Friday, January 19, 2018

Plus Playtime in Modern By the Yard

I can finally show you a quilt I worked on at the end of November and finished in early December. It is in the newest edition of Benartex's e-zine, Modern By the Yard, which goes live today, and which you can download by visiting their blog, Sew In Love With Fabric.
I actually broke into a massive GRIN when I saw this photograph! Ah how I'd love to get all my quilts professionally photographed...

Here's the cover. You will find it available for download on the top right sidebar of their blog. There is also a link within the blog post. Easy!

So this quilt is one that I designed back in February 2017, as part of the 30DesignsChallenge2017 that I co-hosted with Lisa of Sunlight in Winter Quilts.  I am going to host it again this year, just in case you're wondering, beginning February 1 through mid-April. More on that in another post next week. I'd designed it as another shadow quilt (I have a thing for these, you may have noticed!) when I was just so in awe of how much good work the Red Cross does around the world.
One of the things about sewing for a fabric company is working with fabrics you may not normally have chosen. This is good, to push one's boundaries, and stretch the creativity and scope of one's go-to palette. That is not to say that I am not a fan of rainbow quilts; on the contrary I LOVE them. Lisa wanted to feature this new line, 'Dot Crazy' by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr. Polka dots are just not in my print love wheelhouse. They're okay, but florals pull me or geometrics.... like that prima donna print at the bottom, in the middle in green, and near the top in red? Instant love! Then, seeing this array of fabrics in a rainbow, I started to 'feel' this quilt...

I designed this as a giant 9-patch quilt, with a cool construction process, (hint: go look at the e-zine for how!) so it wasn't long before the flimsy was on my design wall:
Oh yes! Sidenote: I hadn't covered the other two 2X8' styrofoam sheets with my other piece of gridded flannel then, but they are covered now and I have 8 lovely square feet of design wall... in the guest room LOL. Don't have 8' high in my sewing loft in this little 1.5 storey house!

I used the blue and green prima donna print on the back of the quilt. On the cutting table, I knew I wanted to line match the seam:

But then a little magic happened:
Pinned in place to see the effect I'd get
Shuffling the bottom piece over a tad (no waste of fabric then!) resulted in purple balls being formed...this fabric has some serious potential for kaleidoscope. This was December 1, before the interview with the designers on Sew in Love With Fabric where they actually DID a kaleidoscope  quilt with this fabric (that link takes you to the post where there is a Youtube video)! Great minds...
Voilà! Such fun!
I quilted it with more dots, of varying sizes, and wavy lines, a design of Christina Cameli's from her book, Step-by-Step Free-Motion Quilting called 'Effervescent'. The smaller and medium circles I freehanded, the very large ones I drew with a blue Mark B Gone pen. (sidenote to my friend Jake: on my list of new things to try this year is, I promise! the Crayola marker you sent me 😬😔)
In very little time, it was all quilted up.

Why is it, that whenever there is a deadline, things go awry? Murphy's Law, I know. Well my beautiful beloved Bernina darling had a small intestinal disorder of the 24-hour kind... Without embarrassing her by going into detail about it, she couldn't function properly, and I needed to apply the binding, which has to be done with a walking foot. Little Billie and Tillie, my Featherweight girls, do not have a walking foot. The only other machine with one was my dear old steadfast 1979 Elna, the first machine I bought. Out she came, and away she went, chugging along quite happily, glad to get a little air... (get it? You will when you see the photo.)
So this quilt was sewn on four different makes and styles of machines! Pieced on a Featherweight, quilted on the Handiquilter Avanté, Avril, binding started on my Bernina, and finished on my Elna! And people have the gall to ask me why I need more than one sewing machine...

Here's a shot in the sunshine of the texture. The quilt and the fabrics are not washed. It's wonderful, isn't it?  I used a pale yellow Aurifil 2123, which blended in so nicely.

The entire quilt:
Ah, December snow
My trusty quilt holder was not available so I had to improvise for a straight-on shot:

The back:

Had to get another shot of that quilting motif and texture.

The binding worked out very well this time. I sewed it to the front (with the Bernina ha) and topstitched it down on the back with the Elna.

Since it's aimed as a quilt for a child, this gives a little added stability.

Speaking of binding, I'm hand-stitching the binding down on my Wayward Transparency quilt. You may have seen the post on my Instagram feed. I'll have that finish for you next Friday, when I'm hosting TGIFF here on my blog for the first time! Check! Another item on my goals list accomplished.😁

Quilt Stats:
Pattern:  Original design, Shadow Plus quilt aka Plus Playtime
Size: 54.5" square
Fabric:  'Dot Crazy' by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr
Batting: Warm 'n Natural
Quilted: on Avril; 103 910 stitches
Threads:  pieced with Gütermann cotton; quilted with Aurifil 2123 pale yellow; The Bottom Line in the bobbin

Quick note:
There are some great sales around too, in case you're needing to chase away the January blahs. Connecting Threads (affiliate link) has books, tools and batting on sale, and has added new kits to their clearance section (that's where I found that fabulous lime green flannel with which I backed Float.) And oh!! Be still my heart: did you see their new line 'Rue d'Avignon'?!)
Hawthorne Threads (no affiliation) has added a TON of fabrics to their sale section. Their newsletter pulls me in so many many times, not just because of the giveaway (which I have still not won, sniff, in two, or is it three now, years of entering...)
Craftsy (affiliate link) has all classes (okay there are two I'm eyeing, Christina Cameli's 'Quilting the Grid' and Elizabeth Hartman's 'Inspired Modern Quilts' which I watched most of during a free classes weekend) and check their sale section as well; ya never know...
Sewing Machine Plus (affiliate link) still has 10% off your entire order on until the end of January. They have all kinds of sewing/quilting related things (yup fabric too), not just machines...

