This month, Island Batik and Hobb's Batting requested the Island Batik Ambassadors to make something modern, using Hobb's batting, and larger than a baby quilt. I'm NOT a really modern quilter, although occasionally I'll do something that looks more modern. The Modern Quilt Guild defines it as the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast and graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, Minimalism, expansive negative space, alternate grid work. I have seen some modern quilts that I like, some I love, and some that just don't do it for me. I decided to pull fabric and see what I came up with. I don't normally do that first, I usually play in EQ8 first, and then find fabrics, but this time I decided to use Pressed Petals, and the navy and orange fabrics I was sent in a previous Island Batik Ambassador box. I also wanted it to use one of the Hobb's Lap size battings we were sent last year, which are 60" square. On a side note, many of the quilts I'm doing this year are square, trying to use last year's batting, and this year we got Queen size, and I haven't figured out what I want to use those for yet, lol. The dilemma of having such generous sponsors.
My original plan was to see if making as many flying geese as big as I could, and half square triangles would make a good design. Yes, it does, but it's not modern enough. I may make that as a pattern (the block is really cool!). I made 42 geese blocks that would finish about 4 by 8, using the darkest blues and oranges, plus the red and yellow.
When I played again, knowing I had 2 yards each of the navy and orange fabrics, I decided to use large half-square triangles to divide the geese. I picked 8 each of the 2 darkest orange/blue geese, plus 8 of the next orange/blue, and then 4 of the yellow/bright blue just to add a spark. The rest are waiting for another project.
I sewed these into blocks, added the HSTs to mix, and came up with a 2 way quilt. I even carried that into the border. It has lots of open space, bright colors, and is a good size for a baby quilt, tummy time, or a smaller lap quilt. I'm SEW happy to be part of the Ambassador team. As soon as I shared my dilemma about it not being modern enough, I was offered some great advice and google search ideas. When I went back with this idea (which I had then drawn up in EQ8, because I needed to see it before committing more fabric), I got lots of thumbs up.
I got the top webbed together and shared again (without borders) and got more thumbs up.
I try to lay it out before sewing the rows together, just to make sure I did everything right. Yup, looks good to me. Lots of open space. Bold and bright, and unusual but using a traditional unit.
Next up was to load it on Vanna the Long Arm, on top of a navy dot textured "minkee/cuddle" from JoAnn's. I didn't want to piece the back, since it measures about 48". I used Hobb's Tuscany Cotton Wool Blend, which offers a little more loft than the standard cotton, but is still washable and can be air dried (try to keep it flat). I grabbed a 50wt navy blue thread, and 50wt orange from Aurifil, and decided to try out the computer/Pro-stitcher on my new Handiquilter Amara (AKA Vanna). I haven't gotten to take the class yet, so I'm just testing and playing, (class is this weekend). I did goof for the solid blocks, trying to get the right size and placement. I may take it out and fix it. I also tried using the ruler for the straight lines, and did more free motion work inside the HST blocks and the border. (Not exactly going modern style with the quilting, but I know I learned a lot!) There's so much to learn! But it's done enough, although far from perfect. Except for binding and label, that is, and better photos. The lighting was doing something weird to the orange. It's not that deep electric a color, but still a vibrant orange.
I'm not sure if I'll do the binding before I go back to Pocono Sew and Vac for my class and to pick up my Viking Sapphire 850, which is nice and clean and working better, I'm told. I miss it! I do plan to keep orange and blue going into the binding. I just need to figure out how to do a mitered corner without having too much bulk, so the split is right there, along the same line. I may end up doing a facing instead.
I did do the binding on the Accuquilt GO! Baby quilt challenge from April, which I quilted last week. I used a minkee backing on that, too, and did an all-over FM design on the center, and a similar style on the border, and feathers on the outer border, with Aurifil thread. I have a spool of the 40-3, so used that for the main section, and a 50wt in pink for the borders. I decided to turn my Pfaff Creative 1.5 back to a sewing machine and use the built in walking foot, just to get that done for the One Monthly Goal. Taking off the embroidery module, putting the feed dogs back up, changing the foot, winding the bobbin, etc. Not as easy as doing on the Sapphire, which is just a foot change. Still need to add a label to that, too, but it's done.
This was such a good match for my gorgeous roses!
Thanks so much for visiting, and I hope you enjoyed my modern quilt! It's been an adventure to push outside of my comfort zone (how many quilts do you see me doing with orange?? Not a favorite) and try things on Vanna. It's been a good challenge.
Please check out the other Island Batik Ambassadors to see what they've done this month. And check back for June's Try It challenge. I have a few ideas about that. Now need the time! We also have a Quilt of Valor blog hop coming and something else, which I'm not sure I can discuss yet. lol
Have a wonderful day!
Looking good, Maryellen! Looks like you and Vanna are BFFs!
I'm not an orange fan but I really like this. I'm not sure if its the geese or color combo or all of it together. Thank you for linking up with me.
Very nice! Thanks for linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal and congrats on your finish!
I love your modern quilt. What a great pattern for those bright colors! Your baby quilt is really adorable too.
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