It’s called “Starburst” (pattern from the Missouri Quilt Company) but with this combination of fabrics in this particular layout you don’t really see the starburst, unfortunately. I’ve also mentioned earlier that the background fabric didn’t set up enough contrast, particularly with the paler batiks to highlight the starburst effect.
However, I’m happy with the finished quilt. The dark narrow border and binding help strengthen the contrast and the quilting design used draws a bit of attention to the diagonal lines.
The back, on the other hand, I think has stronger contrasts:
While the dark elements blend into the backing, the lighter “framing” makes the whole design come alive. So on the whole, I’d say the quilt worked out quite well. It’ll get added to the collection.
Now back to “Wind Waiting” – the pilots need quite a bit of thread painting – that’s up next.
Finally done – the binding turned out to be a very fiddly job – I decided in the end a single fabric binding would clash with the border no matter what fabric I chose because the gradation from the dark burgundy to golden yellow was so great. The solution: to have the binding mirror the border with the joins aligning as closely with the border slanting seams as I could manage it.
Finished Quilt Top
It’s taken three days of measuring, sewing, unpicking, re-sewing, to make the joins look continuous. I’ve done a pretty good job although close scrutiny would show I missed by a wee bit on some of the connections but hey, this is a quilt after all, so I decided to live with the minor imperfections that showed up when I was stitching the binding on the right side.
Binding – Detail
In the end I decided to piece a simple back since the front is so complex and for some reason (which I can’t explain) I thought placing the strip on one edge was what was called for. The binding I knew would also add some interest to the back.
Finished Quilt Back
I quilted using straight vertical and horizontal lines midway between the circles. So far, I haven’t quilted the border although that is still a possibility. It’s probably a tiny bit wide to leave unquilted. For now I’m putting the quilt aside to move on to other projects.
Just finished! Label and all. Took the better part of three days to quilt all the blocks. What I like about this embroidery is that it fills the block completely. In fact, after I pin basted the layers, I didn’t stitch in the ditch to tie the top / batting / backing together. I left the pins in and simply embroidered each block – 48 blocks, plus the borders (24 repeats) and corners (4). I used a 200 x 200 quilting hoop for the blocks, the grand endless hoop for the borders – I love using the endless hoop because I don’t have to remove the hoop from the machine, just move the quilt edge along after each embroidery (once I figure out where I want to position it for the placement I’m after). The borders go very quickly.
The backing started out with 2 1/2″ strips – sewn together in pairs – had I thought about it a bit more I’d have been better off using 4 1/2″ WOF cuts and cut the triangles from those – the diamonds would have stood out better. Not that there’s anything wrong with what I’ve done. I will have to try another quilt using half diamonds from a single fabric to see what that will turn out like.
This is quilt #9 for the showing at the end of August. I have time to make one more before I pack up my sewing room. I bought fabric last week –
My plan is to cut two 16″ WOF strips from the dark print and 1″ strips from the soft, pale blue/grey (which will give me 1/2″ inserts). I will do an improvisational strip like one I used on the back of an earlier quilt – but this time the strip will be much wider and will be the top of the quilt.
Quilt Back from Pick-up Sticks Quilt
I have been thinking about the back of the new quilt as well – I bought a couple of sets of fat quarters in shades of teal (dark and light) when I visited Keepsake Quilting two years ago – one of the sets includes just 6 pieces of fabric – that will be enough to do something within an overall backing fabric – no idea yet what colour the backing should be – somewhere in the teal family, I’m guessing, to go with the top. Tomorrow I will cut the fabrics for the top and begin piecing and see what I end up with.
I love starting new projects – I never quite know what I’m going to get.
Just finished piecing the centre portion of this quilt top. I will add 4″ borders in the off-white background fabric. I’ve got a medium/dark grey small print fabric for the backing – have no idea yet what kind of piecing I will do. I have plenty of left overs from the blocks (part of my Fossil Fern stash) so I will do something with it.
I saw photos of shadowed block quilts a while back – squares, rectangles… It was something I wanted to try. It’s a relatively simple pattern to figure out – I did deliberate a bit before deciding on that charcoal colour for the shadow. I auditioned dark reds, lighter greys, but this grey seemed to make the coloured blocks float which is the intention of this quilt idea.
Now to come up with something for the back of the quilt.
Just finished – the second charms quilt. The goal here was to use up more of the leftover charms from the first charms quilt. I had to add some strong batik 5″ blocks to those I was able to select from the charms packs because I didn’t have enough strong coloured ones otherwise. The strips came from my scrap boxes I didn’t need a lot of fabric (I chose all darker colours) – 1″ x 5″ strips (70 in all). The blocks were easy to assemble, deciding on an arrangement took a couple of days, first auditioning all 140 on the floor then tweaking the placement over a few days.
The big decision was whether to border the quilt in the off white fabric or to use the darker grey – I obviously chose the darker grey. Glad I did although the quilt would also be interesting with the background fabric as border – in which case, looking at the quilt now, I can see if I had done that I could have stuck one or two triangles in the border along with a couple of strips! Didn’t think of that at the time. Something to keep in mind for my next quilt.
