Saturday, July 25, 2015

Accentuating the Negative: Dark Shadows

"I myself an made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions"- Augusten Burroughs

"Success is not final, Failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts"- Winston Churchill

A story of making the most of your flaws.

The piecing of linear scraps and black batting accentuate the seams. The seed stitching adds depth

Truth: I've been lucky on 2 separate occasions with 2 different quilts to have a "negative" judging comment of: Dark fabric shadowing under lighter fabric. Yes, you read correctly, lucky to have received a constructive critique. Lucky because I used that critique to challenge myself to take that perceived "flaw" and make it a design feature. I mean why not, I'm obviously very good at it. I've done it twice- OK likely more than twice, but these 2 quilts had a judge looking at them. So instead of wallowing in self doubt, why not grab the shadows and bring them into the spotlight?
Can you see me now? The seams become design feature instead of design flaw.

Coincidence: A Front Range Modern Quilt Guild challenge to take a traditional block and make it modern.

Lucky me: I have clever quilty friends. We talk, we share…. we encourage and support.

Personal Goals Revisited: for 2015 I have several, 2 of which entail making quilts entirely from scraps.

Cooking up a storm: There is great Truth in Personal Coincidence, Lucky me. Using already cut scrap fabric strips, and  keeping within the Guild challenge guideline (black (any shade)/white (ditto) and 1 other color), and having a great sounding board- off I went to do my own thing. I pieced, awkward angles
awkward angles and a few Y seams
as well as straight seams. I cobbled batting from scraps as well and mustered some courage to try my hand at hand quilting. I incorporated 2014 (metallic) and 2015 (nano particle fabric) idea trends and ended up with a little quilt with a lot to say.

I was pleased with my interpretation of flying geese. What I hadn't expected was the secondary pattern that also emerged of log cabins, and a new found love of dark shadows.

Quilt front

Title: Dark Shadows, Derived Inspiration, No. 5
30 x 22"
Improv with intent, original design.
Fabric: Top: Kona scraps in white, snow, black, coal, medium gray, shadow, curry, saffron, nano particle fabric.
             Back: Black and white dots by Allison Glass
Thread: Aurifil #2021, 50 wt.;  Superior Threads Metallic in silver, Marathon metallic in white and black; embroidery floss in white and gray.
Quilting: straight line, near matchstick, focal FMQ
both cotton (Aurifil) and metallic (Superior and Marathon) threads were used

Guild challenge: Traditional to Modern: flying geese, log cabin
Batting: Quilters Dream black, 100% polyester scraps.
Labeling: Versatranz reflective heat press- Spontaneous Threads

New to me: hand embroidery, seed stitch both on quilt and on a portion of the binding.

even the binding got some hand stitching.

Black batting to accentuate the seaming. A small quilt. (Most of my quilts are much bigger).

I ran out of "white" scraps. I guess gray will do!


  1. Without a shadow of doubt you inspire me with your perspective and talent to embrace and look beyond. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  2. I sure like this quilt, shadows and all. I think that all the stitching is my favourite part.

  3. What a fantastic study quilt! Love the texture and shading that the beadwork adds on top of the seam un-shadows against the black batting.

  4. Oh to have a creative brain like yours! Love the shadows and the dark grey corner.

  5. I saw the log cabin first! Very cool. I keep thinking about this challenge and haven't decided what to do yet.


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