The May challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors was to design and make a modern quilt featuring Hobbs batting.
Modern quilt designs are harder for me so this one took a long time to gel. A modern quilt typically includes one or more of the following:
Bold colors, often solid
Large negative spaces (spaces where there is no piecing, but instead lots of fantastic quilting)
Minimalism (less piecing, easy piecing)
Alternative grid work (blocks laid out in something other than the common rows and columns)
I played with several ideas, repeating the mantra “Minimalize! Minimalize!” so I would get it right. Nothing really struck me though until finally I hit on an idea to do a sort of color wheel.
I’ve been wanting to make a color wheel quilt for some time now, and I’d put ideas in my design book. It was when I was looking through my design book recently that the ideas finally came together.
For the “between” colors like yellow-orange, I’d create a sort of transparency effect that would make it look like the yellow square was blending with the orange square to create the color. Now here was an idea I could finally get behind!
Once I had a plan, cutting the quilt was easy. I used my AccuQuilt Go! to cut about half the shapes—there were a few I didn’t have dies for. <sob> Still, I had the quilt cut and ready to sew in no time.
As I was piecing the quilt, the phrase “After the Rain” came to me because it’s only after a rain that we see a rainbow. Those of you who follow me know that this hasn’t been the easiest year, so the idea of a rainbow in my life after all this rain made me happy.
For quilting, I decided to create raindrops on a sidewalk. The sidewalk is represented by parallel lines. These kinds quilting designs (radiating circles and parallel lines) are often found in modern quilts so I thought it was very apropos.
And look how it shows off that wonderful Hobbs 80/20 batting! This batting is a blend of cotton (80%) and just enough polyester (20%) to create a smooth glide through the batting for your needle. It is also the choice of most longarmers I know. So if you haven’t tried Hobbs 80/20, you should give it a try!
Because of the rainbow motif, I decided I wanted to take photos of my quilt by the Rainbow Bridge in Broad Ripple, a cute artsy village near me. Ironically, I had to wait to a period between rain storms to get my shots!
It was worth it, don’t you think?
For fabrics, I chose tone on tone batiks from my large Island Batik stash. For the backing, I used #121714220, Mini Dot Nasturtium from the Plum Delicious collection.
Here is a closeup of the quilting. I had such fun with this! To create the circles, I traced around my spool cap, then simply used the edge of my walking foot to guide me as I quilted bigger and bigger circles.
For the straight lines, I used ruler work. To do ruler work on your domestic machine, you’ll need a ruler foot (a foot with high sides that prevent the needle from hopping onto the ruler accidentally) and acrylic rulers made specifically for quilting. My sewing machine came with a ruler set so I was all ready to go!
The straight ruler shown here has parallel lines you can use to create your quilting lines. I simply measured one ruler line out from the previous stitching line to create the next stitching line. I could have set the lines wider apart by going two, three, four or more measured lines out from the stitching line.
To stitch ruler work on a home machine, you simply hold the ruler with one hand and guide the quilt underneath the needle while keeping the edge of the foot against the ruler. It takes a bit of practice to do this but not much. I was up and running in a few minutes.
If you haven’t tried ruler work yet, you really should! I find it relaxing because I don’t have to think about where to move the quilt. Instead I just guide the foot along the ruler.
Here are the quilt details:
"After the Rain"
44” x 44"
Fabrics: Island Batiks scraps plus a White batik (a Neutral); Backing is #121714220 Mini Dot Nasturtium (Plum Delicious collection)
Batting: Hobbs Batting 80/20
Piecing Thread: Aurifil 50 wt. #2024 (White)
Quilting Threads: Aurifil 50 wt. #2024 (White)
Pieced and quilted by Jennifer Fulton
This quilt turned out to be a lot of fun, but man it took a long time to come up with an idea I liked. Next month, our challenge is to use a new technique. I’ve done an awful lot of quilting so coming up with something new will be hard. Oh well. That’s what I love about these challenges—they really push us to expand our quilting repertoire!
Speaking about a challenge, let me share with you a few photos of my cat Zora who presented quite the challenge while I rushing to take some closeups as the light was fading.
I guess you could say she won, but really so did I. She’s a perfect kitty that she simply makes me smile.
So What Are You Working On?
Thanks for stopping by!
While you’re here, why not take a moment and share what you’ve been working on in my weekly show-and-tell linkup, Wednesday Wait Loss? Click here to read all about it and to link up a photo.