The Manhattan Quilt

First things first: A big thank you to everyone who celebrated my 2-year anniversary with me last week – you visited my blog, left a lovely comment and started following my blog. The winner of my blog-anniversary giveaway is Barbara W. Congratulations, Barbara. I will mail you the parcel this week.

For Throwback Thursday hosted by Andree at Quilting & Learning – What a Combo! , I want to show the Manhattan quilt. I made this quilt for my friend, Indu, who lives in New York and thinks that the Big Apple is the only city worth living in :-). Every time I visit NYC (my favorite city, btw), she takes us around to the most interesting places, hole-in-the-wall joints as well as Michelin star restaurants with unbelievably awesome food, interesting places of Hollywood fame or notoriety, and everything in between.

This quilt was also a turning point in my quilting career. This was probably the second quilt that I did free motion quilting on my domestic machine. I went all out with a Manhattan skyline, a bridge, and countless feathers and swirls. Just loved the creative process of FMQ and decided to splurge on a long-arm at the International Quilt festival in Houston. My next major quilt after this, the Magic Triangles for my dad, was quilted on a long arm. Similar designs but different machine. Since then FMQ has been a big part of all my work.

I used the cool colors from a FQ bundle of Blueberry Park by Karen Lewis for Robert Kaufmann, Kona White background and a blue and white striped binding. Since I quilted this on a domestic, I quilted them in sections – the center diagonal and the two corner triangles – and put them together with a white sashing in the front and the striped fabric in the back. It makes the back interesting as well. The two fabrics in the back are both from Joann’s. One is a blue world map fabric and the other has the constellations. The pictures were taken in Bar Harbor, Maine, where our families met for a week-long vacation that summer.

April One Monthly Goal (OMG): For the record, my March OMG was to finish the Modern Plus sampler quilt top. I could not finish it. I made good progress but my Bali Sunrise took up so much time, I could not finish my OMG. For April, I want to finish piecing this quilt top. I found the blocks stashed in a shoe box when I was “cleaning” my sewing room. This is probably from 2 or 3 years ago. The pattern is Summer in the Park from a Missouri Star Quilt video. I used a number of green strips and a gold/orange floral print on a white background. This is a really cool pattern that goes together quite fast. I can’t remember why it remains a UFO. My goal for April is to at least piece the top.

Like magic! 15 flower basket blocks, 20 pieces per block, one AccuQuilt Go! and three different dies – ready in 30 minutes! This is for my April Island Batik Ambassador challenge.
I will be part of the Be A Diamond blog hop hosted by Carol of Just Let Me Quilt. I have designed a new pattern and the fabric. Hoping to start construction this weekend.

Link-ups:
One monthly Goal
Throwback Thursdays
Let’s Bee Social
Midweek Makers
Wednesday Weight loss
Needle and Thread Thursday
TGIFF at Slice of Pi
Whoop Whoop Friday
Friday Foto fun
Finished or not Friday
Freemotion Mavericks

Petunia House, Bar Harbor, Maine.

Wedding bells

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This quilt is a major milestone in my free-motion quilting journey. The quilting is inspired by this Angela Walters video where she quilts a bear quilt for Tula Pink. She does a variety of  dense designs for the background, some medium-scale wavy lines for the bears and some large feathers going in and out behind the bear blocks.

small_IMG_0791I quilted simple wavy lines in the colored diamonds, some tight border designs in the area between the diamonds and a few large feathers to the right and the bottom in the wide negative space.

I already blogged about the quilt top here where I called it stalactites. I’m renaming it to wedding bells. It reminds me of beautiful, festive Indian weddings with colorful and fragrant flower garlands decorating the hall, and men and women milling around in colorful Indian attire.

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This is my second entry to The Blogger’s Quilt Festival hosted by Amy of Amy’s Creative side. My first entry is Magic Triangles.

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Linking Blogger’s quilt festival and all the usual linky parties.

Main Crush Monday

Linky Tuesday @ Freemotion by the river

Midweek Makers

Let’s Bee Social

Needle and Thread Thursday

Can I get a whoop whoop

TGIFF hosted this week by What a Hoot

Finished or not Friday

Friday Fotofun @ PoweredByQuilting

Citrus Plus

IMG_0943_editedWhen Sandra of mmmquilts announced a quilt-along for her Plus+ Playtime quilt, I knew I had to quilt along. It is such a fun, clever pattern of a string of pluses on one shadow plus, and looked simple enough to squeeze in between my other work-in-progress projects. Besides, Sandra is a lovely person – the best of quilt blog-land, and she has been such a great cheerleader throughout this QAL. And, she is dangling some carrots for a finish this week!img_0618.jpg

This is a small enough quilt that I could find several possibilities in my stash. I settled on a very simple combo – Kona oasis and Kona coal for the background – I had got a yard each two last year without any specific plan. They have this deep, saturated color and very attractive. I had a chunk of Blueberry Park fabric leftover after my Stalactites quilt (renamed, finished blog post to follow soon) and the Spiral Nova. The bright reds, oranges and yellows pops out over the calm and sedate oasis and coal backgrounds. I name this Citrus Plus – checkout the picture above with our orange tree in the background.

IMG_0934This quilt went so fast. I cut and pieced most of it in two or three sessions. Sandra had some neat ideas for quilting. My initial plan was to just do a simple meander in the background and some straight quilting in the pluses. I used a high loft polyester batting I had from long ago. I loaded it on my frame and the quilt seemed to have a mind of its own. By this point, I’d decided that the quilt will go on the blank wall above the fire place in our bedroom (Yes, we have a fire place in the bedroom in Texas and no, we’ve never used it :-).

Since this was going to be a wall quilt and not meant to cuddle under, I decided to do some heavy quilting – at least heavy by my standards.

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I quilted with a ruler outlining each of the pluses and about one inch inside. The background is conveniently separated by the chains of pluses. For the top area, I just went with some tight swirls and pebbles.

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For the second area I tried a chain of swirls from left to right and filled the rest of the area with more swirls and echoes. I love how this turned out.

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For the third area I tried a large feather but that didn’t go very well and ended up looking like the slush leftover from hurricane Harvey :-). Lesson learned: stick with a plan, don’t just wing it while the machine is running.

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I had run out of steam by the time I reached the bottom. I just went with a few wavy lines. Wavy lines,  I’ve found, are the best texture you can get for very little effort and skill. Given that the background and shadow plus are about the same value with not much contrast, I thought it needed a bright binding to define the boundaries. IMG_0946 (1)

Citrus Plus
54″X 54″
Fabric: Kona cotton Coal, Kona cotton Oasis, Blueberry Park by Karen Lewis (warm colors)
Batting: high loft polyester
Thread: Aurifil 2021 for piecing, Isacord Smoke and Isacord White for quilting

Linking up to Sandra’s linky party for Plus+Playtime Finishes.

Needle and Thread Thursday


Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts