Cheryl Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/
Paige Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/
com/Modern-Plus-Sign-Quilts- Techniques/dp/1617455695/ref= sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520456494& sr=8-1&keywords=modern+plus+ sign+book
I chose Kaleidoscope Plus. For those who know me, I have a 'thing' for kaleidoscope quilts, well kaleidoscopes, period, have loved them forever. Stars are also my favourite quilt block. So this was perfection. I'd originally thought I could perhaps kaleidoscope this quilt, as in fussy cut to make the illusion of one piece of fabric like I did this cushion).
|Kaleidoscope Plus by C&T Publications|
A little background
First of all, there is a whole bunch of symbolism and importance in the quilt that I can't tell you about until the quilt is received, since the recipient reads my blog. Therefore, I will be writing a full-reveal post in a couple of weeks. As you know I love hidden meanings and symbolism in quilts, and this one is not short of either.
All right, I had started building the quilt around the Lizzy House 'Cat Dream' deep teal, or deep aquamarine print. I love collecting fabrics in this way, a little of this, a little of that. I find pleasure in the hunt, like treasures when I happen upon them, especially in the sale sections of various quilt shops, in person and online! I had no idea of a quilt pattern when I bought 'Cat Dream' but that didn't scare me; in fact I prefer snagging and purposefully collecting fabrics with a person and/or quilt in mind, knowing the design will come, and knowing that making the fabrics work (and quite possibly finding out that some I've bought won't) is all part of the process and surprise and ensuing excitement. Kits are great; pre-cuts and bundles are fine, but my favourite is the hunt, through a quilt shop, in person or online, and through my stash to pull a quilt together. Such is the definite case with this quilt!
Here was the teaser of the main fabrics I put out on Instagram about a month ago;
I only had a half yard of the blue cat sayings text print, a half of the green text print, and a half of the pale yellow cat faces print, so I knew I'd have to get creative somehow. When I found the Benartex 'Feathers and Fancy' by Dianna LaFerry in my stash, I couldn't believe how close it was to the Lizzy House one, so I knew it could work somehow. Eventually I hit upon making the circles two colours, first checking them in black and white to verify if they'd read the same value:
and it took some graph paper to sketch it and see how I could make some rhyme and reason out of two-coloured circles.
To make matters even more tricky, I only had a yard of Moda's 'Figures' by Brigitte Heitland for Zen Chic, so I used almost all of it to make the stars that the pluses float upon. I had taken 3 different off-whites, and MacGyver helped me decide on the Grunge, but of course, I didn't have enough of it either. I was stuck.
Stuck turned to luck, however, because that Grunge, which was bought for my nephew Aidan's Radiance quilt, was bought at my Port Charlotte LQS, Expert Sewing. I called.
Me: Do you have Grunge in off-white with grey smudges?
Worker Cindy: Yes we have Grunge. Lots of it, all colours, even the new stuff with dots.
In I went the next day.
Sheila, the owner, looked me up in her computer. I'd taken a couple of scraps in to be assured it would match.
Sheila: When did you buy this?
Me: (thinks hard)Maybe 2-3 years ago?
Sheila: Found it! You bought 2.5 yards in 2016.
Sheila: Let's see... the SKU was ___ and this SKU is___ YUP! this is the one!
(Note that there is more than one off-white in the line.)
Me: Two yards please. Thank you very much.
Home to sew.
Wait. No. Had to go to Nashville for a lovely weekend wedding dress shopping with my daughter. Got home from that successful trip, and went back to work to finish off the top. The next day, we met up with a couple of good friends from New York State, dog-walking and visiting and going out for a fabulous lunch ensued. Of course I had to take the almost-finished quilt top with us on our walk by the Peace River in Port Charlotte for a photo op:
|Several of my quilts have been started in Florida, and then travel home to be finished in Ontario, or vice versa!|
I have still like a yard and a half of this fabulous 'Cat Dreams'...what if I put it as the final border, and make the Grunge border a tad narrower? The quilt will end up larger....I'd already bought Minky backing from my Ontario LQS...would there be enough? It was a chance I was willing to take.
|Flimsy finished, and on the design wall at home|
A couple of tips for making this pattern which is not a beginner pattern. That is one of the things I like about the book, is that there are quick easy patterns, and more challenging ones. It involves paper-piecing with some odd-shaped triangles. These tips might just encourage you to try paper-piecing again if, like me, you have (had) stopped, or if you are not sure if you really want to. Believe me, you do!
