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

Transparency in Silk

IMG_0185.jpgYvonne Fuchs from Quilting Jetgirl hosted a quilt along called Wayward transparency. Thank you, Yvonne, for this awesome pattern.

IMG_0130I picked up some silk fabric on my recent India trip and decided to use them for this quilt. The colors are not exactly light-medium-dark of the same color but they seem to work well together and give a transparency effect.

This is not my first time working with silk, so I knew this is not going to be easy. I used a lightweight interfacing (Heat’n Bond Non-Woven Lightweight Fusible Interfacing) to back the silk. With the interfacing, it has almost the same weight as quilting cotton. It was easy to cut and sew for the most part. However, with right sides together, the silk is more slippery and does not “stick” together as cotton does. I had to pin a lot during piecing as well as for matching seams.  Also, I had to remember to turn down the heat on the iron – use the silk setting or slightly warmer. I scorched a couple of HSTs initially but fortunately, I had enough fabric to make up for them. I love how this turned out.

The silk has directional color – the warp and weft threads are slightly different shades. This is quite common in Indian silks, especially saris. This is particularly apparent in the dark background fabric. Sometimes it looks like dark coffee brown (indoors) and sometimes dark cherry-purple (outdoors). I did not take this into account in the piecing. I’m amazed how different it looks from different angles. I’m not quilting this yet. Waiting on getting better with my skills on my new mid-arm quilting machine.

Linking up One monthly goal finished, Wayward transparency, Let’s Bee Social and Finish it up Friday at Crazy mom quiltsOne Monthly Goal
Wayward Transparency Quilt Along