Thursday, June 15, 2017

Moda Modern Building Blocks Off the Frame

First Round Done

Yesterday was a challenge to get through the last pass on this Moda Modern Building Blocks. I was pretty excited to finally unpin, and evaluate its progress.

Several people have asked why I didn't quilt the whole thing in one run. I've been explaining behind the scenes, but it's because of the size of the blocks. Some are 36"!

If you look to the top right hand corner of this picture, the teal-grey-red star block has sections unquilted. Those sections laid on the sides of the block rather than the top and bottom. In order to do the ruler work planned, I needed to have all of the block visible at once. They were too long to fit. Rolling and unrolling so many times would be unthinkable so waiting until it could be turned at the end was an easy choice. I'm at that point here.

This is my first attempt at doing a whole quilt with only straight line motifs. I did have to add some stippling, but stuck to only stippling for filler. I wanted the quilting to be simple as the sampler is so busy itself. This quilt is typically presented in solids, but mine was destined for prints, of course.

Looking for ways to add pizzazz to each block making it individual was a bit of a struggle for me. I could see a change in my thought process the more I worked. By the end, I was working better with imposing quilting lines that didn't naturally occur in the piecing. And while I particularly like the yellow block above, I had a bit of an eye opener when I saw it from the back of the quilt later.

Not every block had to be a star.

Sometimes I chose to quilt portions of a block leaving other parts in just an outline. My batting was appropriate for stitching as much as 8" apart so it was okay.

My favorite block of all was this fussy cut lion. I saved it for last.

So here's where I was first excited to see how using multiple colored thread with matching bobbin thread would look. I love that pop of color on the solid grey backing. I was also a little terrified that I had used a solid backing to do this, but I doubt it would be this dramatic if I'd used a busy print.

I also became aware of several open areas that needed more quilting. The lion block above, for example. I needed something around the central lion that wouldn't detract, and also in the printed areas. Yes, some areas were intentionally waiting until I turned it, but not all. I had to get out my marking tools, and see where I could add more lines. Lots and lots of fine tuning back and forth to even out the quilting were still ahead. Disappointing to me? Yes, a little, but this was a first shot, and positively a learning project. 

Heck, I should tell you how overjoyed I was that there was only "1" tiny, nearly invisible tuck in the whole backing! With all these lines coming together, that was a thrill.

I hadn't been sure of using that gridwork in the upper right corner with the potential for tucks. Now I'm happy I took the chance.

So at the 3 week mark I still have more work to do. Pretty fun work, though, so no complaints here. My deadline is still at a safe distance.

Keep your dogs cool.
Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.

Linking up with~
 Crazy Mom Quilts


Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts said...

I think it looks stunning! The back is a piece of art by itself. I'm super impressed with all the ruler work - those straight lines are the perfect compliment to all the piecing. You should be proud of this piece Julie. It's fabulous.

Sharon - IN said...

Lovely! I do like your straight line quilting. It is always such a treat to turn a quilt over to examine the back! Your bobbin thread color changes has added a lot of interest. How fun for you to explore in this way, colors and style of quilting!

Linda Swanekamp said...

You are doing a masterful job. Good thing you are taking it slow- gives you time to think.

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

Lovely to see your quilting on this big quilt Julie, the variety of straight line quilting is looking great! The back is amazing!

Sarah Craig said...

You did a great job with the quilting on this one - I need to take the time to learn this technique! I have a question - do you use clamps to keep your back taut side to side? That can help eliminate the tucking issue.

Julie said...

You are so kind! Thank you, Beth. I was just thinking the other day how I read your post on a stitch in the ditch for for our Janomes so many years ago, and was amazed. We've come a long way, baby! Right? Thanks again.

Julie said...

This was a little bit of a challenge for me, Sharon. It made me pay attention to something out of my normal range, and that's always good. This quilt in particular was excellent to try it out on, and my daughter is happily waiting for the finish.

Julie said...

Yes, slow and steady is good. It took a fair amount of concentration, measuring, marking, etc. And with each block being new and individual I got to try out different ideas. Thank you.

Julie said...

Thank you, Linda. Such a learning experience! I'm most amazed at the amount of time it actually takes, and have a whole new respect for quilters' work I've seen, but not fully comprehended their time investment. I'm curious how much time I'll have in by the end, and wish I'd kept track. Next time!

Julie said...

Thank you, and yes. I keep my tension between the bars on the looser side as was recommended, and the bungey and clamp tension taut, but not tight. Tucks can happen to even the most experienced of us if we don't watch our direction while stitching. Have you ever watched the Jamie Wallen videos? He's said several times within either the YouTubes or his dvds about how to avoid them. If I come across the exact advice I'll pm you. But I was just surprised with the amount of individual blocks vs. working overall left to right it was fairly uneventful. Let's hope it's just as good when I reload it.

Alison V. said...

Absolutely gorgeous!

Jasmine said...

Wow! Your custom quilting is beautiful.

Stitchified said...

This is a work of art, for sure! Beautiful job <3

kupton52 said...

This is beautiful...I'm not yet a big fan of "modern" quilts, but this one is the exception. Thank you for showing the back. Your ruler work is stunning.

Rebecca Grace said...

Julie, this is looking FANTASTIC! Thanks for sharing about how you're turning the quilt to complete those larger blocks. I hadn't thought about that, but I'm going to be facing the same issue when (IF!) I get around to making the rest of my blocks for that project and get to the quilting stage. Your ruler work looks really, really good. How bad is the learning curve with that -- have you been working with the rulers for a long time? I think that's the next thing I'm really excited to try with my machine. Hopefully I'll be able to scrape out some time for that this weekend. I'm looking forward to seeing your completed building blocks quilt!

Julie said...

I was sitting on a curb in the street watching a blues festival in Reno when I saw this. Pretty loud and crazy to say the least, and I was just stopped. We never think our comments make a difference, but somehow this one really did. I think all bloggers are a little unsure, raw, and hope people like to see/are inspired with what we're doing, but we're never quite sure all the work and time we spend is valuable. I sincerely appreciate your kind words. It gave me a real needed shot in the arm.



PaulaB quilts said...

The,quilting is very impressive. I really like your use of closely grouped lines separated,by,spaces. It accentuates the puffinesss in that shape.

KaHolly said...

Oh. My. Goodness! It's gorgeous!