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Monday, February 8, 2016

Stems and Stones

This is one of those fabric and pattern combinations that I love so much that I have been working nonstop, absolutely obsessed with finishing it.  I had been thinking that I needed to find a new quilt photo setting, and yesterday after church, as I passed our little prayer garden, I realized that it would be perfect!   I love, love, LOVE this quilt.  The vivid colors in the fabrics against the crisp Kona white make me so happy.  Let me go ahead and apologize for the picture heavy post.  I just couldn't stop photographing it!




In my last post, I mentioned my personal weakness for Amy Butler fabrics, and recalled the 40-yard(!!) Amy Butler stash that I powered through almost two years ago.  I don't know that there will ever be a time when I'm not mesmerized by her fabrics, but I have learned to not let them accumulate so much before using them up.

Not every print in this quilt is AB, but many of the others are fabrics that I have purchased and just couldn't fit them into another quilt.  I was happy to find a home for them in this one.  Sometimes, bold colors and prints only work well with other bold colors and prints.


I used all of my extra fabric on the backing, and I decided to improv piece it to keep the leftovers intact as much as possible.  I didn't want to waste any fabric at all trying to cut them to a uniform size.  Although I always use up my scraps on the backing, I haven't done an improv pieced backing in awhile.  I really love the way this one turned out.


I stippled this (of course-it's my favorite) with the tightest quilting I have ever done.  I'm not a lover of super-dense quilting, so you'll probably never see matchstick quilting or micro-stippling on my quilts.  The spaces between my quilting lines on this one are 1/2 to 3/4 inch apart, and as much as I like the result, it's probably the smallest I'll ever go for a couple of reasons.

First and foremost, I like the drape of quilts that have quilting that is a little bit wider.  For minis and wall hangings, or quilts for display only, stiffer quilting is really stunning (and I can totally appreciate the artistry and skill involved in creating such intricate motifs), but for sheer snuggle-factor, I like the softness that wider quilting gives.  My second reason is purely selfish.  When I get into the rhythm of stippling smooth curves, it is a very relaxing process (unless I'm quilting a huge quilt).  The tighter quilting definitely required movement that was much less natural for me, so quilting this one was not very relaxing.  As a result, even though I'm still really pleased with it, I don't think my curves are quite as fluid as usual.


I chose an orchid fabric for the binding that was actually intended for my Interference quilt, but it turned out to be too purple.  I think it creates a perfect frame for this one though!


Formal gardens are simply gorgeous, with their lovely pathways of stones and tiles meandering through perfectly shaped flower beds and topiaries.  The tile shape in this pattern, paired with the flowers created in the negative space, immediately made me think of a walk through a beautifully manicured formal garden; so I'm calling this one Stems and Stones.


  The pattern is already in the works, and it's easier than you might think!


21 comments:

  1. Gorgeous pattern, Kelly. Perfect for showing off lovely prints. And your work is so neat, it is awe-inspiring. You know, I hate snowballing. But you are the queen of snowballs. Someday, your gorgeous quilts will push me over the edge just enough that I might dive in and make one of these quilts.
    http://sewpreetiquilts.blogspot.com/

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    1. thank you so much, Preeti! This quilt really is one of my personal favorites. You know- I don't even give snowball corners a second thought anymore. Especially with corners that are smaller, like these, I don't draw lines, and I don't even use painter's tape. I just eyeball it. That does take practice (and I did use tape on my table until I could do without), BUT once they're sewn and pressed open, there is no trimming, so I actually like them better than HST's. It didn't take too long before I got to the point that I could sew them without a worrying, but I'm SO glad I did. They really add a lot of interesting pattern possibilities to quilt designs.

      :) Kelly

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  2. It turned out great! I agree with the dense quilting, I like the drape and feel of less quilting much more.

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  3. What a gorgeous quilt! No need to apologies for posting lots of pictures, I would happily browse my way through twice as may. I agree that your choice of binging frames the whole perfectly. I look forwrad to seeing the pattern, I can already think of a few fabrics in my stash that could look wonderful made into this quilt.

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  4. This is amazing! It looks perfect for larger prints, too. I feel like an AMH version would be just as beautiful.

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  5. Oh my goodness I love that pieced back! And I am totally with you on wanting to finish projects and that they can sometimes be all I can think about even dream about! HAHA!!!
    You do great work and I love this quilt and fabric combination! Way to go on getting it finished!

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  6. I love EVERYTHING about this quilt! And you chose the perfect setting to show it off! Enjoy it!

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  7. This is gorgeous!! The block really highlights all the beautiful fabric...Well done!

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  8. Lovely quilt. So bright and fresh, good work.

    Smiles from
    Kate

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  9. So gorgeous! I love that pieced back! :)

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  10. I love your new quilt too!!! The binding is the icing on the cake.

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  11. Your AB looks stunning in this quilt. Lovely work! I'll be excited to hear when you've written the pattern for it and may have to head to the store for some of Amy's fabric :-) Great spot for the photos!

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  12. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! I already know what fabrics I'm going to pull from my stash to make this!

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  13. Beautiful finish! I think as quilters we shouldn't apologize for lots of photos in our blog posts (I do it, too, though). We are tactile and visual people, after all!! :)

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  14. Beautiful! The prayer garden does make a beautiful setting too. I usually make smaller quilts and I tend to do a lot of really intricate fmq, which does make the quilt stiff. Now I'm getting ready to make a quilt for our bed and I'm going to have a hard time making myself quilt with my lines much farther apart. I don't want to be sleeping under a stiff quilt!

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  15. A beautiful finish and great use of all those lovely AB prints. A very nice setting for the photos too.

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  16. Great staging. Congrats on the gorgeous finish!

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  17. This is a gorgeous quilt - both the front and the back. Beautiful fabrics, beautiful design, beautiful quilting. You've found a great setting to display it.

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  18. I love that pattern and am anxiously waiting for it to be done so I can buy it!! I love mixing fabrics and, definitely, using scraps (sometimes very large scraps) to make some of these beautiful quilts. Thanks so much for sharing your talent!!

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