Saturday, June 28, 2014

Fifty shades of Grayson

Graduation from College is a big deal. This past May a dear friend of ours son, who we have know since he was 18 moths old graduated from college. (I'm not even commenting on how old that makes me feel).

To commemorate this occasion I made him an adult sized quilt, since his days of twin extra long beds is now officially over.  (This was also the last of the quilts made for May events). It has taken a bit to get it properly photographed (it's big and doesn't fit on my usual photography place- my fence), hence the delay. Quilts of this size are a several person photo shoot effort. Thank you to Norine (@fivebaht on Instagram) and Leslie and her husband Sam for their help.
Front: photo by Norine Amato (fivebahtelephants)

"Fade into Gray"- a college graduation quilt for Grayson. (I debated the name for some time. Initially I thought of the post title, 50 shades of Gray, but perhaps that might be a bit too risqué ). Instead I went with something comfortable and descriptive.
Dimensions: 100" x 87"
Fabrics:Solids: Kona snow; Prints all 100% cotton: Quilters Linen Print dots in crimson, Saltwater Sea stripes Aqua, Timeless Treasures Sketch in gray, Riley Blake Honeycomb Reversed dot white/gray, Cats, Bats and Vats Stripe orange, Riley Blake honeycomb dot gray/white, Pretty special Chevron gray, Zig Zag chevron charcoal, Wallflowers Vine gray, Moda weave texture pumpkin, Riley Blake Superheros dots blue, Michael Miller Dino Roars Stitch in green, Botanics Striped etchings ash, Herringbone tonal Gray, Moda shades of black joking around, Jazz jam keyboard gray; and other assorted grays from my stash.
Thread: Aurifil #2021 (off-white) for the piecing and the quilting. I used a TREMENDOUS amount of thread in this quilt, nearly an entire cone of thread, that's 6,490 yards, 19,470 feet or for those of you using the metric system, 5900 meters of thread.
stitching detail, front

Batting: Warm and Natural 100% cotton
Quilting: Modified Bernina stitch #4 used in overall coverage. The wavy lines mimic the improv curved piecing.
Binding- I wanted the binding to blend into the quilt top so I used the same Kona snow as the background. The binding is skinny, cut with 2" strips instead of the typical 2.5".
Back: pieced from top left overs and a darker selection of fabrics, to be complimentary but distinct from the front. Either side can be the "top" although the back has the label.
Original design, 2014.
Back, photo by Norine Amato (fivebahtelephants)
It was an incredibly windy day but I had lots of help!

Grayson had a hand in picking the non-gray colors for his quilt. He did this without knowing a quilt was coming his way. I'd send him random questions via text in which he had to answer with a color choice. He might have wondered at the time what they were all about, but he answered each one in a timely manner.
The graduate and his quilt at his graduation party.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Keeping track

How do you? Keep track that is.

When making a quilt or a tote or piece of clothing. Do you finish then jot stuff down? Or do you obsessively keep track while creating?
courtesy of google images

Do you sketch or use quilting software that helps you keep track?

 Do you put all the details in your quilt label? Do you label at all??

Are you always successful or do you shoot for getting most stuff recorded, but not sweating the details- just in case you don't?

I can honestly say I'm inconsistent. Some quilts, I start off keeping details of everything, thread, fabric, batting etc, etc,  but invariably get sidetracked designing, modifying etc. On others, I just back track. Most time, unless I have recently purchased the fabric, which fabric I used is lost; I just don't have a head for remembering fabric designers, so I've quit trying, except when I can say for sure.

I did recently create a  design form which has spaces to add details that I really should be recording when I'm creating. I should keep these on my cutting table. I should!  I made them a few months ago. I haven't used them yet. I resolve to do better, but always with the knowledge that does anyone (besides myself and perhaps the recipient) really care?

That being said, I'd love to know what you do- please share your secrets- good bad or otherwise. I'll pick one suggestion from the bunch and send you a little something for your idea. For everyone else,  I will  happily share my design form if you would like a copy. I'll just need a way to get it to you (so no reply bloggers will be out of luck). Perhaps you will be better at documenting your creations than I am!!

