Alphabet Soup – New York Beauty

Alphabet soup? This post is about TBT, OMG, QAL, and BOM – appropriately called alphabet soup.

TBT stands for Throwback Thursday that Sandra Walker of mmm! Quilts hosts the first Thursday of every month. Quoted from Sandra’s post, it is “where we pull out, photograph, and tell the stories of quilts or quilted projects we’ve made before our blogging life! “.

My TBT this month is a New York beauty wall quilt I made in 2009 for a friend’s 40th birthday. I drafted this simplest version of NY beauty on paper, scanned and made as many copies as needed. The middle curve with triangles is paper pieced. At that time I didn’t do curved piecing – or I might’ve tried and given up . I cut the two outer pieces – the concave and convex quarter circles – a lot bigger than needed, glued the paper-pieced unit to them, and stitched on top like applique. I used a number of reds, oranges and yellows from my stash. Some are batik, others are prints and some are tone-on-tone blenders. The quilting is quite minimal – this was before I started free-motion quilting.


Have you seen these two gorgeous quilts – the first by Cheryl Brickey of Meadow Mist Designs and the second by Paige Alexander of Quilted Blooms? Cheryl and Paige are hosting a Quilt-along (QAL) called Modern Plus Sampler using blocks/patterns from their book. I started my quilt a few months ago but somewhere along the line fell off the tracks. My One Monthly Goal (OMG) for March is to finish the quilt top in time (March 28th) for the parade of quilts for this sampler. OMG is a challenge hosted every month by Patty of Elm Street Quilts.

My Modern Plus sampler in progress. I still need to make the big plus and the blocks inside the big plus and put them all together. The big plus will be either hot pink or dark teal. The background for the inside blocks will be white, and I will be using various pink scraps for the blocks.
My other QAL I’m doing is the Daisy Chain mystery by Alison of Little Bunny Quilts. The first set of sewing instructions came out on Monday and I’m all caught up. Not too late if you want to get started. The cutting and sewing went together quite fast.
Next on the agenda is my March challenge for Island Batik Ambassadors. The theme is Vintage Reimagined. I’m making a log cabin with a surprise twist. Here’s what it looks like so far. Stay tuned for the finished top.
I will be part of the “Be A Diamond” blog hop hosted by Carol of Just Let Me Quilt. Working on the design and gathering fabric for a brand new diamond quilt!

Linking:
Throwback Thursday at MMM Quilts
OMG
Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation
TGIFF – hosted by Faith and Fabric Design
Finished or not Friday @ Busy Hands Quilts
Whoop! Whoop Friday

Daisy Chain Mystery – fabric pull

Are you doing the Daisy Chain Mystery QAL hosted by Alison of Little Bunny Quilts? I’m so excited to join in.

The best part of starting a new quilt – especially a mystery quilt – is to rummage through your stash and pull out the fabric. I had fun pulling out all my large scale prints and finding matching accent and backgrounds.

Alison’s fabric requirements are quite flexible. Head over to her blog for detailed “clues” on how to pick your fabric – scale of prints, contrast, variety, etc. She is making two quilts along with us. Her fabric pull is a good clue as well.

This is my fabric pull. The bright colorful butterfly print is Timeless Treasures Monterrey – Butterfly wings by Chong A Hwang. The mottled fuchsia/magenta is Timeless Treasures Studio-C basics in lipstick (I think). I have an assortment of blues and teals for the coordinating fabrics – most of them are from FQ bundles of Alison Glass Sun print 2018 or Tula Pink True Colors. The background is Kona white.

I wanted to make the twin size but the butterfly fabric is just short of the 1.5 yards needed for twin. Alison has an answer to that too in her blog – She says make a smaller size and then add borders or additional blocks. I may just do that.

Looking forward to a colorful and fun mystery quilt!

See what the other featured bloggers have picked for the QAL:
Christina @ Christina’s Handicrafts
Gail @ Quilting Gail
Gene @ Gene Black
Jessica @ Desert Bloom Quilting
Kate @ Life in Pieces
Michelle @ Creative Blonde
Pamela @ PamelaQuilts
Stephanie @ Quilt’n Party
Vasudha @ Storied Quilts

Framed flowers – blocks from the past

What are blocks from the past? Just an euphemism for UFOs – unfinished objects that have been long forgotten but have recently been put into a beautiful quilt. It’s also a reference to how my tastes in quilting have changed over the years. I have a number of UFOs that are based on more traditional blocks and traditional fabric that don’t appeal to me anymore. I’ve been taking them out and trying to finish them – sometimes as is but sometimes I try to change a few elements, add a wonky sashing or an off-grid layout. This quilt is one of them. 

I’ve been part of an online quilting forum – formerly part of GardenWeb, but now part of Houzz.com – for many years. The wonderful quilters in the forum are responsible for almost everything I know about quilting but they are also responsible of most of my UFOs :-). The participation has dwindled over the years but I always find inspiration, suggestions and fresh new ideas in the group.

I won these blocks in a block lotto in 2009. Since then we went through a remodel and a move to a new home, and I had “lost” these blocks in the sewing room. The pattern is called hole in the barn door. The “hole” nicely frames various red floral prints. There were 20 blocks. I put them together 4×5 and added a border that echoes the “barn door” part of the block pattern.

I did an overall flowery, swirly design for the center and a swirl chain along the borders. I wanted the quilting to blend into the center flower fabric – so I used a red thread for quilting.  

The quilt goes to my aunt, Kanaka. I was able to give it to her when I saw her last month on an unexpected trip to Chennai. My aunts were a big part of my childhood – each of them has influenced me and made me what I am today. 



Linking to all the usual linky parties:
Main Crush Monday @ Cookingup Quilts
Freemotion by the river
Midweek Makers
Let’s Bee Social

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