Friday, May 15, 2015

'Chicago, 2007' QST Quilt--Entry for Blogger's Quilt Festival 2015

'Chicago, 2007' 
Quarter Square Triangle Quilt

Stats: Made from a 100% cotton mixture of 
whatever was in my scraps and stash when I 
started, plus a few special fabrics found just 
for this quilt. Contains more than 180 different 
fabrics. The final dimensions are 85"x95". 
The batting is Fairfield's 50/50 
bamboo/cotton blend. 

This marks the first time I've entered 
Nomination for viewer's choice runs 
May 15-21, and voting May 22-29. 
Winners are announced May 30, 2015.
I encourage you to visit, and see the 
collective talent of quilting bloggers
from around the world. You can 
find me in the large quilt category.

The setting triangles and pink backing are
both from Tula Pink's Acacia line. The sari
fabrics are cottons from Amy Butler.

Several years ago my youngest daughter and 
made a trip to Chicago to visit a dear friend, 
Betty. A seasoned tour guide, she told us 
there were a few things we must do while in the 
Windy City. One was visiting the Bahai Temple.
I've visited this sanctuary many times with her, 
and it's one of my favorite places. Popping up in 
the midst of a residential neighborhood, it stands 
like a beacon shining its light. It was my young
daughter first visit, and as she was quite taken in 
with it, we spent hours there.

Its gardens are amassed in flowers,
and the colors and lights are 
reflected in the pool.

Another of her goals was to find a lehenga 
choli for my daughter so the 3 of us headed 
to Devon AvenueDevon Avenue is a 
melting pot of mom and pop stores, groceries, 
and restaurants from many ethnic groups. We 
sipped mango lassis, and ate Hungarian 
pastries fresh from a beehive oven while the 
wind whipped by us on the sidewalk. We 
eyed up bolt after bolt of sari fabric, and my
young daughter tried on half a dozen little 
dresses before finally deciding on this one. 

That evening we sat in the garden of 
their brownstone enjoying Peruvian takeout 
and wine while reliving our perfect day. I
have frozen those memories in my mind.

 I believe that one day deeply imprinted
my mind and senses, and is expressed
in this very quilt these many years later. 
It wasn't until I was making the binding that 
it came together. My thoughts have been 
filled with memories of my friend these past 
months, and my longing to see her since
she's moved so far away.

Whether we realize it or not, something in 
our psyche guides our choices when we design. 
I believe it is important for me to focus on 
what is good, and beautiful, and true. Our
art and creations become an expression
of our consciousness at that moment. 

This quilt started as a simple experiment in 
making half square triangles, then continued to 
quarter square triangles. Visit these recent 
posts documenting the creative process, and 
 the many changes of direction.

I spent the morning with my domestic Janome
 FMQ the setting and corner triangles using 
my favorite pink Aurifil thread, #2425.
I turned the machine so I could work from
the end feeding smoothly through, and not 
have to push the bulk up and under it. I used 
a small, portable table to help support the 
weight of the quilt as I stitched, moving
it as necessary from one side to the next.
This is a very heavy quilt.

The pink Aurifil shows up nicely on the teal blue.

I ran into one small problem. Although I allowed
3 extra inches on the sides of the backing, I had
only 2 on each end to spare before quilting. The
long arming took up quite a bit of that, and left
me 1/4" short on this end. I trimmed the other
end as it was a match with the pieced fabric,
and sewed it to my short end. It was a pretty
close fit, but I was lucky.

 I love to machine stitch binding on. Or should I
say, I hate binding quilts by hand? I do. Here's
a trick. Sew it to the back of the quilt first, then
bring it to the front, and stitch it down. I used a
pale blue in my top thread to match my binding,
and a fushia in my bobbin to match the backing.

If you're careful to pin, pin, pin the front,
it works beautifully.

I was a little bit off where I sewed my
tag on, but I made sure to have it sewn
into the binding to make it extra secure.

I was cautioned against sewing on my binding
by machine, but it seems to be lying flat. I 
always cut my binding fabric perpendicular to 
the selvage, and that seems to be key.

This is a memory quilt sewn with love. 

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's have us a snuggle,
and ring a friend today.

Creative Space Tag continues with
Judy at Quilt Paradigm. She's put a 
lot of time in analyzing her space,
and how she uses it. Wait until 
you see her design wall!

