October 24, 2022

Cosmic Curves

My latest quilt was inspired by the iconic mosaic at First Baptist Church in Huntsville, Alabama.

I designed the quilt using computer drawing software, drawing various large ellipses and capturing their overlaps. The resulting pattern shapes were printed on 36"x72" paper by PDF Plotting.

The fabrics in the quilt are all yarn dyes. I used a number of Allison Glass Kaleidoscope and Kaffe Fassett shot cottons. There are also two Kona Sheen (Dazzling Blue and Green Shimmer), plus Essex Speckle in Aqua; these provide some textural contrast.

(When I first saw Kona Sheen in a shop I thought there were metallic threads interwoven in the fabric; they are actually standard Kona solids printed with a metallic overlay.)

The quilt is finished with a facing, using a tutorial by Audrey Esarey at Cotton & Bourbon.

I generally use wool batting for my quilts -- I like how the puffiness gives definition to the quilting. But for this quilt, because of the need for heavy pressing to complete the facing, I wanted to avoid wool. Instead, I used two layers of cotton batting (Quilters Dream Select). I like how well the quilting shows; the drawback is the quilt feels relatively stiff.

I quilted different designs in each segment of the quilt.

The backing, facing, and hanging sleeve are an ombre by P&B.

The mosaic at First Baptist Church was completed in 1973 and depicts the Cosmic Christ as described in Revelation 1.  The original installation did not weather well, and a complete restoration was begun in 2017; the restoration was completed just this year.

The mosaic is sometimes affectionately referred to as Eggbeater Jesus.

While the artwork of the mosaic is based on Biblical references, influence of the Rocket City's ties to NASA and the space program are apparent as well, as are the influences of the time (1960s-70s).

June 26, 2022

For Taylor and Noah

 Our son Noah and his bride Taylor were married last Friday.

I made a quilt for them using colors found in their registry. A double wedding ring design seemed a natural; the color placement was inspired by a small graphic icon I saw online. I tried to keep it clean and simple based on my impression of what they might like.

The fabrics are Michael Miller Cotton Couture in Soft White, Ice Blue, and Delft.

I quilted a monogram in the center of the quilt. We were pleasantly surprised to see a similarity with the wedding cake -- this was totally unplanned.

I tried to quilt some large designs in the background. The intended diamond does not show as well as I'd like; I think parallel lines would have been a better fill.

The backing is a Mammoth Flannel plaid. The batting is Dream Wool; I'm hoping this is a warm, snuggly quilt.

We are very happy and proud for Noah and Taylor as they start their life together, and wish them much happiness.

June 8, 2022

A Yellowstone quilt

I used a set of Yellowstone National Park panels and added some of my own photos printed on fabric to create this quilt.

I had the photos printed at Spoonflower. The solids are various yarn dyes and cross weaves.

The backing is Mammoth flannel, and I used wool batting. This should be a warm quilt.

Here are individual views of each panel:

The hanging sleeve uses the same flannel fabric as the backing. When making the sleeve, I was concerned the creases might not hold well, so I marked the center line before folding in to meet it, then I stitched down the outer creases not far from the edge. I could have used a basting stitch for this step and removed them later, but I chose to leave the stitches in as sort of a topstitch. It seemed helpful when hand stitching the sleeve to the quilt, too.

I like the weight the flannel backing gives to the quilt, and the plaid seems fitting to the National Parks theme. I've used Mammoth flannel as the backing of each of my National Parks quilts.

February 15, 2022

A special memory t-shirt quilt

I sang in choir with Joe Z for about 30 years. Sadly, Joe passed away in 2019. His widow approached me to make a quilt using t-shirts from the choir's Christmas programs.

She wanted the quilt to be king size, but did not have a large number of shirts. I suggested alternating hourglass blocks; we also included a couple of photos which were digitally printed at Spoonflower, and added a wide border. The quilt is 110 inches square.

Here's a photo of the Living Christmas Tree from First Baptist Church in Huntsville, as incorporated in the quilt. I'm in this photo somewhere, as is Joe.

This was a large, heavy quilt. I had it longarm quilted by Sweet Home Quilting.

Appropriately, the backing has both Christmas trees and music notes.

This was a Christmas gift for the couple's daughter. I hope it brings the family many good memories. 

September 13, 2021

Flannel & Blue Jeans

 I just finished a quilt using Mammoth flannels:

This quilt was inspired by a quilt made by Sarah Cooper (@coopcrafts). I used 40+ different flannels and added squares of denim from old blue jeans.

The quilt is made up entirely of squares. Each square was cut to 6 inches and sewn with a 1/2-inch seam allowance, so their finished size is 5 inches each.

The backing is Windham Seven Seas 108" fabric, and the binding is a Robert Kaufman chambray.

I quilted this on a longarm, renting time on an Innova machine at Sweet Home Quilting and Supplies.  I did all straight lines using a ruler, as I'm not confident yet with free motion on a longarm.  It took me three rental sessions to complete!

With wool batting and a flannel and denim top, at 95"x105", this is quite a heavy quilt, and hopefully warm too.

April 11, 2021

An Auburn "AU" quilt

As a graduate of Auburn University, and with my son currently enrolled, I decided to make an Auburn-themed quilt.

The entire quilt is made up of 6-inch squares.  I scaled up the logo using computer software and overlaid a grid; each square of the grid was then made into a paper-piecing pattern.

The border is also broken up into 6-inch squares; the orange stripe is 4 inches wide, and the navy and white stripes are each 1 inch wide.

For the backing I used Mammoth flannel.  The batting is wool, so this is a warm and cozy quilt.

The binding is a navy woven stripe.

I sized the quilt to fit on our son's bed.  I made matching pillow shams using an adapted version of this tutorial.

I also made a throw pillow using the backing flannel fabric, and quilted it by following the lines of the plaid.

For the quilt, I quilted a cross-hatch in the orange areas, beads in the white strips, and a spiral design in the background.

Believe it or not, my quilt was inspired by this improv quilt.  I originally considered using a similar improv technique for the AU logo, but in the end I chickened out and went with a more direct representation.  I'm not sure the improv approach would have worked well for a relatively simple image such as this logo.

Originally I had hoped to have this quilt completed in time for late fall football games, but when COVID changed everything I decided to take my time with this quilt. Maybe we'll be able to attend a game or two this year (our son's senior year).

War Eagle!