Orange Layered Curves Finished and Named

The quilt’s title is Thirty-Six Fragmenting; that name seems fitting, considering the quilt started out as a 36-patch baby quilt. I was about to type “Untitled” on the local guild show entry when the title occurred to me. Nothing like last minute.

So here is the finish photo. It is too late in the day for good lighting. I may change the photo tomorrow.Or the day after. Or . . . ETA Actually I’ll just put photos in a new post (here).

Finished top

50 x 70

When I pulled it out to quilt, I found the border was waiting to be applied–darn! I was thinking it was ready to go. I hadn’t thought the design needed a border, but I did need the quilt to be larger. Now that it is bordered, yes, it did need it! I really like it better this way. I think part of what makes the border work is that it matches colors in the blocks and “bleeds” into them.

Long lines are quilted with the walking foot and filler is free motion quilted. I pondered long and hard over how to quilt it. I wanted the quilting to further the design, not conflict with it. Plan A had been to echo all the curves, letting lines butt into each other. But that got way too busy. (I didn’t sketch; I auditioned them in my head–the actual stitching and the overlay drawn lines are just too different for sketching quilting to work well for my planning.) I finally got out the walking foot and just started with one big curve. After it was finished, I realized I needed to decide which curves were worth the emphasis of added lines of quilting and then ignore the rest.

The quilting shows a bit better in this half shot.

36 upper

Once the curves were stitched, I switched to the free-motion foot and thought about fillers. Plan A was circuit board, so I did one section. My thought was to contrast straight line and corners in the filler with the curved dividing pattern. But to use the same design  for the whole quilt seemed boring. (Oddly all over patterns don’t seem boring to me, but because of the divisions, this quilt seemed to need variety.) Since nothing from my limited filler repertoire seemed appropriate, I browsed Leah Day’s 400+ ; obviously with that many to choose from, I needed some criteria:  It couldn’t have lines close together because I wanted contrast with the narrow lines echoing the curves. I wanted about the same density as circuit board. It needed angles. I finally found Angles and Circles and Playground Blocks. ( I should note that Leah Day has one called Circuit Board that is different from what I used. I don’t remember where I originally got the one I used. ) I added a few circles to Playground Blocks to make it a transition between the other two; now that it is finished, I wish I’d added a few more.

The border was another design decision–independent or a continuation from the center. I decided to experiment with the latter, and I am glad I did. It makes the border seem less like a traditional quilt border. To maintain that effect, I faced the quilt instead of binding it. (I didn’t have enough of the lighter blue to do a two colored binding, which would have extended the border colors.)

There are a couple small tucks, front and back.  It could be the super puffy batting or it could be operator error: Maybe not smooth enough pinning (usually I quilt from center out, so the quilt can keep moving if necessary), maybe inaccurate long seam stitches , maybe not holding the layers tightly enough while stitching. Maybe I just need more practice.

The backing fabric was a lucky find: half off of $6.99! No fancy piecing on the back, but I did match the print at the seam as shown in Elizabeth Hartman’s free intro to Craftsy classes, Pieced Backs. Up close you can see the seam, but not from the magic four feet.

36 back

Among other things, I need more practice with travel stitching.

History of the quit:

Beginning failure. This disaster has been in time-out since October 2013! Rescued by Sherri Lynn Wood’s Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters, Layered Curves (Score #7).

Testing an Idea (Jan 2016)

Six Blocks (Jan 2016)

Nine blocks (Feb 2016)

Top sans border (March  2016)

I’ll be linking with Moving it Forward Monday, Free Motion By the River, Free Motion Mavericks, AIHQ, and if I don’t finish anything else this week, TGIFF–links in side bar, but link up at Celtic Thistle Stitches 4/29/16. Finish it up Friday (link added 4/29/16 because I forgot last week).

4/22/16 ETA yet another new title. At guild show and tell Chris suggested “Without Orange There Would Be No Blue” (quoting van Gogh) for a title. I like it.

7/5/16 Adding link to guild Show ‘n Tell, April meeting, for a hanging view.

8/1/16 Adding link to the Sisters Outdoor Show for the best photo yet.



Filed under design, quilting

15 responses to “Orange Layered Curves Finished and Named

  1. This lovely and interesting quilt just goes to show that an unpromising start need not carry on that way. I wish you the best of luck in the show. I do wish I could see the quilting you talk about more clearly, it sounds very interesting….

  2. Wow, this came out great! AQS has a modern category for the Chattanooga show; deadline April 29. If you enter this, I’ll get to see it in person 😉

  3. Cher

    how did you decide on what color thread to use for quilting? and I wish there was a few close up photos of the quilting…I would love to see the different designs you used better …however, fabulous job in coming up with the whole add borders, get it quilted, decide to face it and clever backing! I can not wait to see this in person.
    very well done Claire.

    • Thread color is always a challenge for me. I have found that light on dark doesn’t stand out as much as dark on light, so I matched the light blue. (And luckily I had some on hand.)
      I’ll work on better photos. Close ups at night wash out in the flash.

  4. Sue

    Wow, this came out great! The curved piecing adds so much movement, and now those square patches are more like mysterious glimpses behind the “real” design. Good save. From what is visible, your quilting is just as interesting…I wish I could see this quilt in person. Enjoy your show!

  5. dezertsuz

    Wonderful seam matching on the back. This is such an appealing quilt now. You really turned your disliked top into something very innovative.

  6. What a beautiful quilt! I will click to see the history – what fun that you shared so much! Thank you!

  7. (Fainted). That is fantastic! Incredible design! Congrats!

  8. Mary Gillette

    Claire, I’m impressed. You turned an ‘ugly duckling’ into a mod swan. Best wishes at the quilt show.

  9. Em

    Great name for your quilt. It will look great at the quilt show.

  10. What an improvement on the original top! It’s really dynamic and fun now.

  11. It’s amazing what a difference a few years have made …, and a lot of effort I think! Your solution took some courage, but it’s paid off. The result is terrific; the orange makes the blue sparkle instead of competing with it for attention. Congratulations!

  12. Hello Claire,
    Interesting colour scheme! Orange and blue work so well together, and you have the proportions of each colour just right so that the orange doesn’t dominate.
    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks!
    Love, Muv

  13. Ann

    Congratulations on this beautiful finish. It’s wonderful to have seen this progress through your posts. Thanks for sharing all the steps. And special thanks for sharing your quilting decisions and process. This always becomes a scary step and part of the reason I think we have so many UFOs. It’s good to see how people handle these decisions – and there are many.
    How kind of you to link this informative post with AHIQ!

  14. Lisa

    There is some really nice movement in this improv piece. Good for you for entering it into the show.

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