Saturday, January 24, 2015

Sunrise Celebration - Project Quilting

"Sunrise Celebration,"
20" x 31", made for Project Quilting,
Season 6, Challenge 2: Sunrise/Sunset,
Jan. 2015 in Yellow Springs, Ohio

Challenge recap for  "Sunrise/Sunset":

Your inspiration for this challenge is Sunrise/Sunset. Use what inspires you...the colors, the images, the things you do at this time of day.

When I saw that the challenge was Sunrise/Sunset, I knew immediately what fabric I wanted to use. When I purchased the hand-dyed browns and blacks for "Daybreak is Your Midnight", I also made an impulse purchase of some hand-dyed fat eights in a jewel-tone color wheel.

There were 11 different colors so if I made the strips 1" high and only used one color per column, my quilt would only be 11" high. I used a similar pattern that I used in "Daybreak" where I went 1 - 2 - 1 - 2 - 3 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 5 - 6, etc., although the middle column has more rotations of 1 and 2 and less of the blues to make it even out.

I decided that I wanted to do inset piecing on all the 6" stripes like I did on "Daybreak" but I also wanted them to be less subtle so in most cases I used inset pieces from two steps above or below that color.

Originally I was going to have all of the yellow at the bottom, but once I got the strips pieced, I felt that it wasn't working as well as it could, so it was time to improvise. I tried a few different arrangements and decided I liked the yellow on the top on the two outside pieces. Originally I wasn't going to use any sashing but I thought the colors would pop more if they had some black to play against.

I don't have a lot of black fabric in my stash (probably because I use it frequently) and I didn't have enough of the batik blue/black that I like to use, but I did have a black fabric that had little gold stars on it that was also an impulse buy. There was only 1/4 yard but that was just enough to use for the sashing and the binding. The stars made me think of confetti.

It is quilted stitch-in-the-ditch but since I liked the thick hand-quilting that I did on "Daybreak," I used some thin hand-spun maroon yarn and quilted three short stitched in all 90 of the inset pieces. I also couched some commercial chunky yarn along the sashing and around the inside of the binding.

In keeping with the colors and energy on the front, I chose this piece of fabric for the backing.

The colors, confetti stars, and chunky yarn all reminded me of the Sunset Celebration, held nightly in Key West, FL, which is how I got the name.

(In 2019 I had to replace the hand stitches, and you can read about that here.)

More about Sunrise Celebration

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To read more about Project Quilting, go here.

To see other entries for this challenge, visit the Sunrise/Sunset link up.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Birches - Project Quilting

"Birches," 23" x 18", made for Project Quilting, Season 6, Challenge 1: Trees, Jan. 2015 in Yellow Springs, Ohio

Challenge recap for  "Trees":

Your inspiration for this challenge is trees. Your project does NOT need to include a tree (but certainly can).

When I saw that the challenge was “Trees,” I immediately thought of the dozen or so quilts that I’ve made featuring tree, including three that have been for Project Quilting challenges. My first instinct was to go with a pine tree, perhaps because my Christmas decorations haven’t been put away yet, but when I looked back on the three quilts that I’ve made, half of them have been of pine trees.

So instead I decided to do my usual brain storming while looking through my fabric stash to see if the fabrics would speak to me. That’s when I found this batik:

This fabric didn't just speak, it screamed "Birch Trees." So I continued to look for fabrics that I could use for the background. I chose a navy blue batik with small green dots and a deep green batik for the lower part.

I cut the birch fabric 2" wide, trying to avoid the parts that looked like tree trunks, then I folded the fabric the raw edges in on itself but I didn't try to keep it even or straight so they'd have more of an organic feel. One reason I did this was because I wanted to have two layers of fabric so the seams wouldn't show through when placed on top of the darker fabric. I also didn't want to have raw edges. I did put 1/4" fusible tape along these edges.

Next I made the quilt sandwich and quilted the edges of the trees. I knew I wanted to have heavy quilting on the background fabric to make the trees seem to pop off of the quilt, but I wasn't sure how I wanted to quilt it, so I decided to sleep on it.

The next day I had a quilting idea, which I thought was called "Matchstick Quilting" so I Googled it. It wasn't what I thought it was, but it did spark some ideas. Matchstick Quilting is usually done in straight lines 1/8" apart, and sometimes with different threads. It looks pretty cool on solid color fabric because it changes the color when looking from a distance.

Instead of just straight lines, I decided to echo the shape of the birch trees. I also decided I only wanted to do 1/4" apart instead of 1/8" because it would take half the amount of time and I didn't want to obscure the beauty of the batik fabrics. I did decided to use different colored threads, although I stayed in the same color family of the fabric. I used three shades of dark blue and one dark green.

I used a knife-edge binding technique so the lines of the trees wouldn't be interrupted.

More about Birches

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Click on any of the photos to see larger images.

To read more about Project Quilting, go here.

To see other entries for this challenge, visit the Trees challenge link up.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Five Rivers MetroParks Quilt Exhibit

“Four Patch Bridge at Sunset,” 45.5” x 17.5”, made by Pam Geisel, Nov. 2013

This is your last chance to see the Miami Valley Art Quilt Network's exhibit of quilts made to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Five Rivers MetroParks. The exhibit will be at Aullwood Audubon Center from Jan. 10 through March 8. The center is located at 1000 Aullwood Road in Dayton and is open Mon.-Sat. from 9am-5pm and on Sundays from 1-5pm. There will be an opening reception on Jan. 18 from 2-4 pm.

There is an admission fee for this location ($5 per adult and $3 for children 2-18), although it does also get you into the center and access to the trails.

(On an unrelated noted, this is my 300th blog post!)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Project Quilting Season 6 Begins

 Collage of my Project Quilting Challenge quilts.

For the last four years I've participated in "Project Quilting," a non-competitive on-line quilting contest. I've made 26 quilts for Project Quilting challenges and have sold almost 75% of them! "Early Morning Nine Patch" won "Best of Show" at the Annual Juried Landscape Competition, "The View" at the Rosewood Arts Centre Gallery in 2012. To say that Project Quilting has been successful for me would be an understatement.

It's time for Project Quilting's sixth season. Aside for creating fabulous (an occasionally award-winning) quilts, there is an opportunity to win fabulous prizes. Prizes are chosen at random from all of the participants for that challenge. At the end of the season there will be grand prizes awarded to all participants, with one entry per challenge quilt, so the more challenges you enter, the better your chances for winning.

The schedule for 2015 is:
Challenge 1: January 4
Challenge 2: January 18
Challenge 3: February 1
Challenge 4: February 15
Challenge 5: March 1
Challenge 6: March 15

Each challenge is posted at noon CDT and due exactly one week later at noon CDT.

The challenge will be posted on the "Persimon Dreams" Project Quilting blog and you can also find links about past seasons there.