Saturday, October 27, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Today's post is for the fall Blogger's Quilt Festival.  This an awesome online display of quilts brought to us by Amy (since if we are here browsing these, we aren't in Houston with all of quilting's lucky elite!).  We get to stay home and await Hurricane Sandy in the coming days.

My quilt is entitled Zen Garden.  This was finished this past winter.  I'll confess right off the bat to being a longarm quilter, and one the loves to make quilts for shows.  This was my 4th such quilt.  It had the pleasure of hanging in 4 or 5 shows this past season, bringing home a few ribbons.  Similarly, it's even made it into Quilter's Newsletter magazine.  But, enough with the boring stuff, you came here to see pictures.  Am I right?...
 
This quilt finishes at 65" square.  It's a traditional pattern called a broken star or Carpenter's star.  The applique all around the border almost disguises this.  It's deceptively easy to construct because the diamonds constructed of 25 pieces are actually made from strip sets.  The trick is just getting all the fabrics of the strips in the right order!  
One of the things I limited myself to when I made this quilt was to ONLY use fabrics from my stash.  So, there goes the possibility of this looking too traditional.  I have quite a bit of bolder color, larger print fabrics, and despite the size of these pieces being fairly small, they all seemed to work nicely at creating a visual colorburst effect.  
 
The majority of the quilt is the fabric used on the outer border and inner setting squares.  I knew since this was a Kona fabric (solids, though nice, are kind of dull and boring and they don't bring a lot of life to the party), I would need to make it interesting somehow.  As you can see, the setting squares were jazzed up by appliqueing a purple and pink flower to the inner corner, and then more applique.  The tan is just dull by itself.  The border around the star received a lot of Asian-inspired floral applique.  I love working with the bias strips, and the curvy-ness of this distracts the eye from the bland tan.  I was able to use flowers that are basically constructed from the same shape as the star is, and then brought many of the same green prints back in for leaves -- all 85 of so of them.   And I can't forget the butterflies.  They are my personal favorite.  A small feature that helps to define this as a garden.  I fussy cut them from a piece of fabric I had, then colored them with sharpie pens to make them the colors I wanted.
The part that I really love in the process, though, is when the quilting starts and the quilt is brought to life.  Design details can be added to the boring tan areas to make them visually stimulating, like the checkerboards shown above.  Rays were quilted into the inner star to bring it outwards.  I enjoy all the fun fillers that make the finished quilt an I-Spy of sorts.  Approximately 75 hours was spent on the quilting (did I mention that I am insane too??!)


 Here's a closeup of the edge...a small (yes, micro) micropiping gives the quilt interest, but also provides a little added stiffness to help it to hang straightly.
 Here's just a few more photos...

Thanks to Bonnie Hunter.  I posted 4 of the ones that she sent me after MQX.  And what fun would it be without one of the back?...  The backing fabric is a Laura Ashley print.  It shows the texture, but not all the stitching lines.  And that's my artistic muse, Picasso, eyeing the binding clips as potential toys!.
I love all your comments, and I hope that you have a great week looking at the Bloggers Quilt Festival quilts.

Stats...
size 65"x65"
techniques: machine pieced, hand appliqued
quilted by me on a longarm
Categories: wall quilt, professionally quilted, applique quilt

46 comments:

The Nifty Stitcher said...

Just a beautiful work of art. Love your quilting Margaret. Such talent!

jednoiglec said...

This is probably my favorite quilt of yours. I love colors and every detail of it (especially quilting which is a masterpiece!).

Debbie said...

Unbelievable quilting. Just an amazing job you did to create this stunning quilt.

Dorothy said...

Stunning quilt. Your quilting is magnificent!

LeAnne said...

Absolutely beautiful. Everything about it is amazing.

Patti said...

Wow! This is absolutely spectacular.

Karen M. Walker said...

As a fellow MQR member, i am familiar with your outstanding quilt....and your work. Always inspiring!! One could never tire looking at this quilt. Beautifully pieced, colors just right and the quilting...what can i say? Amazing. One question...micro piping? what is the distance between the quilting? Thanks Margaret.

Lorna said...

Margaret: Wow! Beautiful, absolutely beautiful. Amazing quilting that makes all the colours come alive. Zen Garden indeed :)

Stephanie Farinelli said...

This really is breathtaking! Thank you for posting it. It is quite stunning, and I like the name you gave it.

PaintedThread said...

Wow. The combination of the piecing and quilting are fantastic. Beautiful quilt.

Lisaleh said...

OMG, this is incredible! Wow, wow, wow. I'm in awe.

