape.  I liked using this technique of finishing the binding, and now I wish a had a few more options on my wonderful little mechanical machine!

 

Fibonacci on the Seashore: Binding Detail

Fibonacci on the Seashore: Binding Detail

Quilt Stats

Title:  Fibonacci on the Seashore

Size: 12″x16.5″

Techniques:  Curved Machine Piecing

Quilting:  Outline and curved quilting using a walking foot, and free motion pebbles in the background.  All quilting was done on a Bernina 1008

Fabrics:  Batiks (I have never done an all batik quilt before!)

Batting:  Warm and White cotton batting

Thread:  Pieced with Gutermann Mara 100 in white.  Quilted with Light Blue cotton machine quilting thread, Gutermann Silver Metallic thread, and Mettler cotton quilting threads in Magenta and Purple

Binding:  Blue and Purple batik- cut in 2″ strips, machine straight stitched to the front, top stitched to the back, and accented with purple decorative stitches.

What was new:

  • An entirely batik quilt
  • Using bright quilting threads on a pastel background
  • Trying out metallic thread for machine quilting (I need to explore other thread and needle options for use in the future- Does anyone have suggestions?)
  • Decorative stitching for quilting and securing binding
Quilt 2 / 50

Quilt 2 / 50

Finish #1

Goal #1 is Finished!

This post is linked with Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts.  Please stop in to see all of the wonderful creations that have been shared!

Happy New Year 2015! Mini Quilt #1

I am excited to kick off Mini Quilt Mania with finish #1!  For this quilt I wanted to use the New Year as an inspiration.  For a lot of people, New Year’s is a time for big parties and fireworks.  For me, the New Year is celebrated by watching the Times Square Ball Drop on television.  So I decided I would focus on that iconic piece of lighted metal and glass for my inspiration for this quilt.

Happy New Year! Front


While I usually like to observe my objects of inspiration in person, I am in the midwest, and the Times Square Ball is not.  Turning to the internet, I looked at several sources including the fact sheet found on the Times Square Alliance page about the New Year’s Eve Ball.  Not really a true sphere, the ball is made up of triangles within triangles.  These triangles are lit using LEDs (really exciting to the theatre designer part of me!) which allows for almost endless color combinations and patterns.  I started out by creating a line drawing of triangles within triangles.  Then I added borders around each main triangle to represent the metal structure of the ball.

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I knew that I wanted to use medium to dark greys in the borders of the triangles to give the design a slightly industrial feel.  (I like to juxtapose “utilitarian” with “pretty!”)  Then I started to experiment with color.  At first I was thinking along the lines of emphasizing the hexagons formed in the design, but I soon moved onto star configurations.  The gallery below is a small sample of the designs I considered.

I am pretty sure the most challenging part of this process was decided which color scheme to go with!  Ultimately, I ended up choosing the Red, Orange, and Violet Stars.

 

Red, Orange, and Violet Stars

Red, Orange, and Violet Stars

I pulled from stash fabrics for this project, and decided to select one dark and one light material of each of the three star colors.  I also pulled three different grey fabrics for the triangle borders.  The top is constructed using paper foundation piecing techniques.

Happy New Year! Detail

For the quilting design, I wanted to emphasize the straight lines found in the quilt top, and I ended up choosing to outline and enhance each element of the design using a coordinating thread.  Since I was quilting in several colors, I used a white backing fabric to really show off the colors of the threads.

Happy New Year! Back

Overall, I am really happy with this quilt, and I may consider creating a larger scale quilt using this block design.

Quilt Stats

Title: Happy New Year 2015!

Size: 12.5″ x 14.25″

Techniques:  Paper Foundation Piecing

Quilting:  Outline stitching with additional interior lines using a walking foot on a Bernina 1008

Fabrics:  White Kona Cotton, 100% cotton prints and batiks

Batting:  Warm and White Cotton Batting

Thread: Pieced using Gutermann Mara 100 in white, Quilted using cotton machine quilting thread in dark grey, Mettler cotton quilting threads in Red, Magenta, and Orange

Binding:  Grey bias- cut in 2″ strips, machine stitched to the front of the quilt, and hand stitched to the back.

