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08/28/2013 / thriftomancer

Colonies/Culture Quilt

And here’s “the other quilt.” I started this one almost immediately after returning home from the Home & Garden show in April. (Yes, it’s taken a while.) Sitting around talking about quilts gave me plenty of time to consider what I wanted to make next. By the end I had a few things in a queue:

1) A quilt similar/in homage to the works of Beatrice Lanter, whose pieces involve hundreds of tiny, concentric squares. (I’m disappointed that I couldn’t find any good links to collections of her work to share, but Google her on your own and poke about. Her quilts are amazing.)

2) A redwork-esque quilt where my quilting, not patchwork, is the star.

3) Something that uses lots of natural linen, since I’d been doing so much in black and dark colors.

But that’s 3 quilts and I wanted to work on all of them first. Solution: Compromise and meld them all together.

I made up a batch (or 5) of small square units like these:

Block units!

Over to the right is a stack of finished blocks that have been pieced to 9.5″ x 9.5″ using the natural linen I had on hand. I made 45 of them, then decided to take a break and see how they looked.

45 blocks

Answer: Pretty good.

After shifting and swapping them around for a while I found a layout I liked and decided it was enough, not every block needed to have a square on it. So instead of making more, I took the natural linen I had left and started cutting solid blocks out of it to fill in the remaining 27 squares. You can see the first 3 in the photo there. That’s numbers 1 and 3 of the queue down.

Sewing!

Stitching!

Once I got all 72 blocks of the top pinned, pieced, and pressed I sort of stalled. There wasn’t enough muslin in my stash to finish a backing so, until I got off my rump and bought more, it went on hiatus. (During that time I was working on the checkerboard quilt.) After I got moving though, I put on a pieced muslin backing (made of new fabric and my muslin scraps), basted it up, and set to quilting.

This is where the redwork aspect of the queue came into play. Instead of using quilting thread like I usually do, I used embroidery floss. I split the strands in half, using only 3 of the 6 threads in the skein at a time, but that width was plenty to give me a stronger/more obvious color to work with than thread would have.

The pattern I settled on was 2 concentric squares of stitching around each of the square units in coordinating colors. On the blank blocks and other open areas I stitched closely-spaced vertical lines in off-white floss. (I had a lot left over from when I quilted Lazy Gal.)

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