February 21, 2023

"Let Every Instrument Be Tuned For Praise"

The music minister at our church retired last year. Billy Orton served for 23 years as Minister of Music and Worship at First Baptist Church of Huntsville, Alabama; I was privileged to serve under his direction in both choir and orchestra for that entire time. To honor his service and retirement, I made a quilt for Billy and his wife Jane.

The quilt uses the church's logo appliqued on a linen background.

In the lower right of the quilt, I quilted a silhouette based on a photo I took during choir rehearsal a few years ago.

This is the photo I used for the silhouette; this image also appears on the quilt label.

The backing and binding are from a Tim Holtz print which has colors similar to both colors of the church logo. There are music notes incorporated in this print as well. I used fussy cuts from this fabric for some of the applique pieces too, in both colors.

I generally avoid photographing quilts in bright sun, especially at noon, but for this quilt midday sun worked best to highlight the quilting.

This photo, taken in morning shade, has more even lighting but the quilting does not show as well. 

I've pieced smaller versions of this logo into mini quilts before (see here and at the end of this post), but applique seemed easier at this scale. I had the logo printed on 36"x48" paper at a local office supply store and cut the pattern from that. I used raw edge applique and added a minimum of quilting inside the shapes.

For the background quilting, I divided the space to mimic stained glass, as in the logo.

I titled the quilt "Let Every Instrument Be Tuned For Praise," using a phrase from the hymn "When In Our Music God Is Glorified."

A glamour shot with a glimpse of the back combined with the front:

My wife and I met up with Billy and Jane recently to deliver the quilt and catch up with each other. I believe they were genuinely thrilled with the quilt.

February 1, 2023

Kaleidoscope Star

I had been tossing around an idea of using stripes in a Lone Star quilt when Alison Glass's Kaleidoscope Stripes were released. They seemed a great fit for what I had in mind.

I designed this quilt to take advantage of the Kaleidoscope fabrics. Because of the scale of the stripes, I chose relatively large diamonds (3.5" finished width), producing a star 68 inches across. With the borders, the quilt is about 85 inches square.

I used strip piecing methods to piece the star, alternating between strips cut across the width of the fabric with strips cut lengthwise, so that the stripes go in alternate directions within a strip set.

The background fabric is Essex Speckle Yarn Dyed in Black.  (That's not dust in the photos, that's the speckles which are woven into the fabric.)

I knew quilting with black thread would not show up well on the black fabric. I used iridescent thread (Superior Glitter 109) for selected features, and did additional quilting with black thread anyways.

The quilting is hard to capture in photos, but this view gives an idea of where I used the iridescent thread:

Here's a detail showing the quilting in the border:

The backing fabric is a Ruby Star Society sateen. The dark background and bright accent colors work well with the front of the quilt. The binding is a Kaleidoscope solid.

I didn't get quite the effect I was hoping for with the stripes -- I think a more uniform stripe, or fussy cutting of these, might work better. But I'm still happy with the bright and cheery look of the quilt.