Friday, January 23, 2015

Shimmer Wedding Quilt

This is the story of a quilt that I did not like. At first. But there's a happy ending, so wait for it...

The whole thing started with a wedding announcement. My cousin, brother to the other cousin who got married this fall, was marrying someone who I'm sure is wonderful in every way; however, I've never met her and know nothing about her. Planning a quilt for their gift was a pretty big challenge. I quizzed my aunt hoping that she could give me some idea of what they would like. All I had to go on was that they had registered for Kate Spade place settings with navy and gold accents. Not a lot, I know.

Then I came across the Shimmer collection from Jennifer Sampou. It was mostly neutrals with silver, bronze and gold metallic accents. So not my usual type, but it seemed like it might be the thing. I ordered a fat quarter bundle and some extra yardage. It was delivered. I wasn't sure about it. But, I soldiered on.

I agonized over the pattern to use. I felt the fabric really needed to be the star. I really liked one of the quilts in the collection's look book, but it was paper piecing and I really didn't have the time for it. I finally settled on a free pattern called Tesselation. It gave me the stars I was looking for, but it was pretty simple. I used Kona Steel as my solid - the original pattern I liked used Essex linen in Steel and I thought it would be a similar look. I was not messing with the extra headache of piecing linen.

The blocks came together fine, but as I put them together in rows, I realized there was a fundamental problem with the pattern and the triangles didn't meet on the sides. Humph. I'd gotten this far, I wasn't starting over, it just had to be a (charming?) feature.

After I finished the top, I STILL wasn't a fan. But with a deadline looming and the number of hours I had already put into it, I stuck it out. Since I really, really liked the Essex linen in the other quilt, I decided to keep it simple and go with that for the backing.

As for quilting, I really wanted to emphasize the movement of the blocks by diagonal straight line quilting, but the triangles not matching up ruled that out. Then I came up with the idea of doing 3 lines 3/8" apart through the points where the triangles actually did meet. Bingo.

And this is the point where I realized that I actually really loved the quilt. The backing and quilting just...were apparently magical. I binded it in some of the scraps from the top, hand embroidered initials and a date and, well, that was that.

I of course got some whole quilt front and back shots, but I really don't think they do the quilt justice. I actually unpacked the ready-to-ship quilt and took some more by the window, just so you could appreciate the shine and the texture and the awesome contrast between the top and the back. You're welcome.

In the middle of all of this, the actual invitation showed up in the mail, and I knew I had nailed it.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Icy Parfait

Just popping in to offer up a couple of mosaics for Stitched in Color's Icy Parfait theme.

Icy Persimmon
This is the palette that immediately came to mind as I read the inspiration post. I had just flipped through West Elm's newest catalog and was struck by the colors of a spread on bed linens. The very first thing I thought was, "I want a quilt made out of these!" To me, West Elm always seems a little icy with it's modern aesthetic. I actually find home catalogs to be a great place for color inspiration, as usually their posed and staged rooms make me want to cozy up and take a nap! In particular, I love the dark gray/black included, and the way the lighter colors look a little bit colder against them.

The second mosaic is very similar to the first, but with everything softened a bit and the light/aqua blue intensified to teal. When I look at the these colors, I feel just the tiniest bit closer to spring, but still in the realm of snow.

I absolutely love these exercises in color that Rachel from Stitched in Color puts out every once in a while. They really stretch my brain and help me to break away from the popular quilt colors I see on my blog feed and Pinterest. They definitely help me feel more creatively me!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Lost Wedding Quilt

I guess this quilt wasn't *technically* lost, but the pictures were lost in the 50 gazillion unlabeled pictures on my computer. I'm in the process of going through everything before I wipe the whole she-bang and I happened upon the final unblogged summer quilt. As is my usual m.o., the pictures were taken quick and dirty, right before it was wrapped up for gifting.

 For my friend Kayla's quilt, I sorta, kinda Pinterest-stalked her wedding board to get an idea of the colors and styles she was leaning towards. I ended up really liking the Littlest line of fabric for her, even though it is meant for children. I just left out the more immature prints and matched up some solids. I also added a few fabrics from my stash. The pattern is the Spiced Chai block from the book Vintage Quilt Revival.

I quilted it with diagonal lines about 1 1/4" apart. I really like how the quilting accents the directionality of the blocks.

For the back, I just took all of the leftover fabric and made 3 vertical rows, flipping the middle one. The quilt really ended up matching the colors and vintage feel of the wedding. Who knows if it matches their house, but at the very least, I hope it reminds them of their wedding when they snuggle under it!