Mini quilts – new and old

First things first – I was accepted as an Island Batik Ambassador for 2019! I received a whole bunch of goodies from Island Batik that I will blog about next month. There are many projects and activities planned using Island Batik fabric and products from their affiliates. Over the moon and the stars!

Burrowing Out

Recently, Curated Quilts put out a call for mini quilts for their next issue. The theme was curves and the color palette included some greens, teal, burgundy and fuchsia. This was my entry. It was not picked for publication but I’m glad I made this and submitted it. Click on the link above and see the incredibly awesome submissions. I’m not surprised at all that mine was not chosen. The picture above was taken indoors near a large window on a bright morning. The subtle shadows makes it look 3D.

This was my first ever curve piecing project and I decided to go improv! I dug through my stash and found a number of prints by Amy Butler, Alison Glass and Tula Pink that more or less fit the color scheme. Next, I layered two fabrics right sides up and cut a gentle curve free hand with a rotary cutter. With out pinning or glueing, I pieced them with a quarter inch seam – just go slow, stop every inch or so to re-position the fabric and use a short stitch length.

Then I repeated the gentle curves again layering with a white fabric. Picked white and print for alternate columns. I had to re-cut some curves to make it work and to fit within the size limit of 16″ square.

I initially wanted to make a rather complicated curved maze, but given the size limit and the size of my columns, I realized it would have to be very simple. At various points in the print columns, I removed a print fabric and replaced it with a piece of white of the same size and shape. It’s a good thing this is all improv and I didn’t have to match any points. I then pieced the curves and trimmed to 16″ X 16″.

Burrowing Out – Picture taken on a cloudy day outdoors.

I used two layers of wool batting to give it a lot of body. I first quilted along the boundary of the printed area to clearly define the hills (print) and valleys (white). Then, I quilted the white areas heavily to create the difference in texture. After a good bit of quilting, I trimmed again and sewed the binding.

The fuchsia “path” through the maze is a bias binding. I used a quarter inch wide fusible strip (Steam-a-seam) to attach first and them sewed it in using a applique stitch. I call it Burrowing out. When it was all done, it looked like an earthworm burrowing its way in the dirt. I was imagining a great labyrinth that could contain Minotaur but the earthworm won out in the end!

Triangle Reflection

While I am on the topic of mini quilts, I wanted to show a few I made from my pre-blogging days. I made this triangle mini several years – probably 2010 or maybe earlier. The triangles are just appliqued. My son, Vedul, loves this and has it on the wall in his room.

Lightning was made more recently. The yellow bias binding is appliqued to a black fat quarter. I made this to practice FMQ before I started quilting my dad’s quilt – Magic Triangles.

Match the Following

Match was a DREAMi (Drop Eveything And Make It!) from last year. I need to improve upon this pattern and write a tutorial someday …….

Also, this month I will be part of the Black & White Blog Hop organized by Carla of Creatin’ in the Sticks. The Blog hop runs Jan 21st-24th. Please come back to visit. This is a sneak peek of my finished quilt I will be sharing for the blog hop.The Blog hop runs Jan 21st-24th. Please come back to visit. This is a sneak peek of my finished quilt I will be sharing for the blog hop.


Linking to all my favorite Linky parties this week:
Main Crush Monday @ CookingUpQuilts
Linky Tuesday @ Freemotion By The River
Let’s Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts
Midweek Makers @ Quilt Fabrication
Needle & Thread Thursday
Finished or not Friday @ BusyHands Quilts
Whoop Whoop @Confessions of a fabric addict
TGIFF hosted by Kathy’s Kwilts

Justice Everywhere

Meet “Justice Everywhere”. She spells out the famous Dr. Martin Luther King quote “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” using the Braille alphabet. This was my entry for the two-color challenge at QuiltCon 2019. It did not get selected for QuiltCon but it still remains my favorite quilt to date. I stare at it amazed that I designed and made something like this and, at the same time, finding ways to change or make it better.

The idea for a statement quilt came to me after I saw a Thomas Knauer exhibit at the Houston Quilt Festival in 2017. I had seen a plate in Braille at a museum, and found a certain visual rhythm and intrigue in Braille.

This quote by Dr. Martin Luther King has been one of my favorites for years. It is a constant reminder that, while we have come a long way in making the world a more just place, we are not done till there is justice everywhere and for everyone.

I picked hot pink and black to honor the countless courageous that have come out and talked about their harrowing experiences of sexual assault and sexual harassment as part of the #metoo movement. They have faced skepticism and hostility for coming out with their stories. I hope that the voices of these courageous #metoo women make the world a safe and just and better place for our daughters and granddaughters.

The pink pieces are 1.5″ squares finished. 0.5″ black strip between squares in a letter and 1″ black strips between letters in a word. I did Trapunto-style quilting to give extra body to the pink squares. I used two layers of a puffy wool batting and quilted around the outline of each square, and then cut out the batting from all but the pink squares. Then I quilted the entire quilt as usual using a black polyester batting.

I used the channel lock on my Grace Continuum frame to quilt closely spaced straight lines. When the lines hit a pink square, I quilted around the square and continued the straight line. When I got bored, I offset the lines by an inch or two to create small “ripples” in the pattern.
Black backgrounds are notoriously hard to photograph. This quilt looks so rich and dynamic in person that the pictures. I found it so hard to get the nuances of color and texture with the black background. Any tips on photographing black is truly appreciated.

Fabric:
Kona Cotton jet black
Kona cotton pomegranate
Batting:
100% wool – Hobbs Tuscany for Trapunto
100% polyester Quilters Dream in black
Back:
Kona cotton pomegranate
Thread for quilting:
Superior threads So Fine 50 wt in black

Linking all my favorite linky parties:
Can I get a whoop whoop!
TGIFF at alyciaquilts
Off the wall Friday

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

Spiraling Lone star

PoonamOne

Many years ago I made this spiraling lone-star quilt. It hung over our kitchen table for a couple of years and I never took a single picture of it. Then a couple of years ago, I got to meet my college friend Poonam in New York City. Poonam had gone though some difficult times and I wanted to give her a quilt. I didn’t have time to make one for her at that time, so I decided to give her this bright quilt to cheer her up. My friend Indu took this picture in a hotel room in NYC with no natural light. It looks a lot better in person.

Digging through my old pictures from 2013, I found a few pictures I took when I was making the quilt (and not a single one after it was complete)! I’m still looking for that piece of paper in the first picture with calculations using the Pythagoras theorem. Then again, wouldn’t this be a good math assignment for my 8th grader?image (6)

All fabric from my stash – mostly batik, except the red and the fuchsia. The background is also a lovely batik with cream, tan and a bit of grey. Very simple quilting with a walking foot – this is from my pre-free motion days. I can’t even remember what I used for the backing.

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This is my Throwback Thursday blog entry. Thank you Sandra , for the encouragement. I’m officially bitten by the spiral lone-star bug and I feel an inexplicable urge to make one using a Kona cotton jelly roll I got recently. This is therefore also my One monthly goal for May – to recreate the spiral lone star.

One Monthly Goal