Color Burst in QUILT (June/July 2013)

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Happy Friday, Friends!  I hope you have had a good week.  As promised, I am sharing with you my “Color Burst” quilt that is featured in the latest QUILT magazine issue (June/July 2013).

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I nicknamed this quilt my “Iron Man” quilt because I felt like the Iron Man after making hundreds and hundreds of half-square-triangle units in order to finish the quilt top.

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The little HST units finish at 1.5″ — and I don’t even like piecing!

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Here is a little behind-the-scene tidbit… In order for me to make the photo shoot, I completed that quilt from start to finish in about 5 days!  Sometimes I really think I have a screw loose somewhere… ha!

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Here you can see the very clever quilt layout better – and see the pinwheel secondary pattern.

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All that said, this quilt was made with lots of affection because the design is based on an actual quilt in the DAR collection, shown in the following. Click here for the technical information.  So, can you imagine having to piece all those blocks by hand, as done by the un-named original quilt maker?  What a heroine she was!!

Original DAR Quilt

[image source: Quilt Index]

And you know I love re-making historical quilts with our contemporary palettes.  I feel connected to quilters of the past when I work on such quilt projects.  It is my way of paying tribute to the women that have gone before us generations ago for their contribution in the rich American quilting heritage.

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I used Thimbleberries’ Block Party fabrics (by RJR) for my interpretation of the design for a sweet vintage flair.  Click here to view the full fabric range.  I love how the fabrics end up giving a spring palette to the overall quilt design.

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It was a little nerve wrecking working on a borderless on-point quilt because the pieces of the large HST units at the edge were cut on the bias.  I was scared to death the quilt top was going to turn out wonky.  I press-starched the fabric stiff before cutting to avoid the distortion in the cutting and piecing processes.  That seemed to take care of the stretching on the bias problem, because my quilt top laid flat upon completion.

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Quilting was kept very simple to keep the “antique” look – just quilting in the ditches along major straight lines.  As always, I used Aurifil Mako 50 Cotton threads to quilt over Hobbs Tuscany Silk batting.  Now that the quilt is returned to me… my little pea brain has been toying with the idea of going back to quilt the open area with feathers (of course!).

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Honestly, as much as I am not crazy about piecing… I told the editor I would make the quilt AGAIN in a heartbeat using just red and white fabrics.  All that to say, those HST units shouldn’t deter you from attempting this quilt.  It is actually quite relaxing because there isn’t much variation to the piecing – just piece maybe a block a day, and don’t complete the entire quilt in 5 days like I did.  Kits to replicate Color Burst are available for purchase here.

Thank you for stopping by.  I hope you liked my springy Color Burst quilt!  Have a great weekend.

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Click here, and here for my other contemporary interpretations of antique quilts.

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Click here, here, here, here and here for my posts on DAR quilts.

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My 2013 lineup thus far besides “Color Burst” – click on the links for more information:

Annie’s Love Those Precuts Book (January 2013):  Apple of My Eye

Annie’s Sweet Layer Cakes (April 2013): Sunburst Melody, to be posted

Fons and Porter Easy Quilts (Spring 2013): Baubles, Baubles

Fons and Porter Easy Quilts (Summer 2013): Curious Cats

Fons and Porter Easy Quilts (Summer 2013): Fabrique Foursome

Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting (March/April 2013):  Now I know my ABC’s

Machine Quilting Unlimited (March/April 2013): Quilting Curvy Feathers

QUILT (June/July 2013): Pattern Play, to be posted

Quilt Trends (Winter 2013, Cover Quilt): Tango

Quilts and More (Spring 2013): 2 Wishes

Quilts and More (Spring 2013):  Watercolor Sketches

Quilter’s World (February 2013): New Life

Quilter’s World (April 2013): Monkey Around

Quilter’s World (Summer 2013): Garden Mist, to be posted

Quilter’s World QUICK & EASY QUILTS (Spring 2013): In & Out

Quilter’s World QUICK & EASY QUILTS (Spring 2013): Garden Maze

Simple Quilts & Sewing (Spring 2013):  Stained Glass

The Quilter (December 2012/January 2013): Not Too Square

The Quilter (April/May 2013):  In the Meadow

Benartex Free Pattern (March 2013): Pumpkin Patch/Autumn Fauna

Benartex Free Pattern (March 2013): Flora Linda/Catalina

Quilting Treasures Free Pattern (January 2013): Mediterranean Dream

Quilting Treasures Free Pattern (February 2013): Butterfly Kisses

Logged: 6 hours

Good day, everyone!  A quickie to show you the progress on my “Spanning Three Centuries” quilt.  So far, 6 hours have gone into the quilting:

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I wish you all a wonderful weekend!  See you next week!

Back to feather quilting

I am still waiting for fabrics to come in for my upcoming magazine quilts. That means, I have some time to work on my “Spanning Three Centuries” wholecloth quilt. One of these days, I will get it done…

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Truth be known, this is a practice quilt. I want to eventually re-do the entire quilt in some kind of silky fabric.

Alrightie, my friends, back to my sewing machine. I hope you have a wonderful weekend! See you next week!

Feathers from Paper to Fabric

During my “off-season” where I don’t have any pressing deadlines, I have been dabbling in a wholecloth that seeks to reproduce a bed-sized Calamanco quilt that was made in 1800 in America by an unknown quilter, at a smaller scale.

[Calamanco (also spelled calimanco) is a sturdy glazed fabric which was popular in Britain and America during the 18th and 19th Centuries, and which gave its name to quilts made from it. The name comes from a Spanish term for worsted (long fiber wool).  The glaze (or sheen) was produced by rubbing the cloth with a stone, or by applying egg white or wax to the surface.]                                   ~from www.historyofquilts.com

Armed with only a picture of the quilt, I set out to draw the design onto a nice weight vellum sheet.  Then I came across a picture in another book with a beautiful feather border,  also by an unknown quilter in 1930.  So, I added that border to surround the Calamanco design.  Lastly, I added my own designed feather border to cap off the overall design.  Thus it is a wholecloth quilt with designs spanning three centuries.

I finally got the whole quilt top pinned — you can see the sea of pins in these snippets!

Vellum was used so that I can easily transfer the design onto the fabric using a lightbox which my mentor Barbara has graciously loaned me.  It took me 15 hours to just do the transfer!!!

I am hoping I would be able to squeeze in a few stitches on this baby before the weekend is upon us.   Of course, I will update you with the progress with pictures as I work on this quilt inch by inch!  I hope to also show you the original pictures later from the books if my camera is able to capture them nicely.

I am thankful to those who have preserved these quilts.  I only wish we had better documentations of these blessed ladies who had produced such masterpieces for us to appreciate and enjoy.  Your mind goes, “The moral story is…. ?” Oh, you mean, what is the moral story of all this?  I guess, as my quilt teacher Barbara always insists — ALWAYS ATTACH A QUILT LABEL TO A COMPLETED QUILT!