Monday, July 23, 2012

Oversized Nine Patch

10, 680 hand-quilted stitches later, (approximately!) and the quilt that I gave a sneak peak of in my last post is now finished. (Such a good feeling!)

The quilt is titled '9Patch Quilt in Red and White' and is loosely aimed at exploring the design possibilities in constructing and using an exaggerated and oversized nine-patch. 

The idea for this started when I looked out my back door at an old quilt that I had made years ago, which I had washed and hung out to dry. The quilt in reference is nothing to write home about let alone show, (thus no photo). Simply made from nine 12 inch squares in rather boring fabrics it was one of several that I made to be used for purely utilitarian purposes... to cover one of my girls when they were very little, to put one in good old Mo's dog bed, to sling another one over the coffee table to hide the scratch marks... And now, all those years later, here I was looking at this plain jane quilt, and for the first time I saw the really bold potential held in those nine 12" blocks. 

I knew right away that I wanted to make a red cross quilt. The graphic image of the Red Cross, used over the years as a symbol of humanity, mercy and aid has always been one of my favorite symbols. I plan on exploring the red cross theme again, as well as with other colors. 

Each of the nine squares used to create the quilt were made up of various sized strips of fabric in varying shades of neutrals and reds. I used cottons, shot cottons and linen-cotton fabrics.

With the combination of both hand and machine quilting, this piece is very similar to one of my Work Quilts. The only difference is I didn't sew any appliqué patches onto the quilt top. However, some of the piecing, such as these two small beige squares, kind of give a patched visual, which I like.

I also like the way that the colors of the variegated threads, (used for the hand-quilting) dance across the surface, visually popping here and there. (And for the record, as I get asked this question A LOT... I am using 12 weight cotton thread, doubled over and knotted at the ends, so two strands are used while sewing. And, I use a small quilter's 'between' needle...whatever size I have on hand.

If I do another one of these, I may or may not hand quilt it... it's truly all up to the quilt, (but I am hoping that the next one just wants to be machined quilted, as my fingers and hands do get sore!)

Okay, that's all I have to say about this quilt... other then, I throughly enjoyed the whole process and am really happy with the final results. When all of those elements come happily together, the journey and the destination, you just can't help but to be grateful that you get to be a quilter. 
For more information on '9Patch Quilt in Red and White' please visit my shop here.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Obeying the Quilt

I am starting quilt and wanted to give you a sneak peek...

My original plan was to just machine quilt it in close, straight rows, but the quilt wanted none of that and after several attempts I gave in, ripped out my stitches, and did what the quilt wanted me to do. The quilt seemed to demand that it be machine quilted in un-straight rows, spaced further apart in unequal distances, and with hand quilting done in between, also in un-straight rows. (And yes, I know that by looking at these close up photos, the rows of stitching seem pretty straight, but in reality they aren't... it's all much more organic. Exactly what the quilt asked for!) 

Of course, this is a wee bit more time consuming then what I had first planned, however, the quilt was right and I am glad I listened to it. I find it's always better to give into the work then to try to force your will upon it. 

Hope to finish the quilt this week and will be sure to share the final results. Have a happy weekend everyone!