1. First, you can save paper. I love to save paper, as I love trees. Recycling is fine, but not even using is the best. Sew beside the line, not through it. I only made two copies of the paper-piecing templates for all 12 blocks! Yesss! No pesky papers to rip off, and bits of paper to pick out with tweezers! Here is a video so you can see this technique in action:
Here is the front of one of the paper-pieced sections:
and here is the back of that same section:
|Note: no perforations through the paper. You can use freezer paper for this method as the shiny side will stick to the fabric when ironed, or regular paper with a dab from a glue stick to hold the fabric in place.|
I wrote a tutorial for this technique here.
2. Make templates. I 'went off' paper-piecing for a number of years because I couldn't stand the waste of fabric. Cut these big honking hunks of fabric for these strange angles, ensure you've covered all the lines of the shape, sew on the line, who cares about grain, and then trim away and uh, toss the leftover weirdly-shaped smaller hunks of fabric (or save them as I did and still have to this day, 15 years later because they are very hard to work into even scrap projects).
|Here you see the two side triangles cut ready to put into place to finish the section you saw above.|
I hit upon making templates a few years ago, when I rediscovered paper-piecing thanks to Joanne of Canuck Quilter's Snow-along. There I learned about not sewing through the paper, GENIUS. She didn't do templates, but at least she measured the piece and had you cut squares or rectangles that would cover the shape needed.
3. Spin the seams of the kaleidoscope blocks. With so many pricing coming together in the centre, it can create a bump, and this eliminates it.
Okay back to the quilt finally coming together. Remember I said I was worried that I wouldn't have enough backing? Well, I didn't. When did I discover this? Saturday night. LQS is shut. Not open on Sundays. I am running out of time to get this done!
Went on a hunt through some bins because I've used Minky twice before and I know I have some narrow strips. Found! Perfect colours that work with the grey and with the front colours! Sew the strips together, add them to the grey. Yep, yep, this is going to work! Lay out the backing on the kitchen floor to get the overall look...noooooo.
Where I'd seamed the strips, the thread was pulling up on the Minky. If I held one side of the backing and MacGyver the other, no problem it laid flat, and it was square. Let go. Zing. Pucker. What to do. I was not going to resew those seams; I'd already re-sewed one because I'd put the cream on the wrong side of the turquoise. Minky has a nap. Remember that.
Regroup. Think. I could layer the quilt, taping the backing to the floor, and glue-baste the layers together as if I was going to quilt on my Bernina.
|A bare-naked full-disclosure shot.|
I'd stitch in the ditch on the Bernina to ensure that the persnickety seams (ha one of the fabrics is named 'Purrsnickitty' LOL) would behave. I'd never done a quilt on the longarm this way though, but I knew others had, so it was time to give it a whirl myself.
|Backing taped down, layered, glue-basted and ready to go...not quite. The backing was wide enough one way, but not the other. Short by an inch. One. Freaking. Inch.|
Back up the stairs to the loft. Loaded it onto Avril after I did all the prep work and it seemed to be behaving!
I used a pale yellow thread for the entire quilt, and it blended in beautifully with all the fabrics. This is Essential 100%, cotton 50 weight from Connecting Threads (affiliate link). The Avanté loves it, and there is the same amount of fluff as with other cottons. It's on sale until March 19 for $1.95, 1100 metre/ 1200 yard spools. I used grey The Bottom Line in the bobbin. I pieced it with Gütermann.
I kept the background quilting fairly open and just did fun stuff like swirls, thinking yarn and how much cats love to chase yarn... then some flowers, and of course some feathers. I let the background quilting flow into the border as this is a modern quilt.