Quilt 1 / 50

Quilt 1 / 50

I am linking this post up with Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She, Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, Paper Piecing Party at Quilt Art Designs, Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, and Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts.  Please take a moment to stop in and see all of the wonderful projects being created!

Mini Quilt Mania 2015

I recently made my first mini quilt in many years, and I loved it!  Mini quilts are awesome because:

  • You can try a new technique without having to commit to a large quilt
  • They are a great way to use scraps or make a dent in your stash
  • It is super rewarding to have a project that you can produce quickly
  • A mini is like a sketchbook for a quilter!

Mini Mania 2015


Since we can now agree that mini quilts are marvelous, I am declaring that 2015 will be my year of the mini quilt!  This year I am going to attempt to make 50 mini quilts.  That means that every week (except for two weeks TBD) I am going to create a new mini quilt.  The requirements I am setting for myself are:

  • The term “quilt” will mean at least two layers of fabric with at least one layer of batting sandwiched between.  These layers will be held together using either hand or machine stitches.
  • A mini will be defined as any quilt which has a perimeter of 80″ or less.  (There is no minimum perimeter measurement)
  • The quilt may be any shape and proportion as long as size requirements are met.
  • All patterns will be original designs, but may be influenced by traditional blocks/patterns/designs (traditional meaning that these designs are old enough to be in the public domain) or a specific technique.
  • Provided the definition of a quilt is met, any and all techniques are fair game.  This could include, but is not limited to:  hand piecing, machine piecing, foundation piecing, needle turn appliqué,  machine appliqué, fusible appliqué, hand embroidery, machine embroidery, beadwork, hand quilting, machine quilting (either free motion or with a walking foot), whole cloth quilts, fabric dying and manipulation.
  • The completion rate for these quilts should average one per week, but quilts may be started at any time.  (I don’t have to start and finish a quilt in the same week)

What are your thoughts on mini quilts?  Do you love them? Hate them?  Have you ever given or received a mini as a gift?  Do you ever use mini quilts to experiment with a new pattern or technique?

I am linking this post up to the Small Blog Meet at Lily’s Quilts.  Please stop by to see what everyone is working on!

Mini Quilt Mania! Quilts

Mini #1

Happy New Year!  Mini Quilt

Fibonacci on the Seashore

Fibonacci on the Seashore

Implied Spiral

Implied Spiral Mini Quilt

Triple Heart

Triple Heart

Valentine Tic-Tac-Toe Set

Valentine Tic-Tac-Toe Set

Blue Improvisation Front

Blue Improvisation Mini Quilt

Repeat with a Twist Detail B

Repeat with a twist

Whole Cloth Mini

Whole Cloth Mini

 

Catch a Falling Star

Catch a Falling Star

Winter Trees

Winter Trees

π, pi, PIE!

π, pi, PIE!

Embellished Spring

Embellished Spring

Marsala Mini

Marsala Mini

Name Tag

Name Tag

Rainbow Roundabout

Rainbow Roundabout

Graffiti Feathers

Graffiti Feathers

Fruit Crush

Fruit Crush

April Showers

April Showers

Topsy Turvy

Topsy Turvy

Selvage Mug Rug

Selvage Mug Rug

May Flower

May Flower

Green Grass

Green Grass

Yellow Rays

Yellow Rays

Violet Calm

Violet Calm

Tiny Cottage Garden

Tiny Cottage Garden

Op-Art Grid

Op-Art Grid

Orange Segments

Orange Segments

Fading Floral

Fading Floral

Running Hot and Cold

Running Hot and Cold

Sashiko Min

Sashiko Mini

2015 Mini Quilt

As I began preparing posts for the upcoming year, I realized that there would be occasions I would need a general graphic or background image.  I considered creating a graphic from scratch in a photo editing program, but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to create a quilt to use as a background image.  This is the quilt I designed.

