Soft Botanical – Fabric Mosaic Entries

Stitched in Color’s recent Bloglovin feed sparked my interest in her fabric Mosaic contest sponsored by Gotham Quilts.  She provides a wonderful theme and many beautiful inspirational photos to feed your soul before you embark on virtual shopping at Gotham Quilts.

I had the fortune in February to shop in person at Gotham Quilts, so as I selected my fabrics for the contest, I was reminded of one of the kind Gotham team members saying “that fabric is right at home with the others you selected”.  The “right at home” sits with me each time I evaluate options for a fabric pull.  I had a few lovely several hours there on a snowy Thursday afternoon, and flew home with many more bundles than I expected to mainly due to the pulls that weren’t “at home” and thus started secondary and then some piles I then had to fill out.  Such fun it was!

I enjoyed the process and look forward to hopping back over to Stitched in Color  to see the other unique palates presented.

My first choice reminded me of succulent’s spring splendor…soft tones yet with balances of playful oranges spiking from the April and May blooms on my succulents after a good winter of rain.  The selection of colors was a challenge for me as I immediately migrated to the bright and bold oranges and the initial Mosaic was definitely not a soft botanic.  I think California springs contributed – we don’t experience the misty mornings or humid rains that lend themselves to a softer botanical garden.  So I put my Connecticut birth home gardening lens on and the Mosaics developed from there.

Here is my California version of a soft botanical.

Spring Fling #2 {thesaltingcraftbox}

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My second choice was where I had to dig deeper outside of my normal fabric pulls and yet I am so happy with the outcome.  Here is my representation of an East Coast soft botanical.

Spring Fling #1 {thesaltingcraftbox}

Funny that I had to break these down into East Coast and West Coast.  Thank you Rachel for such a fun project!

StarLight Star Dark Quilt Finish 2017-04-29

Hmph.  I realized I never posted pics of my finished StarLight Star Dark quilt finish.  Sigh.  Busy-ness.  I clearly meant to…Star Light Star Dark Finish, Almost and had kept good progress going in the late summer as I finished the top.  Star Light Star Dark Quilt.Starlight Backing

This was my very first effort at quilting a finished top.  I thought about, or even thought I was FMQ using my walking foot.  But I really sewing many straight lines.  It gave the quilt a very dense and tight feel, and I like how it held the constellations, aka stars, together.

Starlight Quilting

I quilted some stars almost matchlike, and other parts of the block walking foot distance apart.  In hindsight, I was practicing quilting while learning about how to work with drag while turning a moderate sized quilt.  Not rocket science for most quilters I imagine, but enough of a learning curve for me who’d only sewn seams before.

Starlight FinishSunrise to sunset…

Starlight

Grateful to my husband for holding this up for me.  Bright stars against a cloudy sky.

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I left the large star centers alone.  Once I wash the quilt, I imagine these will be a bit more puffy spaces that give the quilt some dimension.  That is my wish for these stars.

Starlight Roll

The backing is I Want My Space, Astral Stars in Black and the binding was a black fabric from Joanne’s with colorful dots.  It tied the front colors together nicely.     The backing was 58′ wide, which worked beautifully for the quilt which finished at 51 x 70.  It is now a staple at the cabin, for star gazing on the deck at night.   Looking forward to my next project.

Sun Showers Quilt Finish 2017 04-22

It is hard to believe I have half dozen finished quilts behind me already, having jumped back into sewing just under 2 years ago.  Working with color, fabric, design and creating have been fun for me given I work with numbers all day.

This quilt was inspired by the Sun Showers I experienced most of the summer growing up in Connecticut.  It was a gift for a very dear friend who mentored and guided me during high school.  Hello Sun!

Her favorite colors are blue and yellow, and so this project began. The blues are Porcelain Blue by Deborah Edwards for Northcott.  I picked up the yellow florals at Joanne’s as fillers.

Reflections

After countless patterns up on the design wall, I went for pinwheels as the main block construct, with a corner of sunshine followed by a shower of rain.   One can’t really go wrong with pinwheels.

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It was particularly fun to work with dark, medium and lights with this quilt.  I had to head to the store a few times to fill in gaps in the fabrics I needed but hey, adding to my stash is more fun than I anticipated.

Sun Shower Blocks (1)

My long arm quilter did a beautiful job on the quilt.  Stars and wavy lines like a misty rain…perfect for the quilt and a beautiful play on the American Dreams, by Beth Logan for Henry Glass backing.

Labels

I used an extra set of HSTs to make the label on the back, which I embroidered by hand with standard DMC embroidery floss.  The label I sewed on with Sulky invisible thread.

Sun Shower Blocks (2)

Here’s my little man, helping hold the quilt up on a huge granite rock in the woods.  We had a beautiful sunny day, with rolling clouds casting shadows on us.  This was the afternoon before it snowed which you see in the other pictures.

