Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Floating Squares - A Finished Quilt

Floating Squares - A Modern Quilt
Last week I ventured way out of my quilting comfort zone. I know I am really comfortable with my own style of patchwork and quilting, but every so often I get the urge to try my hand at something different. I have had the general idea of squares floating on a quilt in black and white on my mind for some time, but I knew before I started that this project would be a challenge for me - not the actual piecing, for that is the simple part - but working through the layout, and developing and balancing the design.


There were sewing highs - when the layout flowed and I was able visualize the end result - and horrible lows of self-doubt, indecision and uncertainty. I don't usually experience such a range of emotions when I am patchworking, and the loss of confidence was unexpected. The lack of rhythm whilst working - from repetitive tasks like chain piecing, or trimming - was just as unsettling.


I don't like to start something and not complete it so I pushed on in the hope that in the finishing touches (the quilting and a contrast binding fabric) I would grow to love this quilt as an end product, rather than be reminded of the making process. And yes, now that the quilt is finished I rather like it. A lot. I love the messages and details that have been included in the quilt, ranging from text (see above) to the red wavy line of quilting that runs along the left hand side of the quilt.


The wavy red line is a decorative stitch on my sewing machine for which I have used a standard weight cotton thread (Gutermann 100% cotton). I did try a heavier weight thread - Gutermann Top Stitch - but it immediately seized up my sewing machine. I will have to keep experimenting with heavier weight thread on my less testy sewing machine.


For the back of the quilt I have used a single fabric from The Red Thread collection by Creative Thursday and the binding fabric is Straws from the Simpatico collection by Michelle Engel Bencsko. [The main fabrics used for the quilt top are Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton Snow and Kona Cotton Pepper].

This quilt has been an emotional ride and at one point I didn't think it even worthy of sharing with you. Now that the quilt is finished and I have had time to reconcile the process with the end result I actually don't feel ready to part with it at this point in time. I feel like I need to hold on to it ... again a feeling I am not familiar with in regard to my quilts.

Floating Squares Quilt
I am itching to start a new project - a comfort stitching quilt - and although I haven't yet decided what my next project is I can guarantee it will involve fabric play and repetitive process(es); both of which I really missed in the making of this quilt. 

Thank you for stopping by!
Rita

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73 comments:

  1. I know that feeling about making this we are not confortable with. Never the less I like very mutch the result. It's good to try new things! Hope to see many more of the usual quilts and new ones in diferent designs. Congratulations on your work!

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  2. Good to hear about your process on this one - thanks for sharing that even though it was unsettling. Love the finish - and that red stitching - delightful!

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  3. I really like the results and can appreciate your uncertainty! Every so often, I will pull out Quilting Line & Color by Yoshiko Jinzenji, and think I would love to do something like hers! Maybe this year it will actually happen! Thanks for the push to try something out of our comfort zone.

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  4. Wow, I love it! The layout, the quilting, the back, the black and white contrast and the little pops of colour, it's perfect!

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  5. I really enjoyed hearing how you felt while making this creation. I think it is another piece of your art!

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  6. Love this one so very much! And, the story of its creation is wonderful. Thank you.

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  7. I love, love this quilt! It's so healthy to work outside our comfort zone sometimes, but it can be stressful. Congratulations on persevering to a beautiful finish.

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  8. This quilt is beautiful Rita. You inspire me with each and every one of your quilts!

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  9. Interesting insight into your candid thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

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  10. I love this. Would love to see a collection of these "unsettled" quilts of yours together -- there have been a few over the years, and I always love them. With tremendous appreciation for your skills with color, value, placement, fabric choice, etc., these more off-beat quilts are more my personal preference. I'm so glad you bring all those skills to bear on pieces like this one from time to time!

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  11. It's beautiful! I totally understand the highs and lows of working on a quilt like this. I have found randomness is actually not as easy as one would think. You've done a terrific job!
    Angela

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  12. You always inspire! Love the text blocks and the red stitching! Such nice touches!

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  13. lovely. the different size blocks really pull you through the quilt. for some reason my first thought was of a winding garden path and the placement of the big blocks make my mind see a S. is that weird, no I might be just me. thanks for sharing Rita.

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  14. This is really cool. I love it. I think the randomness is my favorite part.

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  15. This is a simply lovely quilt. Both in it's simplicity and its overall design. You did a great job.

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  16. This is so different from your usual quilts I had to double check that it was your blog! Stepping out of our comfort zones is difficult at times but can also be rewarding. Thanks for sharing and it is a lovely quilt.

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  17. This is one of my favorite quilts that you've made. It's a challenge to go deep sometimes but you've created something amazing. I love it!

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  18. I LOVE it! It's fabulous, Rita! I adore the little unexpected touches -- they draw your eye around the quilt. Fantastic!

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  19. Improvising does that to you, doesn't it? There's that unsure feeling coupled with quilt dreams, which rarely happens when we already know what's next. Switching up the techniques we use is good for the brain.

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  20. I really enjoy the feel this quilt imparts - it's calming and cozy but modern and worthy of being displayed in a modern home - personally I love that combination and it seldom comes together as well as it has in this quilt. I hope you'll do a pattern or tutorial for it as I am able to see it in many different colours with a variety of finishing touches. Thanks for letting us know how you felt making it too!!

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  21. It's one of your best, I think, Rita, I love it. The differing sizes of the blacks, the text prints, the wavy red line.... all of it.

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  22. Beautiful! I love the red stitching.

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  23. Totally amazing, Rita! I'm so glad you kept pushing yourself :) Those message and the red wavy quilting line are beyond perfect!

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  24. This is my favorite of all your quilts I have seen.

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  25. This is so different to what you normally do. I love love it. And the tiny little coloured squares just pop it out!

