Saturday, March 7, 2015

Mustang in the Sky with Diamonds

I am married to a man who looks remarkably similar to John Lennon, so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised that I often have a Beatles soundtrack running through my head. I won't embarrass him by posting it, but I have a picture of him taken at LaGuardia airport after returning from a study abroad semester and backpacking trip across Europe. Pea green army coat, shaggy dark get the idea.

I was feeling pretty proud of myself when I had all the quilt blocks up on the design wall, so I dragged "John" in to take a look.

"Like it?" I asked, smiling at him expectantly. "I am going to name it 'Mustang in the Sky with Diamonds' after that Beatles..."

"...LSD song?" he asked, eyebrows raised.


He may have a point.

I started with the idea that I wanted to do another Mustang quilt, but this time with a more pop art feel (my first Mustang quilt was pretty western). I started with the idea for oversize diamonds, so I drew out this block on paper and made myself cutting templates. I chose fabrics from my stash in citron, orange, violet, teal and emerald in a quick burst of inspiration, but then stalled when I went to choose a background color. Finally I had a "what if" moment and laid out a block with a citron background. I am ashamed to say that my first thought was, "People are going to hate this!" Redemption came when I laughed and did it anyway. I added indigo blue to the mix for a little gravitas and went with it.

I went with it on the fabrics, too. I didn't buy one piece of fabric for this quilt. I chose fabrics from my stash for the color alone, so I have some interesting combinations. Unicorns, bees, text, arrows, flowers, ships, stars, kind of makes me want to burst into song just thinking of it!

"Picture yourself in a boat on a river
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly
A girl with kaleidoscope eyes."

 My favorite part of the process was quilting it. I chose to quilt it in a large "greater than" pattern that used the angles of the pieced diamonds as a guide. I experimented with color and thread and I ended up with a very cool texture.  I used a combination of 50 wt. and 12 wt. Aurifil threads for the top in a variety of colors (4093, 2150, 5015, 2235, 1148, 2588, 2535, 5005, 5018). I varied the width of the quilting by subdividing lines, and then sometimes subdividing again. I used a 90/14 needle and fiddled with the tension a little bit for the 12 wt. thread, but had no problems running it through the machine. 

I backed it with Washi, by Rashida Coleman-Hale.

....and just in case it isn't in your head already, here is Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

Linking up to Monday MakersMain Crush MondaySew Cute Tuesday, Let's Bee Social and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop.