Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Neutral Fusion awaits binding

Reminder: I live in Maine. It is winter. And it is January. The thermometer guy from 6 days ago should be a reminder of how bone-chilling winter here is, usually. Then it was mearly 40F below freezing. Today it is more than 20F above freezing. Mother Nature is on a serious dose of something. It is projected to be in the 30s the rest of the week, which sounds warm for January. I took advantage of the nice day. Most of the snow was melted off the sidewalks. With the kids due home in an hour, I went out for a nice walk. Sounds like spring fever, but until the custom work I am getting Friday is here, I have little to do except hand-stitching, and I am getting sick of that!
I took this small quilt off the blocking boards today. It is part of MQX's Neutral Fusion exhibit. It's not judged or anything, and is not specifically secret, so I suspect there's no harm in showing these. The quilt is only 30"x36". They sent the people participating 8 fat quarters of all neutral fabrics (AKA "uglies"!). I added a few more of my own. They range from a white-ish batik to heavily painted beiges to tan modern prints. As I said, Uglies. Then, they were (the center of all quilts will be pieced the same) cut into pieces to make 6 9-patch blocks and 6 snowball blocks, to form the center of the quilt. We were allowed to do whatever for the 1" inner border. Pieced or not, colorful or not. Our choice. The 5-1/2" outer border piecing was our choice too, but it had to be from the neutrals. I do not know why I did what I did for either border. I'm not thrilled with my choices.


Then, we are instructed to quilt it however we want. All neutral fabrics must be quilted with coordinating thread though. Drat! Do you know how hard the painted fabrics are to see anything on?? Really hard. Blindingly hard.


Once again, I have questioned my logic for the quilting in the corners. Don't really know what I was thinking there. The thought of the pumpkin seeds on the diagonals sounded better before I densely quilted around them, turning them into obnoctious "x"s. Oh well. It's a learning experience every day. All of my quilting is obviously freehanded. No computers to smartly quilt even and symmetrically for me. I love the feathers and the rays - they are very much my style.


I had a little fiasco with the narrow pink inner border. In spritzing the blue marker out, I discovered that one of the darker pink fabrics ran. This quilt is so small that I did not plan to wash and block it. It would have been just fine for an exhibit. But runny pink on white looked rotten, so it went through the washer 2x with color catchers. I have learned in this project that I like Superior's Lava thread. I received a sample cone of a variagated rose. I had no idea how many yards were on it so I never used it on any quilt. I assumed that this border was small enough that I stood little chance of running out, and gave it a go. Lava is 30wt polyester. It will go on my must get list when I go to MQX. Another pretty obvious learning that I found the hard way: Feathering that 1" border was too much work!


The back is interesting. The rose bobbin shows, but the rest of the bobbin was cream. This is a busy (and kinda ugly) sage print. From a few feet away, it blends to a neutral. Hey, it's the back!




So I have no idea how many mini quilts will be a part of the Neutral Fusion exhibit. Hopefully many. Go to MQX to see.



Tune in later this week to hear about my Tales of Quilting with my DSM...another chapter in my "What not to do" book.

10 comments:

shannon said...

gorgeous! i always enjoy looking at your quilts! such an inspiration....thanks for sharing.

LynCC said...

LOL!! I find nothing about this quilt the slightest bit ugly! It's stunning, through and through. Love that 1" feathered border. :D

harrispen said...

Your quilting is always inspirational to me. You find faults, but I am in awe.

Cindy

Lisa Marie said...

I think it's just lovely! Even the pumpkin seeds.

Desley said...

So much work for such a small quilt. Absolutely beautiful as usual. I really like how you did the corners, and like the 'x' effect even though you are not so keen on it.

Furball Farm Quilting said...

Great quilt, I'd be interested to know more about that Fusion thread. Is it ideal for the intense quilting?

Borderline Quilter said...

Fabulous as usual Margaret, love all of it, you can even turn 'usgly neutrals into magnificent pieces!

Kay in Scotland

Borderline Quilter said...

Fabulous as usual Margaret, love all of it, you can even turn 'usgly neutrals into magnificent pieces!

Kay in Scotland

The Quilted Finish ph 02 63310084 said...

There's nothing "obnoxious" about the x's or anything on this quilt for that matter! You are a gifted quilter to come up with such a gorgeous design with fabrics you found challenging. You should reach your arm up over your shoulder and give yourself a well earned pat on the back!!

The Quilted Finish ph 02 63310084 said...

There's nothing "obnoxious" about the x's or anything on this quilt for that matter! You are a gifted quilter to come up with such a gorgeous design with fabrics you found challenging. You should reach your arm up over your shoulder and give yourself a well earned pat on the back!!