I'm looking forward to hearing from all of you. Perhaps what you do will motivate me to document-as-I-go. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Canvas a winner

Congratulations to Emily…..
You will love you new pattern which will be sent to you by the author herself.
Look for something from Leanne soon!!!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Canvas, a giveaway

It was an honor in May to test a pattern for Leanne at She Can Quilt. This pattern is called Canvas, and  Leanne has offered me one copy to give away.
(photograph used with permission)
There are so very many ways to combine the 8 fabrics- and the pattern comes in sizes from a mug rug to all kinds of awesome bed sized quilts. (Pictured is a pillow size test block finishing at 20 x 20").
One lucky winner chosen from comments on this blog will get their own copy of Leanne's pattern. For all the rest of you, I suggest,  go get the pattern and give it a try- the possibilities are endless.

For really spectacular finished projects go to Leanne's blog and check out her work. You can also follow her on Instagram @shecanquilt. (You can follow me too if you like @spontaneousthreads).

Comments close on June 21st. A winner will be chosen at random. Make sure I can find you if  you are the winner. No-reply bloggers will miss out on all the fun. Good luck!!!

My take on Leanne's pattern. Solids and prints with a solid black background!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Do you see what I see

A Colorado wedding, a beautiful night, a perfect venue and a very fun and meaningful quilt.
"Do you see what I see"
58" x 71"
Original Design
100% Kona cotton solids for the grays and the whites (kona white, snow, ash, steel, medium gray, coal, charcoal, black) and various yellows (kona curry- solid) misc. 100% cotton quilting prints, remainder.
Thread: Aurifil 100% cotton 50 wt, #2021 (off white) piecing- top of quilt: #2021, and #4665 (variegated black), #1158 (med. gray) and #2625 (light gray) for the quilt bottom, #2140 (mustard yellow). 
Batting: Hobbs Heirloom cotton
Backing: I used every scrap left from piecing the front to complete the back. "Randomly" pieced (because you can see some planning if you look closely. 
Binding: split, Kona snow (top part of quilt) and Kona charcoal (bottom part of quilt).
Detail, binding. I also switched thread color- top and bottom as seen here.

Quiting: Bernina modified stitch #4;  each "bow-tie/butterfly/firefly" is free motioned quilted differently in a mustard yellow thread (#) used in the spool and the bobbin so that you can see the outlines of the stitching on the reverse side of the quilt.
Front, detail

Front, detail

Back, detail (yellow thread used in bobbin)
New to me: I used every scrap of left over fabric from the front piecing/cutting on the back. As I was cutting and piecing I kept a basket near and put all the scraps together. I then pieced and randomly placed them all on the quilt back. It was fun to see the basket empty when the back was complete. Additional solids and printed gray fabrics were added to complete the quilt back.
Back, close-up

Back, close-up
I asked my few followers on Instagram if they could offer up some suggestions for the quilt name while it was still a work in progress. Several thought of fireflies, one commented on the transition from light to dark, other, bow ties, or even butterfies. Thinking about all of this and the fact that one of the people getting married is the Manager of Public and Professional Relations for The Rocky Mountain Eye Bank,  the name "Do you see what I see" seemed more than predestined. 
The quilt is the perfect size for sitting on the couch and I heard that their living room is painted a sunny yellow color. I hope this quilt holds a lifetime of stories, each as unique as the couple getting married.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

"Inspired by"

I gave away pillows for Mother's Day, but it didn't occur to me that perhaps Dad's like pillows too.
I got a funny text from my sister-in-law thanking me for her Mother's Day pillow.
 She mentioned that her husband, my brother-in-law, thought the pillow looked great, but lonely on the couch (ha!). So, since he has a birthday close to the end of May and with Father's Day just around the corner, I'm guessing that perhaps he wants a pillow too. Same shape as the other and with similar colors but the design is totally different.

This time I went with linen and improv inset curves.  I pieced the pillow log cabin style rotating the pieced strips so that the inset curves were running in different directions. Then I used lots of punctuated dense quilting. I washed the linen first and I must say, it's a very tactile and soft pillow. I love it!  My brother-in-law is an art dealer. I hope this appeals to his sensibilities.
The back is linen with an exposed black zipper, simple and unadorned.

"Running in Different Directions"
Rectangle pillow 16 x24"(IKEA pillow inset)
Gray (I believe the color is "elephant"), mid-weight linen, pre washed (from
Misc. gray print 100% cotton quilting cotton scraps, various makers. Solids: Kona snow, crocus and pond.
Aurifil 50 wt, 100% Mako cotton, #2021 (off white) and #2605 (gray)- piecing and some quilting, Aurifil #2582 (purple).

It's been pouring and hailing here, off and on, for several days, so you grab the time you have to photograph and hope for the best!