This also is a finish for
my list made for Adrienne's
2015 Finish-Along On the
2015 Finish-Along On the Windy Side.

Thank you all for the linking


Marly said...

Lovely finish Julie, and I love your quilting. Thanks for the tip about turning the machine round; i shall have to try that too.

Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts said...

I love this quilt and especially the teal you used. I haven't done binding by machine, I'm one of those people who really likes to sew the binding by hand. :)

Unknown said...

Gorgeous colors!!

Mari said...

Love the colors in this quilt! It looks so happy. And I'll have to try that turning the machine trick as well. How does it go when you get to the middle of the quilt? Must be okay, because the quilt turned out great!

Debra said...

Again, Love this quilt and the beautiful colors.. it all works together so well. Good luck in the Bloggers Quilt Festival.

Jenn @ A Quarter Inch from the Edge said...

Lovely colours and an amazing back story. Thanks for linking up with TGIFF!

Jess (a.k.a. Rosie) said...

Absolutely gorgeous finish!!! Love all those beautiful colors together :-) Congrats!!! Visiting from TGIFF.

~ Jess ~
Everything Is Coming Up Rosie

Kaja said...

A lovely finish Julie and a lovely story to go with it. Definitely a quilt to snuggle up in.

Kim A said...

Love the colors in this quilt; such a happy quilt!

Kat said...

Gorgeous! The colors are delightful!

Mary said...

You did a great job combining all those QST's. I love Scrappy Quilts.

Claire said...

Nice bright quilt. I especially like the piecing where the QSTs read as one from a distance. I am only now getting my machine binding stitching to where I would consider doing it on a "good" quilt. I've been practicing on crib quilts where durability outweighs appearance.

Linda Swanekamp said...

Just a gorgeous color feast for the eyes! Love the quarter square triangles. I hate to hand sew binding and ever since I found glue binding, I have never looked back. I sew the binding on the front, iron and glue to the back, and sew in the ditch on the front with monofilament. The youtube video Binding the Angel taught it to me, I taught it to my guild and am so happy with my bindings now. No pins!

Heather Graves said...

What a pretty finish! - I do my bindings this way too

SarahZ said...

Such a lovely way to sew up all those wonderful memories! I love the "frame" of blue around all the saturated colors!

Muv said...

Fabulous gorgeous colours, Julie! This quilt looks like so much fun, with all different fabrics that you had saved up, and a whole lot of work too. Doing the free motion quilting on a quilt that size is no mean feat. Fantastic work!

Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks.

Love, Muv

Anonymous said...

Very pretty! I have never sewn binding by hand, with the machine it is just so easy?

Julie said...

Thank you, Melissa. Yes, machine binding goes lickety-split compared to binding by hand. The last quilt I hand sewed binding to was a large baby quilt. While I don't regret it, it was over 5 hours of hand sewing, and I could have put those to better use. I don't have that kind of chair time anymore. Another perk is the stability of the binding. It holds up better to use and repeated washing, and also if a child is one to love and 'pick' at the quilt. I've watched little ones pick at a thread until they loosen it!

My biggest reason: I tend not to have the level of patience by the time I get to binding. There is a thrill to realize I'm only a few hours to another finish, even with a larger piece. I love the Ta Dah! moments.


Jo Ho said...

beautiful colours

Anonymous said...

The colors are beautiful and how the quilt seems to sparkle. I often visit the Baha'i Temple when I am in the area. It is really a beautiful and peaceful site.

Ruth said...

Its a gorgeous finish - love how you it evokes such lovely memories and how you turned your machine - great idea!

audrey said...

Really beautiful quilt! I love the scrappiness factor especially.:)

Kenneth Baker said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
grapes and hearts said...

Isn't it funny, how some days have such a great impact on our minds while others fly by in a blink of an eye?!
We share the hate of handsewing down bindings. I sew them on by machine and never had problems so far.
Love your quilt and the bold colours you chose.
Great job!

Wendy @ Wendysquiltsandmore said...

What a lovely story behind this quilt. How nice to be able to make something with such meaning. *Visiting as a member of the official 2015 Finish-Along cheerleading squad*

Puppilalla said...

Charming, beautiful and lively. Such a beautiful quilt and such good memories. Congratulations to the finish.