Blogger’s Quilt Festival – Modern Quilt Entry: Embers

17 05 2015

For the first time ever, I’m able to participate in the Blogger’s Quilt Festival, hosted by Amy’s Creative Side. It’s been a very good year for me to be finishing projects. For the Modern Quilt Category, I am submitting Embers: Embers - Front

Embers
75″ X 75″

I started piecing the blocks for this top just as Swoon fervor was quieting down, in August of 2013. I re-drafted the block, bringing the finished size to 16″, down from the 24″ called for by the pattern. I wanted more blocks, and more variety in fabric. I’d decided early on that the blocks would all have some combination of pink, yellow, and orange. I also knew that I’d use Kona Coal as my background fabric – it’s my go-to neutral, and I loved the way the colors glowed against it.

I pieced as I felt the urge, and had a completed quilt top by November of 2013.

The top languished from that point on. I’d been frustrated by attempts to do FMQ on my home machine, and didn’t feel any ambition to get past the mental block.

This year, however, I am following along with the 2015 Finish Along, and A Lovely Year of Finishes. Just the impetus I needed. In February, I made arrangements to use a friend’s mid-arm machine, and FINALLY quilted this up.

Embers - Detail

I decided to play with the quilting, and tried a meandering flame design.

Embers - Back

The backing ended up a touch more scrappy than I planned – I’d ordered the same print in two colors. Upon receiving the yardage, I discovered that the red was actually in two separate cuts. Rather than try to match the pattern, I decided to piece in a panel of orange fabric.

The backing didn’t quilt up nicely – I ended up with a sizable pucker that I didn’t find until I’d finished quilting. I used a black batting, and the batting was very heavily textured. The texture resulted in a lot of friction, and the batting clung to the backing, even on the frame.

So, the quilt isn’t perfect, but I’m very happy with it. I learned a lot about my batting choices, and about quilting on a mid-arm. I gained a lot of confidence, and feel like I might be ready to tackle more complicated quilting.

AmysCreativeSide.com




Urban Worm Completed

27 09 2011

Urban Worm has been completed! Which means that my Rock Valley Modern Quilt Guild ‘Habitat Challenge’ is done. Whew!

I should probably be mortified to tell you all just how glad I am this project is done. Seriously, folks, there were moments that I wanted to just burn this pile and walk away. Mostly because I just wasn’t invested in the fabric. I felt obligated to complete the project because we’d signed up for the challenge, but also because we’d been given the fabric.

Then there was the whole challenge portion of this. I’m totally not in love with the Habitat line. Not even close. It’s got some interesting prints in it, but overall… Not my bag. And I was working with a whole freaking line! I just don’t do that. I’ve only deliberately bought most of the prints in a line once…

All that said, once I finally buckled down and decided that I would work on this particular project, did I make this mini-quilt easy on myself? Nope. Not. At. All.

I decided that I would hand applique a ‘worm’ made up of one quarter Dresden Plates. Then, once the top was done, nothing would do but for me to find one yard of just the right marigold color for the backing. On top of that, I need to get perl cotton in at least four colors to do some chunky, sashiko-style quilting.

Thankfully, I had the top done by the time we were due to to go to the Wisconsin Quilt Expo and I was able to find both the perfect color backing and perl cotton in four colors that were just off enough to bring some more interest to the top.

The backing ended up being a Kaffe Fassett cross-weave cotton, which has a really loose weave. I like it for the texture that it added to the quilt as a whole, but I don’t think I’ll ever elect to use it again. It’s a little pricey, and I don’t like the looseness of the weave.

The sashiko-style hand-quilting seemed to take forever.  I don’t regret doing it, really. I think it gives a warmth and rustic feel to the quilt, that is desperately needed to alleviate the otherwise unrelenting gray.

Overall, I’m very happy with the final product. I wish I hadn’t procrastinated as long on it. It really made Urban Worm drag on when it didn’t need to. I still have to wash the quilt; we’ll see how it turns out then.