Marsala challenge: art quilt

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Pantone’s color of the year challenge was initially a little… “challenging.” Kind of like a cross between brown and mauve. Yikes!

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In the end though, I kind of love it. So much so that I’m making an Amy Butler Weekender Bag in an (unintentionally) very similar palette.

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I decided to make another art quilt (first one blogged here) because I wanted to try the method again in a slightly different way. With both the butterfly art quilt and the one I did for my Instagram mini quilt swap, I overlayed a feature element on top of the textured background. I didn’t do a blog post for the swap, but here’s a picture.

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The entire background was laid out before I placed the flowers and birds, which lay on top.

For the Pantone challenge, I wanted to place the feature rose in the center of the quilt before I placed the tiny “background” pieces. A subtle difference, perhaps, but one I was eager to try.

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This quilt makes you want to touch it, as evidenced by my 3 year old.

After placing all of the pieces I straight line quilted it about a 1/4 inch apart to give it additional texture and also to ensure everything stays in place.

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One of my favorite things about this quilt is the hidden Lizzy House creatures.

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I spy two mice, a bird, and a fishy! There are a couple of bi-sected cats hidden in another part of the quilt as well.

A lot of people have asked me about the method behind this style of art quilting and I do have a blog post planned for that. It’s the same method I used to make the exterior of this cargo duffle.

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And this sew together bag.

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I hope to be posting that soon. It’s so simple, and just perfect for selvages because you don’t lose the words and color dots in the seam allowance.

I’m linking up with the Marsala challenge with On the Windy Side and Play-Crafts. Go see what everyone else has created with this challenging color!

Kilim quilt

I finished my Kilim quilt top! (I blogged about the inspiration and design process here.)

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I learned a couple of really important things designing and constructing this quilt. The first is about myself as a quilter. I learned that I am capable of pushing through the monotony of working with solids, and that the end result is worth it. (I know not every quilter finds solids monotonous, but I personally do). Unlike projects like my gypsy wife quilt, neon sampler, or penny sampler, each block of this quilt was not satisfying in itself. But the end result is definitely the best quilt I’ve made, or at least the one I’m most proud of.

It’s an interesting tension – pleasure in the process vs. satisfaction in the result.

Another lesson came in the form of a major math fail. I set out to design a quilt to look as much like this rug as possible:

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Now, let’s view them side by side.

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The design was supposed to extend another half block on top and bottom. Unfortunately, when I was deciding what size to make the HSTs, I based the decision on the size of the block as measured from side to side instead of on point. The block finishes 32 inches side to side, but it measures 46 inches when set on point.

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If I had completed the design as planned with the size HSTs I used, the quilt would have been 92 by 138! I was already too far into the process when I realized the problem so I just eliminated the top and bottom of the design. The quilt now finishes 92 inches square. If I could go back I would use smaller HSTs and complete the design as planned. Lesson learned!

Of course the question now is how to quilt it. It is a big quilt, and the stakes are high because I’ve already put a ton of time and effort into it. I’ve definitely considered sending it out to be long armed. I’ve also thought about doing multiple colors of Aurifil 28 weight thread in straight horizontal lines. I even briefly considered hand quilting it before I realized how big it was going to be. But for now I’m putting it aside and working on other things, including Kilim II.

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I’m sure this project is destined to have just as many adventures and learning opportunities as the first.

Big news

I had a baby! 4 months ago. 🙂 Ha!

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I have several blog posts ruminating so I thought I should pop in first to share about Keene’s birth.

Keene Gregory Schraw was born on December 14 at 10:09 am, weighing 8 lbs, 2 oz and measuring 21 inches. He has been an incredibly sweet and easygoing baby, which is a big part of why I’m able to sew and even return to this space to share about it.

Keene’s brothers adore him and are pretty patient when Mama has to “milk the baby.”

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Here’s Keene in the amazing (!!) outfit Laura made him.

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Hopefully I’ll be back very soon to get you all caught up on what I’ve been working on!