May 31, 2013

A Radical Finish

 Are your guilty of saying "Rad?" I am. Are you guilty of waking up really early to play Atari till your thumbs ache? I am. Are you guilty of wishing you were a "Jedi?" Oh yes, I am.  There's no guilt here tho, we are all in awe of the 1980s in some way, even if we ask, "Did I really wear that?"  This is a custom order request for a quilt in a Plus-Plus pattern using 5 inch blocks. When the smoke cleared, this quilt had a final measurement of 103 x 85...which isn't as impressive as saying 8.5 feet x 7 feet. It was even too big to photograph from end to end. But, it. is. COOL. The fabrics used include Timeless Treasures Atari, Pac Man, and cassette tapes, Camelot Cottons Death Star schematics, Eugene Textiles Star Wars character images, and (the solid gray) Kona Ash. 

I chose to do free motion quilting in a circuit-board pattern, for a few reasons. I notice that free-motion quilting gives a unifying effect to quilt designs and, since this quilt has a lot of large gray spaces, I thought the wonky squares and rectangles would tie it all together. The quilting also gives the gray blocks a unique pattern (and texture) all their own. And lastly, the circuit board pattern conjures a Tron, PC motherboard feel, which sticks with the techie theme.

The back is accented with Lizzy House Constellations and Michael Miller Boys Toys digital watches.

The machine binding is lime/neon green that has a subtle criss-cross pattern.

  I feel extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to make this quilt, which has set my creative soul alight!
Linking up to Finish It Up Fridays, and excited to see all of the other Radical finishes.

May 22, 2013

Just listening

At this point in my quilt-making process I am learning that all I have to do is ... listen. 
The squares have been cut....

  The squares have been sewed together and the back has been sized and sewn...

The basting is done and everything fits...

 And now I listen. Yeah, it's a little *woo woo* but I believe if I observe the fabrics, their colors, the pattern in which they are sewn together, and even the back, the quilting pattern - the pattern that best fits this particular quilt - will appear organically. And in fact inspiration comes at any time because the first sketch of the quilting pattern was done on the back of our family grocery list. Wonky, free-motion, squares and rectangles, yes.

The only issue with this pattern is, well, it's, uh, involved. But I know in my heart it's the best match for this quilt and it's going to look Bitchen' and that's what's most important.

Kids, plug your ears. Mama needs to turn this up.

May 13, 2013

The light at the end...

I am seeing the light at the end of a very long path. I am finishing the last 5 porcelain doll wrappers, which brings the final count to 51. 51! I made 51 of these total, reality check, and pictured below is 22 of them.

As I look back on this project, I am amazed at how I was able to manage my time so well. Despite the nail biting, I was ahead of schedule during most of the project. I also learned a lot about my capacity for pushing myself and working hard, harder than I ever have making quilts at my own pace. This project also offered me the chance to work with different fabrics like silk and Swiss batiste and I can safely say I am looking forward to returning to good old high quality quilting cotton, no offense silk.

These will be mailed out in the next couple of days. After they are sent, I will pause, maybe for 24 hours, take a breath, have a glass of wine, change the blade on my rotary cutter, and begin cutting into some jazzy, 80s fabrics. This  next quilt has played a big roll during the last project because it has been my carrot, reminding me that once the last stitch has been completed on #51, I can go back to what I love: sewing cotton squares together. Also known as my Happy Place.