Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Living Coral

I love blue and purple, and when left to my own devices, I make a lot of blue and purple quilts. Every year Pantone chooses a color of the year and every year I challenge myself to make quilts with it. I even did it the year that Pantone chose a dual color in shades of an 80s bathroom. 😏

This year the color was Living Coral and I have thoroughly enjoyed a tropical vibe in the sewing room the past few months.

When the color of the year was announced, I immediately thought of fruity drinks with umbrellas. This quilt was the result of sketching out my idea of what fruity drinks, warm sun, and ocean breezes would sound like. I chose colors that gave that same tropical vibe. I  worked on this off and on during the winter, which was particularly cold and bleak here in Iowa, and I am quite sure of this quilt's restorative powers and thermal energy.

Each of the squares and diamonds were free pieced and then set into ordered rows. I like that contradiction of ordered disorder. I also had a great time working with values. I included a black and white photo of this quilt just for fun. The two sections that look like solid rectangles of light gray are places where I used complementary colors of the same value. The movement in these places came from the vibrating effect instead of the value difference. I only did it twice because it was so intense!

This quilt is quilted with monofilament thread and is finished with a faced edge. I named it "Rhythms." It is 40" x 60" and is my entry to the finished quilt category of the Pantone Quilt Challenge.

I played with the color a lot in "Rhythms," and ultimately changed my mind a couple of times after I had already cut fabric. I had two stacks of half rectangle triangles on my cutting mat, and rather than start a whole new bin for storing triangle scraps, I decided to use them up. I cut out strips of the complementary color (turquoise) and started to piece the strips between the triangles. I had no ending in mind, I was just curious to see how it would look. I ended up with rough rectangles and then wondered if I could do partial seams with improv blocks. The answer is yes, but it's a little fiddly...especially when you haven't used a ruler and the edges of the pieces are wavy. I built the blocks around a golden square and kept piecing the blocks together until I ended up with a rough square shape. At that point, I got stuck. I finally decided to border the square with a turquoise square and didn't really like that either. While I was looking at the design wall and pondering my next step, I had the thought that I needed an out of the box solution. That thought was the solution! I happily pieced coral borders and mindfully added more gold squares in specific locations. I love diagonal settings and I thought the shower of gold related well to the turquoise diagonal lines.

"Out of the Box," is my entry to the mini category in the Pantone Quilt Challenge. It is 30" x 29." I constructed it without a ruler. It is quilted with diagonal wavy lines in monofilament thread and is finished with a pieced binding.

I have been thinking about the power creativity has on our lives and found this quote:

"If you build a wall to separate people there will be those who find a way around the wall, or over it, or under it, or through it. We humans are not meant to be contained, and neither are our thoughts." Teresa R. Funke

The moral of the story? Be one of the gold not-quite squares. 😁

Sometimes I work with a sketch, and sometimes I don't. This is a quilt that I roughly sketched out on a square sheet of paper. I've been curious about using bias strips for a long time, but I've never done it. I really wanted to try, but I also really didn't want to make a quilt that looked like someone else made it. I've had a pickle dish block on my mind for awhile and I thought it might be a good contender for an experiment.

Remember when swaps were a big thing? Back in 2015 I decided to join my first swap and I wanted to do it right. I worked hard on a pickle dish mini and used up some of my favorite Tula Pink fabrics. I even did matchstick quilting! I definitely felt a major twinge of regret when I placed that mini in the envelope, but I sent it anyway. I wanted to make a friend and to give my partner some joy. I didn't get what I was looking for. 😐 If you're wildly curious to see the quilt, here's the link to the blog post I wrote about it way back when.

I've waited four long years to give myself a pickle dish quilt, and this is it!

I had a good laugh when I took "Out of the Box" down and immediately taped a 30" square on the design wall to help me build the pickle dish quilt. Oh, the irony. Construction began with a free cut petal shape. I used butcher paper to match the edge of the petal and roughly drew in the triangle spikes. I used improv paper piecing to make those sections. I alternated between bias strips and cutting the curves to match from yardage for the curving filler pieces. I don't know which method I like better. They both use up a ton of fabric and take some time. I think using the combination helped me make blocks that lie remarkably flat. I used a heck of a lot of pins and chalk and fabric. I have a lovely box of scraps from this quilt, so don't think this is the last you've seen of this colorway! I can't wait to dive in!

This is my entry to the just the top category in the Pantone Quilt Challenge. It is 60" x 60." I haven't figured out a name for this yet, but there will be time because I'm pretty sure that I will need to hand quilt this. Just the thought of putting a feed dog anywhere near all those bias edges stresses me out!

I only used one of the bleach dyed fabrics on the left. The quilt definitely had enough going on.
I hope you can find a way to be creative today! Thanks for reading!