2015 Mini Quilt Full


As I began sketching, the only major requirement I had of this design was a large area of negative space.  I knew that I would want to be able to easily place text over the image.  Ultimately I landed on a classic “Flying Geese” border design with separate corner blocks.

2015 Mini Quilt Line

When choosing colors, I had a few requirements:

  • The palette must be eye-catching even in a thumbnail scale
  • Text placed over the finished quilt image should be easy to read
  • I must like the colors
  • All fabrics must be readily available in my stash

White with shots of bright pink, red, violet, and orange fulfilled all of these requirements

2015 Mini Quilt Color Sketch

I paper pieced each corner block and border for the quilt top and then chose a bright red and orange dot for the back of this little quilt.

2015 Mini Quilt Back

I quilted the piece using diagonal lines approximately 1/2″ apart.  I am happy with the finished quilt, and I think I will be able to use it in a lot of different configurations.

  1. A corner border where text can be placed in the opposite corner2015 Mini Quilt Corner Detail
  2. A side border with text along the opposite side2015 Mini Quilt Side Detail
  3. A center only version that supplies texture, but no bright colors2015 Mini Quilt Center Detail
  4. And of course, the full quilt image2015 Mini Quilt Full

I am very happy with the cheerful color scheme, and I’m certain that this image will be making an appearance frequently in the coming year.

Quilt Stats

Title:  2015

Size: 8″x8″

Techniques:  Paper Piecing

Quilting:  Diagonal lines using a walking foot on a Bernina 1008

Fabrics:  Background- White Kona Cotton, Triangles- 100% cotton prints

Batting:  Warm and White cotton batting

Thread:  Pieced with Gutermann Mara 100 in white, Quilted with cotton machine quilting thread in white

Binding:  White Kona Cotton bias cut at 2″ wide, machine stitched to the quilt front, and hand stitched on the back

I am linking this post up with Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, and Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  I hope you all have a wonderful New Year!

Solstice Mini Quilt

I always get excited for Winter Solstice.  The last few weeks have been particularly dreary, and that coupled with the short amount of daylight everyday has made it feel like it is perpetually either dusk or night.  But solstice means we have made it to the shortest day of the year, and for the next six months we will have more daylight every day.  I felt like doing a little something to celebrate, so I designed this mini quilt.

Winter Solstice Quilt

Winter Solstice Quilt


I decided to feature evergreens since they are about the only sign of plant life this time of year in the midwestern US.  I also wanted to embrace modern shapes, and lately I have been thinking of doing something with a “Flying Geese” motif.  After some very rough sketches, I sat down to draft and eventually landed on this design.  The flying geese are paper pieced in wedges, with each triangle growing smaller as it reaches the top of the tree.  The Wedges are then joined with the background pieces to construct the overall pattern for the design.

Solstice Trees Line Drawing

Solstice Trees Line Drawing

Once the line drawing was done, I moved to color options.  I started with a standard landscape color scheme with green trees and blue sky, but quickly abandoned it.

Solstice Mini Quilt with "Standard" Color Scheme

Solstice Mini Quilt with “Standard” Color Scheme

Then I decided to try something monochromatic.

Solstice Mini Quilt in a Monochromatic Color Scheme

Solstice Mini Quilt in a Monochromatic Color Scheme

Then I went with something more high contrast and modern.

Solstice Mini Quilt in High contrast Modern Color Scheme

Solstice Mini Quilt in High contrast Modern Color Scheme

Finally, I realized that since I am thinking of this quilt as a celebration of Solstice, maybe I should embrace a dark background.