Okay that's it! Off to focus on my to-do list. Remember to hop over and download your copy of Modern By the Yard!

Wait! If you're still with me (thank you!) I meant to say that this is the quilt that I plan to use for this year's Quilt Along, coming this spring. So be sure to download that e-zine. 😉


  1. Wonderful design and I think the the fabrics glow and look wonderful in it. Congratulations on achieving so many goals recently and on the publication! :)

  2. Whoo-hoo! I just won a 10 piece fat quarter bundle of the Dot Crazy collection. I love this quilt and the backing is just wonderful. I need to check out the e-zine now.

    1. Another whoo-hoo, I love your new Connecting Thread Affiliate button! I can so see this one.

  3. Dots are great and they sure look great in your plus design! Your quilting is also fab! Well done and thank you for linking up with TGIFF!

  4. This is absolutely beautiful! So lovely to see the other quilts in this issue. :D

  5. Yay! I leafed through this(electronically, of course) earlier today and that quilt popped as my favourite before I even knew it was yours! Well done. Applause!!!!

  6. firstly, well done on on the quilting publication. Going great guns! Secondly, I love polka dots, I am your woman here. And thirdly, as an aside, my mother had an Elna sewing machine which was passed on to me. It didn't like me, it gave me an electric shock one day - it must have known I was an amateur! Lastly I love this quilt Sandra. As you know, I love plus quilts in all their formats. I feel another one, in blues, is in the offing. I particularly love the fabric in the backing of your quilt. Good luck to with your next 30 challenge !

  7. Everything about this quilt is appealing to me! The vibrant colors, the variety of fabrics, the unexpected blocks of solids and of course, the exquisite quilting! I need to keep this one in mind for the quilt-along!

  8. Oh. My. Goodness!! This is wonderful and funderful, all rolled into one! You blow me away!

  9. All dots could be dull, but these just sing in your design. I love that four very different machines helped you play to make the quilt. You are the shadow queen, and are on quite the roll! 2018 is off to an incredible start for you. Lots of fun times ahead!

  10. Wow, Wow, WOW! I love that quilt. I've always liked plus quilts but having all that negative space around the plus blocks really sets them off. Colors and fabrics aren't too shabby, either. lol And the back is to die for.

  11. A fantastic finish and that fabric sings in it! Love the circle quilting! Congrats on the publication!

  12. Very fun quilt with very fun quilting. Congrats. I curious how this all works to design for them? Great idea for the backing to get the purple circles!

  13. Oh, I love, love, love the bright primary colors in this quilt! Congratulations, Sandra! You did a bang up job on this quilt! I don't know the details on how one gets to fabric companies and sews for them, but boy oh boy, does it look like fun! Cannot wait to see your Wayward! Happy dancing for you, here!

  14. Congrats, Sandra! I saw and loved this in the eZine, but only scrolled thru photos and didn't read enough text to know that you created it! I shoulda known :) I love the movement of the plus signs through the quilt, and that they have enough background to really stand out. Now I'll go back and read thru the directions, because I know you wrote them well.

    Who doubted that you need more than one machine?? I feel a bit underprepared to leave the country with only two. Even DH agrees that a second machine is a "critical spare part."

  15. I was thrilled for you when I opened the eZine and saw your fabulous quilt. I am a big plus quilt fan. Thanks so much for all the closeup photos of your quilt. It really lets one see how bright and clear the colours are in this fabric line and all of your excellent quilting etc

  16. Congratulations on your quilt pattern publication, Sandra!!! I LOVE your shadow quilts and quickly downloaded the magazine so I could put this at the top of my ‘to do’ list. Thank you so much!

  17. Oh wow, congratulations on the publication Sandra - what a gorgeous quilt! And good luck with the backing too - love how that worked out for you! There's a lesson there about owning more than one machine too - grin!

  18. Love this quilt! and congratulations! Yes, it is good to have more than one machine...and welcome to Island Batik Ambassadors!

  19. Wow, stunning quilt! Je comprends qu'il ait été publié, bravo !! I'm waiting for the 30DesignsChallenge2018 with great impatience ;-)

  20. Beautiful finish! I love the design and how you pieced the back!

  21. I absolutely love this quilt Sandra. You did a great job with the fabrics Congratulations on another great design.

  22. Awesome pattern. Congrats on being featured. I love how you matched the backing.

  23. Love this pattern - it just makes me smile! I think it will be good for larger scraps as well. Downloaded the e-zine & looking forward to perusing! :)

  24. This is another great pattern. I think I need to make a few of those design walls; I keep putting it off but need one for the batik projects coming up. I also was thinking of that fabric ever since you showed it for the Paula Nadelstern class, hmmm. Gotta shop soon for that - its the end of March. Ha Ha!

  25. I really love this quilt, Sandra! The design is fun, the colours are so cheery and the quilting is perfect :) Congratulations!

  26. Congratulations on your lovely, gorgeous quilt appearing in print.and no wonder it is sublime. The fabric colour choices, the pattern, the quilting and love the fact you have been so versatile in your choice of machine and determined to finish this beauty. A job so well done. Perfecto... Mmmm from your friend across the water.
    Ps I have tried to fix my no reply problem, hope it is working ok xxxx

  27. I love plus quilts and this one is a beauty. That backing fabric is sooo wonderful. The pattern. Yes. I will definitely be making this quilt.

  28. How cool!! Congrats on being published too! Its awesome!!

  29. Your design is awesome! This is definitely going on my bucket list. You know I love plus quilts.