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  26. Love this quilt. Little bits of colour make it. Very well done!

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  27. I like it a lot. I've said it before, but I love your "comfort" quilts AND I love when you do something different. Your quilts just always work, no matter what, and this is no exception. I'm glad you shared.

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  28. This is a great quilt! I'm glad you stuck at it and shared it with us. Considering this is so different from your usual work you've done an excellent job. I know that feeling of 'needing time to cut the umbilical.

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  29. I really love all the details and the quilting - I don't imagine ever making a quilt that far out of my normal comfort zone, but you have me curious about challenging that now!

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  30. I love that one!

    Liebe Grüße, Mond

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  31. I think it is a beautiful quilt Rita! I especially appreciate your honesty about your process. Thanks for sharing that!! xo

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  32. Wow..keep on expanding your comfort zone..and reach for the magic!

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  33. What a fabulous example of going outside of one's comfort zone and pushing through a project that doesn't quite seem right at first. I especially love that line of red stitching!

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  34. The end result looks fantastic....I love the little extras around the quilt and the wavy red line, really does draw your eye around the quilt....my poor old machine did the same with heavier thread. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the process.

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  35. It looks fabulous! The design and layout work in perfect balance. When you reveal your inner processes and uncertainties, it encourages us to keep trying, and persevere through the difficulties. Thank you for your inspiration.... and please, keep experimenting!

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  36. You definitely need to keep this....and I think you should enter it in anything and everything you can find!!! This is the kind of quilt I always want to make...pulling just a couple of fabrics and starting but then thinking "oh this will look good" and "oh...that goes great" and the next thing you know it's not this simple, quiet quilt using just two or three fabrics but one screaming with patterns.
    You have a gift Rita...a gift!!

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  37. So different from your usual. Kudos for pushing yourself. This quilt is lovely!

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  38. It is fabulous. I understand your concerns of not having the simplicity of repetitive blocks. Sometimes having the freedom to do anything can be overwhelming. But it turned out great.

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  39. Well done, Rita, for pushing yourself into unknown territory and for coming up with a fabulous quilt (I'm so glad you like it, I bet if you put it away for a while you'll love it even more.)

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  40. Your decision to quilt straight lines works wonderfully! I especially like the extra line of red quilting on the edge - it really compliments the random placement of the colored pieces

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  41. It's excellent work and design. "Mondrian" comes to mind!

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  42. I love all of your work, even when you're out of your comfort zone!

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  43. the odd bits of cloour really pop out a great quilt

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  44. A really fresh and beautiful look. Well worth the challenge.

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  45. Do not part with this quilt yet!! Look at it regularly and step out of your comfort zone more often!! Love this quilt!!

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  46. Fantastically different quilt - it is beautiful.

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  47. It is good to try new things, isn't it!

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  48. I love it Rita! You should publish the pattern for us (please).
    gigiv13@gmail.com

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  49. I love this quilt. Can you do a pattern or tutorial?

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  50. Dunno if anyone has mentioned this to you, but you can put large decorative threads on the bobbins and flip the quilt over. In my Brother Straight Stitch machine I can put perle cotton in my bobbin and make it work for free motion quilting, though I do have to go slow and there is some breaking. I don't know if this would work as well for the programmed decorative stitches, I've never tried it.

    I think the Aurifil Wool makes pretty quilt finishing touch and does well in the bobbin too. I can get it to work in the top but I"m constantly readjusting tension so I prefer it in the bobbin.

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  51. Thank you for sharing. I think that was brave of you.

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  52. I think this quilt is stunning! Well done!

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  53. I love this quilt! You did a fantastic job, congrats!

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  54. I really like the quilt and I appreciate even more your honest expression of doubt and uncertainty. Knowing even my "quilter-idols" experience this same thing only makes me want to quilt on even more. Thank you, Rita!

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  55. This is "the best" quilt you have made is some time. Excellent! What size is it? Wall hanging size? Would look great hung as the art quilt it is. Cheers!

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  56. Rita, I love this quilt -- so modern and very nicely done. I don't blame you for wanting to keep it -- it's very special.

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  57. Oh Rita I love this....the little pops of colours in the quilt top are brilliant against the monochrome! And I love the binding and backing. I've long been an admirer of your work and this quilt is beautiful as always.

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  58. Having just started quilting (always a garment sewist) I can relate to the feelings of unease. I think you've done an amazing job. Very different to your 'Rita' style, but still fresh and balanced.

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  59. Really really like this. Any plans to write a pattern for it?

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  60. It's beautiful! Well done. You describe so well the highs and lows of the creative process.

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  61. OMG! This is absolutely AMAZING!!!
    Your work is inspiring!

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  62. Looks wonderful. Based on the pictures you couldn't guess you had highs and lows with making this quilt.

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  63. This one is so different, but it is quite worthy of sharing. I can see that you allowed yourself to stretch and grow here. The results speak for themselves. Hold on to it until you're sure you want to let it go =)

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  64. Thank you for sharing this. It is very striking and it is comforting to know that one of the greats struggles sometimes too.

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  65. This is awesome! Excellent fussy cuts and gorgeous layout!

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  66. Please don't write a pattern for this wonderful, modern art quilt. Because it is so unique and so successful as an art piece, it should live as one-of-a-kind. Just as you stretched your abilities with this, so should other quilters also extend themselves to create their own art quilts rather than following a pattern. The eye travels around the color spots with ease, the balance is comfortable, and the contrast is strong, but not overwhelming. Excellent work!

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  67. This is fabulous! Stepping outside our box can be a little stressful AND exciting at the same time. I'm doing that myself on a current project. I also like the quilts in the "You Might Also Like" links at the end of your post.

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  68. I love this quilt. I find myself more and more drawn to these modern quilts. I hope you'll make more and share them with us. You inspire me!

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