Solstice Mini Quilt with a Dark Background

Solstice Mini Quilt with a Dark Background

This is where I was wanting to go with project.  With a general color scheme decided, I went to raid the stash.  I had quite a few low volume prints and batiks in pale greys and blues, but the darker fabric proved more challenging.  In an effort to decrease her stash, my mom had given me pretty much free reign in her collection.  That is where I came across this fabulous piece of Hoffman woodblock print.  The photographs just don’t do this fabric justice- the color variation is delightfully subtle with a wide range of hues that played nicely with the low volume fabrics for the trees.

Solstice Quilt Fabric Selection

Solstice Quilt Fabric Selection

The block design for this quilt is about 18″ so I printed it out over several sheets of paper, taped them together, and cut out the pattern pieces.

Solstice Mini Quilt Paper Pattern Pieces

Solstice Mini Quilt Paper Pattern Pieces

I paper pieced the tree wedges and laid them out with the background pieces so I could keep all of the pieces in their appropriate orientations.

Solstice Mini Quilt with "Tree" wedges assembled

Solstice Mini Quilt with “Tree” wedges assembled

I assemble the quilt top by first joining each tree to the background piece to its right, and then sewing all of those pieces together.

Solstice Mini Quilt Top

Solstice Mini Quilt Top

I almost went with a single piece of fabric for the back of the quilt, but decided at the last minute to mix it up just a little bit.  I decided to echo the idea of the evergreen tree on the back of the quilt as well.  I cut unequally sized triangles from some of the low volume fabrics used on the front, and stitched them together to form a larger triangle.  Once this was inserted into the quilt back, it creates another version of an abstract evergreen tree.

Solstice Quilt Back View

Solstice Quilt Back View

The quilting design proved to be more of a challenge.  Since I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired, I printed off a few copies of my line drawings and started sketching some of my ideas.  At first I thought about doing straight horizontal lines.

Horizontal Quilting Design

Horizontal Quilting Design

Then I considered echoing the shapes of the trees.

Echo Quilting Design

Echo Quilting Design

Then I started thinking about doing some free motion designs.

Freemotion Quilting Designs

Free-motion Quilting Designs

Free-motion quilting is one of my great weaknesses, so I was a little hesitant.  I have only ever experimented using scraps of fabric and batting, so this was the first time for doing any of this type of work on something “real.”  Of all my possible quilting designs, I liked the swoops in the trees and the circles on lines in the background the best.  I took a chance on free-motion, and I think the swoops in the triangle of the trees and the wavy lines in the snow are coming close to being ok.  However, I wish I had practiced a lot more on quilting circles before attempting the background design.  I almost ripped it out to try again, but I decided to leave it.  I think I’ll keep this quilt as-is to serve as a “base line” piece.  In the coming year, one of my major goals is to improve my free-motion quilting, so hopefully I can come back to this quilt in a year and marvel at my improvement.  We all have to start somewhere!

Winter Solstice Quilt

Winter Solstice Quilt

Quilt Stats

Title:  Solstice Trees

Size:  17.5″x17.5″

Techniques:  Paper Piecing, Standard Piecing

Quilting:  Machine Free-Motion Quilting on a Bernina 1008

Fabrics:  Background-Hoffman woodblock print,  Trees and Ground- low volume prints and batiks

Batting: Warm and White cotton batting

Thread:  Pieced with Gutermann Mara 100 in grey, Quilted with cotton machine quilting thread in white and navy

Binding: Bias made from the background fabric- cut at 2″, machine stitched to the front, hand stitched on the back

What would I do differently?  Oh my goodness do I ever need to work on free-motion quilting!  Otherwise, I think this quilt would look great with the background also quilted in white, just like the trees.  I think it would look like snow falling amongst the trees.  I also may have left the background a single fabric- I wasn’t happy with the dark thread on the white tree shape.  However, I really liked how the white quilting showed on the back of the quilt.

Have a happy Solstice!

 

I am linking this post to Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Show off Saturday at Sew Can She, and A Very Merry Happy Holiday Linky Party at Quiltville’s Quips & Snips.  Please stop by to see all of the beautiful work everyone is producing!

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