October 28, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival

I enjoy the Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted twice yearly by Amy Ellis at Amy's Creative Side.  For my second entry in this fall's festival, I am offering my Ode To Joy quilt:

I originally blogged about this quilt here.  The quilt is inspired by Beethoven's 9th Symphony, which in turn incorporates Friedrich Schiller's "An die Freude," or "Ode to Joy."  I incorporated text from the poem in multiple ways, and the paper-pieced musical notes spell out the first part of Beethoven's theme.  The fabrics are primarily Denyse Schmidt's Chicopee and Tim Holtz's Eclectic Elements, plus some custom fabric from Spoonflower featuring scans from the choral score.  

See my original blog post for more information about the design of this quilt, and more photos.

Thanks to Amy for hosting the festival!

October 24, 2014

New Star Rising

I recently finished a repeat version of a quilt I made a couple of years ago.  The first version was shown at the inaugural Quiltcon, and did well there, which was quite a surprise.  It also sold, which was another surprise.  Since it did so well and was no longer in my possession, I decided to make one to keep.


I quickly settled on a couple of Parson Gray fabrics for the rust and white stars.  For the background, I decided to try a chambray.  The golden yellow fabric for the transparency, though, took quite a while to find.  I tried out several fabrics in mock-ups (sorry, maquettes) like these:

Some were the wrong hue; some worked to create the transparency effect but the fabric design was not to my taste.  I finally found an In The Beginning fabric that seemed just right (the one on the left above).

The background fabric is Robert Kaufman's Nep Chambray in Indigo.  It is a navy/cream cross weave, with flecks of red and gold here and there.

It has a bit of a loose weave, so I got concerned when I read abour Rachel's experience with Essex linen.  I had already cut the pieces, though, so I forged ahead.  I didn't experience much unraveling until I started sewing rows together, then I got nervous.  I ended up placing dots of Fray Check every few inches along the straight seam allowances.  And as you can see, I quilted it quite heavily too.

I quilted the background in the same design I used in the original quilt, but I did the stars differently this time.  For the white stars, I did a point-to-point design:

For the large star, I marked two consecutive stars inside, similar to a Rising Star quilt block, then used different fills in each area.

I filled the outer section of the star with feathers.

For the backing fabric, I wanted something bright and multicolored, to contrast with the front.  I chose a Laura Gunn fabric, and added some Parson Gray stripes with a little bit of BasicGrey trim.

The colors in the stripes don't really match the rest of the quilt -- what I thought was navy in online images is actually charcoal -- but I think it still works.  The label is pieced in.  I'm quite pleased with how well the stripes matched up.  The binding is a Laura Gunn Painters Canvas.

I finished the quilt shortly before we took a family trip for our school's fall break.  I packed along the quilt and got a few of these photos at a North Carolina campground.

That was a couple of weeks ago.  It has taken a while to get the additional photos for this post, because on the last day of our trip, we went whitewater rafting on the Nantahala River, and I came home with a broken ankle.  That has slowed down both my photography and my quilting.  I am thankful it is a simple fracture with no surgery required.

I was motivated to get this posted in time for Blogger's Quilt Festival; I'm also linking up with crazy mom quilts for Finish It Up Friday.

Update 1/30/2018: A pattern for this quilt is now available as a PDF download in my Craftsy shop.

October 1, 2014

More background musings

In my previous post, I asked about background fabrics for my pickle dish quilt.  Thanks to everyone who responded!  I got quite a variety of opinions, with no clear consensus -- which leads me to think they are all decent choices.  JanineMarie suggested I mock up a larger number of blocks, so I did a (very rough!) copy and paste in Photoshop, and filled in some of my background ideas.

The Aqua Patina from Carrie Bloomston's Paint was one of my early favorites, but looking at it this way, I think it may be too dark for me.  (Of course it is difficult to judge accurately from on-screen images.)
Carrie Bloomston - Paint

I still like Amy Butler's Soul Blossoms print too, although it may be too bright if this image is accurate:
Amy Butler - Soul Blossoms
I haven't given up on this BasicGrey fabric either, although it will be months before it will be available (it will be months before I get all those arcs assembled too!):
BasicGrey - Fresh Cut

But I am starting to think about other options.  My daugher and I happened to go on a small road trip last weekend.  We were able to drop into a couple of quilt shops, but I didn't find any of the fabrics on my short list.  We did find one that looked really good in the shop next to my arcs, but the mock-up tells me this is not the look I am hoping for.

Beth Studley - Henna Medallion
One of the shops had some Cotton + Steel fabrics.  I liked the mint color in a few of the fabrics, but none of the prints in their stock seemed suitable.  After I got home I found the Moonlit Arrows and thought that might work.  I do like this one, but I'd prefer a print with a less regular pattern.  I like that the cream breaks up the mint and helps it read lighter.

 Rashida Coleman Hale - Moonlit
I stopped in one of our local shops too, and found a couple of fabrics in just the colors I was hoping to find, but one print was too busy and the other too plain.  Both were from Moda's Spring House collection by Stephanie Ryan.  At home I did an online search for this line, and found another print from the collection that I'm liking a lot.  I think I can trust the colors since I've seen the companion fabrics in the store, and I like the randomness of the design and that the cream helps lighten it.  I just don't know how well I've represented the scale in my mock-up.  This one is getting hard to find, but there are a few online shops that have it in stock -- and a couple even have it on sale.

Stephanie Ryan - Spring House Blossom
I've also found a number of mottled near-solids that might work as a lighter alternative to the Carrie Bloomston above.  There's Moda Grunge Basics in Aqua, Spring House Wave, Marcia Derse's Pallette, and others.  These are all pretty similar, so I'm only showing one below.  To make the best choice between them would probably require seeing the fabrics in person.

Marcia Derse - Pallette

As you can see, I'm leaning towards mint green.  But here are a couple of other options that stay with the pink and blue:

Sarah Jane - Wee Wander, Meandering in Seafoam

Sarah Jane - Wee Wander, Meandering in Petal

I've got plenty of time before I will need the background fabric, but I know fabrics don't stay in stock forever.  I believe there are four or five among the above selections that I would be happy with, though.

In the meantime, I'm putting the finishing touches on another quilt.  I hope to have photos of that quilt to share soon.

I'm linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WiP Wednesday.