Sun Showers & a little snow

I loved sending this off to my friend, and hated parting with it.  It is bold and peaceful at the same time.  Might be another one I have to make for myself.  🙂

Man Cave Quilt Finish 2017-04-15

As I began venturing into quilting, my husband gently questioned me (a few times) on where was his quilt?  I started it back in October WIP Wednesday 2016 10 26 based on his fabric picks, and went with a classic granny square pattern I found at Blue Elephant Stitches.  Her pattern was so easy to follow and constructing this quilt was a breeze.

Granny Square Blocks

The blocks came alive, ripe with bright and cheery solid Kona colors including  Basil Green, Tangerine, Corn Yellow and Burgundy.  The background was with Kona Black.

My helper with Man Cave

I straight line quilted it on the diagonal and chose wide lines rather than add a match stick type of quilting.  The quilt has a 3/4 inch batting and my thought was fewer lines would keep it fluffy for my honey.

Love the backing!

The Carrie Bloomston Newsprint fabric for Windham was perfect for this quilt backing.   It was a warm and retro choice; now my husband doesn’t have to leave his recliner to read the paper.  I chose eclectic fabrics for the binding, one with colorful old soda caps, one with a travel theme and one with dog paws (each from Joanne’s Fabrics).  I sewed them together randomly and they popped nicely against the black background fabric.

Man Cave Finish

Quilt finished at an impressive 80 x 90.  My husband is 6’5′ so we planned carefully to make sure it covered his frame!

Reflection of Man Cave

He loves the quilt and it was worth dragging him to the store to pick out his own fabrics.  I fear it may never have been made otherwise.

“Home” Pixie Summer QAL Finish 2017 04-08

I loved making this quilt, despite my love / hate relationship with the very teeny tiny stars for the last couple of blocks.  It all started last summer.  Pixie Summer Home Quilt-A-Long.

Pixie QAL “Home”

The cloud like quilting creates a beautiful look around the houses with just enough depth to stand out from the trees and houses.

Home (Farmhouse Fabric)

The Farmhouse fabric, by Fig Tree (Joanna Febueroa for Moda) was a perfect choice for this quilt.  Colorful, playful and neighborhoody!

Pixie QAL Finish

See those stars…the smallest is an inch, plus or minus a fraction.   Small = harder to work with than I thought they would be.  I persevered (I even started an ender / leader project now making small stars from leftover triangles from other projects – yes, really I did).

Backing

A blustery windy day (where a cloud rolled behind me just as I started to take pictures) made for a natural look at the back of the quilt.

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These red berried trees are a natural fit for the backing.  Kind of like a tree farm in the backyard, if you know what I mean.

Welcome “Home”

The quilt finished at roughly 51 x 63.  I can see this pattern modified as a table runner, wall hanging or even a set of placemats.   I can’t wait to use it again.

Meadow Mystery Finish (Take Flight) 2017-04-01

I am excited to have wrapped up the Meadow Mystery Quilt-A-Long while sharpening both my FMQ and HMQ skills.   The entire QAL, sponsored by Cheryl at Meadow Mist Design was a great time.  The pace was perfect for me as a full time working Mom (I know you can relate!).   And let me mention it was really fun to anticipate each month’s blocks rather than know what was coming.  I simply loved the mystery component of it.  The QAL started back in July (see my post where I talked about color inspiration and getting started –   Meadow Mystery Quilt-along).

Windy Take Flight

This was the first time I made a quilt from fabric purchased entirely online.   It came together very nicely considering I selected the colors based on very small thumbnail pics.  The fabrics chosen were:

  • Edyta’s Essentials Batiks, Lemon Bliss
  • Sticks & Stones Batiks, Ivy Rust by Laundry Basket Quilts for Moda
  • The Reclaimed West, Rock Grey by Timeless Treasures
  • Sound of the Woods 2, Branches Glacier Metallic by Kathrine Lovell for Robert Kaufman
  • Whispers Muslin Mates, Take Flight Feather by Studio M for Moda
  • Urban Scandinavian, Black and White Floral by Kirstyn Cogan for P&B Textiles
  • Binding: Thicket – Dashes Black Natural by Gingiber for Moda Fabrics

Take Flight Finish

For the quilting, I did a free hand orange peel for the border rectangles, a curved bird line for the light gray fabric (which my son called out as looking like clouds) and a free hand sets of florals for the black rectangles in the main squares of the quilt and the black half triangle blocks in the corners.  I also free hand quilted winter trees and limbs throughout the lighter fabrics.

Take Flight Backing

I used a Tonga Batiks 106′ wide Garden Confetti Stones for the backing which subtly pops the quilting silhouettes.

Take Flight Quilting

The FMQ was so fun and engaging once I got the swing of it.  I look forward to more FMQ, though I am humbled by how time consuming it is.  If I had more time, there were many more spots to fill in with fun FMQ.

Take Flight Label

I love hand made labels.  I used the Lemon Bliss batik, and practiced “Take Flight” with my darning foot.  It didn’t look so good.  So Plan B, a simple hand embroidered version which I then sewed in as I added the binding.  Blends in perfectly.

Take Flight 2017

The quilt finished at 72 x 72 with the borders.  I look forward to next year’s Mystery Quilt.  I’m delighted with how this quilt came out!