Bianca said...

GORGEOUS!!!! Wow, what a work of art! I can only dream of making something that exquisite.....

Robin said...

Stunning!!! I love the applique border and the way it seems to connect with the center star. Very cool! Seeing quilting like this is always an inspiring experience for me. You really took this quilt to the next level with the attention to detail in the quilting.

CitricSugar said...

Jaw. Dropped.

The quilt is gorgeous but the quilting...!! Wow. I had never heard of micropiping and am nowhere near as precise in my sewing as I would have to be to use that. Amazing.

Eileen said...

Gorgeous. Those colors are ones i love so that makes it even better but your work is just amazing. That micro piping is such a wonderful touch to an awe-inspiring piece. Thanks for sharing and have a great day

Alison said...

Wow! Everything about this one is just gorgeous! It is truly inspiring!

ANudge said...

An amazing and stunning quilt - I love the applique with the piecing. Your quilting is exquisite. Sure to be a winner.

amy g :) said...

this is HOLY COW one of the most beautiful quilts i have ever seen - did you use a book or pattern to make the main part of the pattern?

Scientific Quilter said...

ooh ohhh oooh oohh!!! This quilt is fantastic! Holy cow, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this quilt! All the various quilting techniques here on one quilt! And they all work together to make the quilting fantastic!!!! Those 75 hours are worth it, although it may not have felt like it at the time! Detail galore, everywhere!!
Cant sign in under my wordpress account which is what I use. No replies to blogger account (dead 3 years). scientificquilter@gmail.com

Scientific Quilter said...

ooh ohhh oooh oohh!!! This quilt is fantastic! Holy cow, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this quilt! All the various quilting techniques here on one quilt! And they all work together to make the quilting fantastic!!!! Those 75 hours are worth it, although it may not have felt like it at the time! Detail galore, everywhere!!
Cant sign in under my wordpress account which is what I use. No replies to blogger account (dead 3 years). scientificquilter@gmail.com

Rachaeldaisy said...

Wow!! This quilt is really amazing!! Breathtaking!!

Belinda said...

I'm at a loss for words. This quilt is more than amazing. What talent you have!! It' breathtaking really.

vexa said...

Amazing! Colors, quilting, everything!

Karen S said...

This is just amazing -- I love the colors and the quilting is spectacular!

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

You should be very proud of your work Margaret. I just love this quilt!! I don't know what else to say about it....everything about it is stunning.

audrey said...

Amazing detail! So beautiful!

Y said...

Amazing, beautiful quilt!

Masha Novoselova said...

your works are absolutely perfect!! I love all!...
(I never could make something like this :) )
regards from Russia
Masha

Lonci said...

Gorgeous job, congratulations:))

Danielle Hudson said...

We have a show stopper here! I love your attention to detail!*the little flight trails of the butterflies!* Awesome FMQ!!

flisa said...

Wow! Beautiful! Love your quilting :)

Marie said...

Really beautiful - no wonder the ribbons followed you home from the shows. The colours are spectacular and the quilting divine. Thanks for posting this one to the Festival for us to see.

Sarcastic Quilter said...

Of course it is stunning, the ribbons can attest to that but I really appreciate the story behind it and your creative process. While I've seen this before and still admire it as I did hte first time, I was also glad to learn something new about it and that was how you did the leaves.

Gorgeous!

PBJ Quilt Sandwiches said...

WOW! Stunning!!!! You have an amazing gift and talent!

PBJ Quilt Sandwiches said...

Absolutely stunning!! What talent!

bagiennka said...

This is absolutlely amazing quilt. I love that <3

Robyn of Coffee and Cotton said...

What an amazingly beautiful piece! Love the main design block and the outer flowers remind me of thistles

Becky (My Fabric Obsession) said...

This is stunning Margaret! I love everything about it. The quilting is of course amazing. The colors are lovely and the piecing is wonderful. Great work!

Kate said...

Wow! Absolutely beautiful! Gorgeous fabrics and quilting.

marth225 said...

All I can say is awesome

Camilla said...

Fantastic quilting!

Sandra said...

wow, fabulously over the top wonderful. Beautiful piecing and stunning quilting.

Come see my Batik Tulips #46

and my antique zigzag-a-licious quilt #23

Nana said...

Awesome quilt...amazing work!

Marlene @ KISSed Quilts . com said...

beautiful!!

Nic said...

This is gorgeous. Obviously you had a cohesive stash to choose from as these fabrics all go together so well. Beautiful work

Jacqueline Medina said...

Is there a pattern for this quilt? I'd love it if so!