Tuesday, May 24, 2016


Third Time's the Charm

Being a relative newcomer to modern quilting, I thought that joining in on the "Thoroughly Modern Mini" swap among the four Tennessee guilds would be a worthwhile challenge, a chance to try new things on a small scale. My swap partner didn't provide a lot of guidance -- just four of her favorite colors: eggplant, orange, lime, and aqua.

Double Star
I was never happy with the lack of contrast in my first attempt, a double star. Plus the gray I had selected for the background was DEAD. Plus, I had no clue how I would quilt it! My second attempt at the double star was way too dark and dreary to even warrant a photo.

Time to take a whole new direction. I dug out piles of books for inspiration and decided to do a fan blade kinda thing. I tried 10-degree, 18-degree, and 30-degree wedges. I tried background on both ends. I tried this and that ... The size was getting out of hand (could be no bigger that 24" square). I was running out of the selected fabrics and wasting the precious background fabric. I had to do SOMETHING and didn't want to waste more time trying out options. Could I do something creative with the parts I had already constructed?

Why, yes I could!!!

Project in Progress
First I constructed a serpentine piece from the 18-degree wedges and turned under the raw edges.  I stay-stitched it to the background in a few critical spots before creating the quilt sandwich. I used Sulky KK 2000 Temporary Spray Adhesive to spray baste the layers. (It was my first time using this product and I was extremely pleased with how easy it was.)

Then I took a big gulp of air (and a little gulp of wine -- OK, maybe a big gulp of wine) and started quilting. I decided to use my Pfaff with dual feed and that turned out to be a good decision because of the variety of attachments at my disposal. First I top-stitched the serpentine piece about 1/8" from the edge using an open-toe foot guided along the edge of the curve.

Then I echo-quilted the serpentine shape using the guide set at 2". (I only had to rip out a couple of inches that were more right-angle than curved!)

Quilting gauge
Next, I broke out the stitch-in-the-ditch foot to extend the wedges in matching threads out to the edges.

Stitch-in-the-ditch foot

Ghost wedges
I used my Clover Ball Point stiletto like a hera marker to mark my straight lines.

I bound the edges with the same fabric used on the back -- two of her favorite colors.

I put hanger triangles in all four corners so that she can decide how she wants to hang it -- oh, how I hope she wants to hang it ....

This will be going in the mail this week. I sure hope she likes it!

Linking up with Connie at Free Motion by the River. 

And with Kaja at sew slowly for Ad Hoc Improv Quilting.


  1. If she doesn't like it, we'll take it!

    1. You're in luck, Son, because I have LOTS of leftover pieces!

  2. What is not to like! This is so creative and beautiful :)

  3. Great save! Lovely design in piecing and quilting. Claire aka knitnkwilt.wordpress.com

  4. I love the dynamic layout and how the colors work together, and the colorful quilting lines - great idea!

  5. Of course she is going to like it Libby! I love that you went way out of your comfort zone and came up with a very cool and interesting modern piece. The different colors of thread I totally love! I'm so happy you were able to save your attempt and make it work! Thank goodness for a healthy glass of wine!

  6. This is a beautiful piece. You did a great job with the quilting!

  7. Oh, Libby, that's really really wonderful! I think you've hit it out of the park!

  8. Awesome, Libby! Your perseverance paid off and Wow! Love the design and the quilting...(and your son's comment! :D)

  9. Beautiful! You totally nailed it. Congrats on your perseverance!

  10. Spot on! I love that elegant curve and the great sense of movement your quilting has created. Lots of lovely little details too, like the different coloured threads and the way the coloured segments aren't all the same size.

  11. I love this, and especially the way you extended the lines of the wedges with the quilting.

  12. Love the curves and colours! The quilting lines leading from the wedges in both directions adds a mother dimension.

  13. I love the way you alternated color and background. Great explanation of your quilting, too. Congratulations on a beautiful quilt. Thanks for linking with AHIQ.

  14. Wow! You really hit the inspiration jack box with this one. It's a very dynamic piece. That has to feel really good after all the frustration early on in the process.

  15. Terrific! So glad I found this site w/the help of Kat Scribner. Would you please tell me how large it ended up being? thanks!


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