Saturday, May 17, 2014

Purple and Gray Strata Quilt

This quilt began as a pile of monochromatic strata.  I often sit down and create strata (improv, crazy pieced units) out of scraps when I need a bit of mindless sewing.  I added dark pink units around the lighter pink center rectangle, log cabin fashion.  The unit grew to include a final round of purple.
I decided to make a quilt, as the unit was too large for a pillow.  A large amount of negative space, using peppered shot cotton in charcoal, provided a nice space for some interesting quilting. I used matching aurifil thread and my walking foot to create a spiral from the center of the strata unit, outward.


I absolutely love the hand of the peppered shot cotton.  You can see a bit from the photos, how the warp and weft vary slightly from one another, since I cut the side and top borders the same way.  The warp and weft show slightly differently.  If this bothers you, pay attention to keeping the warp and weft oriented consistently in your border strips.

Shot cottons have a looser weave, in most cases, than quilting cottons, and in my experience can shift more when quilting.  As you may know, spiral quilting using a small home sewing machine requires a great deal of pushing and pulling through the machine throat and can result in a bit of distortion in a loosely woven fabric, especially if the quilt back is a quilting cotton which does not shift quite as much.

Even with some re-basting and unpicking, I ended up with some small tucks on the back of the quilt.  I have done spiral quilting on largish quilts, like the Tiny Log Cabin quilt, with no problem, so I surmise it the shot cotton made the difference.  I think straight-line in a single direction or free motion quilting would have gone over much better, but the manipulation required by spiral quilting a large quilt (60 x70) was not the best choice for the peppered shot cotton fabric.

Lesson learned, and hopefully someone will benefit from my experience.  The upside is that I get to keep this quilt!  I hope to use is as a sample for future classes on monochromatic strata piecing.

I'm linking to the Blogger's Quilt Festival for the first time.  Check out the link for so much inspiration.

15 comments:

Debbie said...

Thanks for the bit of info about the shifting...This looks fantastic though! I REALLY like it! I love those strata bits and the negative space + spiral quilting set them off perfectly!

CitricSugar said...

So gorgeous, Alex! That shot cotton just looks like fabric butter.

You're my improv hero. :-)

Vicki said...

Beautiful quilt. I've tried the spiral quilting one time and had a lot of shifting. I can pin pretty loosely for FMQ and maybe more dense pin basting would help me... I'm not sure on that though. Thanks for sharing your experience with the quilting!

Sarah @ mila+cuatro said...

It looks great, and that's interesting that you feel the peppered cotton shifted more, I haven't used them enough to notice that. Good luck for the festival.

Barbara said...

Beautiful! Great colors.

Krista Schneider said...

Interesting observation about the border. Just one of those unintentional design elements that I think looks pretty rad! Thanks for the info on the quilting too, I'll keep that in mind.

Carla said...

I wouldn't have thought about the spiral quilting being an issue with the Peppered Cotton, but I really like the look of it with the straight lines of the quilt.

Annabella said...

So beautiful - I love the proportions of the improv.pieced panel and the negative space. Just gorgeous.

quilthexle said...

Lovely quilting - your spiral is sooo beautiful ! who cares for wrinkles on the back ;-))

Kristie said...

Great pop of colour and texture!

Kelly said...

This just screams modern quilt at me. I love the improv with all that negative space. Just gorgeous!

SewPsyched! said...

i just love the spiral quilting and I think it adds more than the straight line quilting would have. Thanks for the pointers!!! Great advice. I love the peppered cottons and even glue basting doesnt completely eradicate the stretching/shifting. but maybe that is also my skill set at fault;))
xx!Lori

stitchingandbacon said...

I love this! It has so many of my favorite things: the pink, the spiral quilting, improv, and shot cottons. Beautiful work, I am loving your strata.

Katelyn Vawter said...

I love this. Beautiful colors. I love how you used the negative space to offset all of the brights.

liz said...

Gorgeous in every way!
I adore the look of spiral quilting but there is no way I have the neck/shoulder stamina to make it happen. It perfectly sets of your fabulous quilt here!