I echoed the outside circles three times, ditch-stitched the blue and green edges of the circles and then echoed once inside those. Filled the 'canoe' shapes with a meander.
I did ruler work inside the pluses and dot to dot inside the stars. And in fairly short order, it was all done. Pulled it off the frame, trimmed her up this morning, and laid it back down on the kitchen floor. And I needn't have worried one iota about the pulling up where I'd pieced the Minky strips. That backing is flat and soft as a kitty's belly.
|This lighting shows off the quilting the best out of all the shots I took today|
For the binding, I went into my blue stash and one of the first fabrics I spied was this plaid which I've used before to bind a quilt, and for the backing of one I just might do on the next Throwback Thursday. I remember buying it with my aunt when she took me to a little quilt shop not far from Sangudo, Alberta. It was perfect, picking up on the blues and greens in the border and in the quilt.
|The binding is not wavy; it's being on the grass and in the wind that creates the wave...|
Here is shot of the back. I am SO happy I happened upon the sale at A Stitch in Time in Leamington a couple of months ago because as I wrote in my Favourite LQSes post, they have the best selection of Minky around. This incredibly soft grey that is textured not flat, is just wonderful, and quilted wonderfully, showing even more texture of the quilting. I had to lie the quilt down on the grass because the wind was wreaking havoc with it when my quilt holder was trying to hold it vertical...
So I took a shot or two of the front too!
|Unfortunately, the sun was beginning to set, and was behind clouds so you don't see the texture|
Pattern: Kaleidoscope Plus by Cheryl Brickey
Size: Pre-quilting: 66 3/4"; after quilting and washing: 64 1/4"
Fabric: See above but also Grunge by Basic Grey for Moda, and binding is by Susan Winget for Benartex
Batting: Hobbs 80/20 Cotton/Polyester
Backing: Shannon Fabrics Minky
Quilted: Some ditch-stitching on my Bernina, a bit more on the Avanté, and then free-motion and ruler work quilted on the Avanté
Threads: pieced with Gütermann cotton; quilted with Essential 100% cotton 21169 Custard
This is one of my Q1 FAL goals, so I will be linking this post up later this month. My list is here.
I hope you've enjoyed seeing my version of Cheryl's quilt, and that you will check out the others posting today and all week. There are lots of wonderful prizes!
Monday, March 12th
Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs
Paige @ Quilted Blooms
Tuesday, March 13th
Soma @ Whims and Fancies
Ann @ Brown Paws Quilting
Kitty @ Night Quilter
Sophie @ Luna Lovequilts
Afton @ Quilting Mod
Shelley @ The Carpenters Daughter Who Quilts
Jayne @ Twiggy and Opal
Jen @ A Dream and a Stitch
Abigail @ Cut & Alter
Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl
Sandra @ mmm! quilts You are here!
Karen @ Run Sew Fun
Linda @ Flourishing Palms
Bernie @ Needle and Foot
Liz @ Savor Every Stitch
Stacey @ Stacey In Stitches
Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty
Patty @ Elm Street Quilts
Melanie @ A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog
Myra @ Busy Hands Quilts
Izzy @ Dizzy Quilts
Christa @ Christa Quilts
Jessica @ Quilty Habit
Cindy @ Hyacinth Quilt Designs
Jennifer @ The Inquiring Quilter
Julie @ The Crafty Quilter
Tish @ Tish N Wonderland
Judy @ Sew Some Sunshine
Emily @ The Darling Dogwood
Wanda @ Wanda's Life Sampler
Karen @ Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
Katherine @ Sew Me Something Good
Anja @ Anja Quilts
Kate @ Smiles from Kate
Sue @ Sevenoaks Street Quilts
Carole @ From My Carolina Home
Alison @ Little Bunny Quilts
Debbie @ Esch House Quilts
Laura @ Slice of Pi Quilts
Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts
Janice @ Color Creating and Quilting
Joanne @ Quilts by Joanne
Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs
Paige @ Quilted Blooms
Sew Fresh Quilts
My Quilt Infatuation