The back uses some more charm pieces to make “flying geese” blocks. My pinterest feed had instructions for making the blocks – since I’d never tried them I thought this a good opportunity to have a go at some. In the photo you can’t really see the teal colour in the backing fabric but there is some. That was the reason I decided to border the strip with a strong turquoise. It does bring out blue in the backing.
My backing was wide enough that I was able to salvage almost enough fabric for 2 1/2″ binding strips (I had a bit of backing leftover which I also used and incorporated one orphan strip to complete the binding. It blends rather well with the whole).
That’s two completed quilts in four weeks. Now on to a quilted jacket/coat that I want to take to San Francisco in a couple of weeks.
Take knitting – I can’t leave the needles idle – finish one pair of socks, I have to start the next.
It’s become the same with quilting. One quilt finished, the next starts.
Here’s the one I’ve just begun:
I had a jelly roll of forty 2.5″ strips of batik fabrics in shades of blue / turquoise, I went to the stash to pick out some complementary fabrics in the same hues as well as some greens that would blend – from these I cut 2″ strips from the width of fabric.
Why 2″? Well, my idea was to build blocks from six strips of batik with a complementary background – I auditioned several solid colours, decided white created the liveliest contrast.
For a lap quilt I want a finished width of about 45″ – six standard 2.5″ strips would give me 12″ blocks (too large for my purposes). I wanted to end up with a 5 block X 7 block quilt so I needed blocks no larger than 9″. Six 2″ strips result in a 9″ finished block. So I trimmed the jelly roll strips to 2″, cut a bunch of 2″ white strips and started improvising.
10 blocks done – first I arranged them in rows with all the stripes in the same direction, but tried flipping a couple.
Then I took a photo from the end on:
Now that’s an interesting idea! Still a 5X7 quilt but with the columns having horizontal stripes and now maybe a contrasting vertical sashing.
That’s where I am at the moment – 10 blocks created, 25 to go….
Finished the quilt today. I wasn’t sure how to quilt it – initially I was planning on echoing the curves at 1/2″ intervals but the shape of the curves in each block is quite different and I thought the finished stitching wouldn’t resonate from one block to the next. So in the end I set up an open embroidery design (240 mm x 240 mm) which had to be embroidered using my 360/350 hoop which stitches half of the design, then gets turned 180 degrees and the second half of the design is stitched. By changing the top thread colour (I used a “blendable” thread) to blend with the predominant block fabric I was able to have the stitching present but not too dominant.
Happy with the finished quilt. Definitely got a lot of practice sewing curves – which is what I was going for.
Still enough fabric left from that set of batiks to make one, and maybe two, more quilts.
So many decisions – what colour for the background, how to arrange the coloured blocks, what width for the sashing, where to position the “floating” small blocks, what kind of design to use for the quilting, whether to quilt all the blocks or just some, what coloured thread – solid or variegated, same for all blocks or different, matching or contrasting, what colour for the binding, one colour or with an accent or two?
Improvisational quilting needs lots of decisions at each step of the process – that’s after deciding on the overall dimensions which affects the size of the individual elements, and how many will be needed.
That’s what I love about improvisation – I have no idea how my idea will turn out. The fun is building the quilt and seeing it unfold.
This quilt ended up with 154 quilted “blocks” quite a number of them partial blocks at the edges because having rotated the whole quilt 30 degrees the edges were on a 60 degree diagonal. Because I quilt in the hoop (using my embroidery machine) that was a lot of repetitive hooping – it took quite a bit of time.
I finished the quilt this morning. I’m happy with how it turned out – it’s a keeper. The colours coordinate with my bedroom decor, and it’s long enough to cover my toes when I pull it up to my shoulders.
Now to come with an idea for the remains of that fabric collection – I figure I have enough for at least three more quilts!
Oh, and here is the back:
Just finished piecing this top for a “modern” quilt. What makes a quilt “modern”? Bold colours, improvisational piecing, layout, asymmetric design….
These are the fabrics I originally bought for the 2015 Craftsy Block of the Month quilt that I was going to make along with Nancy (@ Sew With Vision) but truth be told, I don’t particularly like that BOM quilt and the thought of working on it for a year wasn’t appealing. So I started looking at photos of non-traditional quilts and decided this one would do for a start.
I pulled more fabric from my stash so I was working with 20 fabrics in all. The intention was to create a colour flow on the diagonal, with the entire set of coloured blocks also on a slight slant. To make the coloured blocks pop, I sashed them with the background fabric so the whole has the appearance of a stained glass window. The combination of large and small blocks also added contrast to the whole.
Now to come up with something interesting for the back. I’m thinking a crazy quilt strip would work with this piecing. We’ll see once I sit down with the fabrics (I have enough left for several more quilts!) what actually comes out. That’s the fun part of this kind of quilt-making – I never quite know what I’m going end up with – that’s what I think was wrong with the BOM quilt – I really don’t enjoy following a recipe – I will continue to download the instructions for the blocks to see what new techniques I might pick up, but I’m not going to make those pieced blocks.