17 December 2015

The Birds and the Butterflies

So, I finaaaallllyyy finished my Birds and Butterflies quilt. It was, as I mentioned previously, inspired by Red Pepper Quilts Butterfly Quilt.

The Birds and The Butterflies
Look, no clips! Thank goodness there was no wind!

First I drafted my own butterfly block and paper pieced them using my freezer paper piecing method. The butterflies are all pieced in Lecien's Flower Sugar 2013 collection. I saw it, fell in love with it, and knew immediately that I was going to use it to make this quilt. The bodies are all text prints.

The Birds and The Butterflies
Love these fabrics.
I decided to border the quilt with some improv birds. I made it so at the head and foot of the quilt the birds face the same way, so it doesn't really matter which way it's oriented. They switch direction half-way down each long side. The birds were made with scraps of Butter Sugar, and some coordinating Kaffe Fasset shot cottons. They were all pieced onto a Michael Miller dot.

The Birds and The Butterflies
Birdies. Each one is different - either because of fabric or leg movement. 

Once I finished the top, I saw what a beast it was. 108" by 90". HUGE. I started quilting it in my small Brooklyn apartment, on my old kenmore machine, and I just wasn't feeling it. The quilt kept bashing into the wall and the stitches were all uneven. So, I put it away.

The Birds and The Butterflies
The beast. 

Over a year later, in another state, and with a new machine, I finally took the quilt out again. I wanted to do more than straight lines, but my current motto is 'get 'er done', so I just kept the quilting simple. Horizontal lines through the butterflies, and straight lines through the border, effectively bordering the whole quilt.

The Birds and The Butterflies
On the edge of insanity. Check out those borders!

The quilt is backed in some of my most favorite fabric ever. I fell in love with Anna Marie Horner's Hand Drawn Garden fabric in Social Climber. I started stockpiling it, but in small bursts. A yard here, a yard there. I loved the teal, but bought the gold too, when I found it on sale. I clearly didn't know at the time, but these fabrics were destined for the back of this quilt. Paired with some Joel Dewberry True Colors woodgrain fabric, and the back is just as nice as the front.

The Birds and The Butterflies
The back! Or as I like to call it, the second front. 

The quilt is bound in some more Joel Dewberry True Colors woodgrain. It took me three nights to hand sew the binding down. Hundreds of inches! I was so pleased with this finish. I immediately took it on a photoshoot so I could put it on my bed! I love it and am so glad I finally finished it and am using it! I love so many of the fabrics, and the modern traditionalism of the layout and fabrics. I also thought it would end my fights with the dogs over the covers, but alas, his perchance for sleeping in the middle of the bed makes it impossible to get an even share!

The Birds and The Butterflies
No alligators were hurt in the taking of these pictures. 

10 December 2015

Rose's Rainbow

I finished up two (that's right, TWO!!) quilts recently! It was a wild weekend...

Rose's Rainbow
Quilt and Cactus

One of the quilts was the quilt for Rose. She bid on a custom baby quilt at an auction for my friend's Doula Collective. We collaborated on the design, and she was really easy to work with. Her stipulations were basically primary colors, sampler, modern-ish.

Rose's Rainbow
Close up of Arizona square.

I used some of my favorite fabrics (Arizona by April Rhodes, some Cotton+Steel for the low volume, and some of the Birch Organic fabrics), and some fabrics that I couldn't resist buying when I saw them, but I've never been able to use. The low volumes form a background that is a scrappy low-ish volume hodgepodge. I wasn't sold on it at first, but I like how it is kind of busy up close, and fades into the background as you retreat. The binding is a stripe that my family got for me in Barcelona, Spain so this quilt is definitely full of special fabrics!

Rose's Rainbow
Hanging out at the turtle pond. 

The quilting is really simple. I started by stitching in the ditch around all the colored sections. I was going to do some matchstick quilting over the low volume to make it more cohesive and to really make the design pop, but I lost my momentum. I figured a finished quilt is better than a half finished quilt - and if I had started the matchstick I wouldn't have finished anytime soon!

Rose's Rainbow
Alligator pond in the background.

I took this quilt to the local park: Estero Llano Grande, about 5 minutes from my house. I am always looking for alligators at the pond, but I haven't seen any yet! It's a popular place for birders, and they all thought I was a little nutty for coming with my nice camera to take pictures of a quilt.

Rose's Rainbow
Full quilt!
I backed it in some home dec scraps and some other scraps of the Ride collection by Julia Rothman. Not my favorite backing ever, but I was able to use of some scraps! And it's still appropriate with the masculine, primary color theme. I put corner squares in each of the four corners because there's no right side up or down. I have one way that I consider up, since I designed it, but I want Rose to be able to hang it however she chooses. 

Back of quilt. 

Well that's about it for this quilt. I hope that Rose likes it, and I'm excited to send it to her!

Hopefully linking up to Finish it up Friday with Crazy Mom Quilts and Scraptastic Tuesday from She Can Quilt