Evolution of a Quilt

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Anyone who lives in the Pacific Northwest will tell you how hard it is to photograph anything once the weather changes from summer into fall. We’ve started to have a few gray days here and there again, with fat drops of rain that ruin any chance of decent lighting for photos. One of my recent sewing projects is posing a particular challenge because it has a large amount of orange in it, which is nearly impossible to photograph correctly. That is, if you’re me, and have no idea what you’re doing with a camera. I relied on my iPhone for 5 out of 6 of these photos, so please excuse how unbelievably awesome some of these photos are.

This quilt is for a sweet family out of Washington, DC, who is expecting their second daughter. Two years ago, I made a quilt for their first daughter using the Arcadia fabric collection by Sanae. Because the girls will be sharing a room, they want them to having matching quilts. After a brief hunt, I was able to find a lone Arcadia jellyroll on Etsy, which I quickly swooped up. I’ve always loved this color way, so I was very happy to work with it again.

My ironing board looked it crawled out of a swamp as I was picking out the main strips of fabric for the 12  blocks I would be making.

I laid them out the floor so that I could step back and make sure I had good color distribution. I should make a design wall with some batting at some point, but right now this is the quickest way for me to keep track of what’s going where.

I didn’t use a pattern for this quilt- I made up my own on Illustrator and went from there. I wanted to use as many of the fabric strips as possible in the quilt, and keep the small seed prints in the collection to use as the quilt binding. The centers of the blocks were randomly pieced from four strips each, with a 1/2″ border of white Kona cotton.

Aaahhh- the blocks felt so much better with another 1/2″ border of white Kona around them. See what I mean about it being hard to photograph at all? The color variation (which I even attempted to fix in Photoshop) kind of makes me crazy.

I put the blocks in a gridded pattern because I plan on doing some unstructured quilting around the blocks. I have some pearl cotton that I will used for hand-quilting in the middle of the 6″ white blocks. The orange color on the left of this picture is truer to the actual orange color of the Kona cotton used. Maybe if I make a pure-white design wall I won’t have to fight with my gray floor and skylight for correct colors…. hmmm. This is going to bug the crap out of me until I get the colors right.

OH THE TERRIBLE PICTURE. Blah. I need to get this figured out, like, YESTERDAY. Hopefully, now that Jim and Ravyn are FINALLY MOVING TO PORTLAND, I can coerce them to take pictures of things like orange fabric for me. Because I fail at it big time.

But, you can see what’s going on with the quilt, which I do love. I’m piecing the back this week, and doing a bit of embroidery for it also, which hopefully I can share. Any suggestions on a what color of thread I should use for quilting it?

UPDATE: I did my best to take a picture outside to show the correct colors. Here’s my attempt (that’s very cropped so you don’t have to see my dead NW grass and neighbor’s house). I think that the colors are a bit more vibrant than this, but any attempt to brighten them leads to a color called Radioactive Highlighter Orange.

I need a photography class, STAT.

  • Is the orange fabric border entirely the same fabric? The lighting gives it a slight ombre effect in your photos (which would be amazing if intentional).

    • The orange actually is all the same color of fabric. See what I mean about sucking at taking pictures of the color orange? I’m going to try to take a new one today, in different room. My skylight in my sewing room is over the left side of the quilt in all of these pictures, so trying to fight that, along with the yellow glow of the lights in the room makes it pretty hard to show accurate colors! I’ll try though!

  • LOVE IT! And yes … I will tutor you as soon as we get out there! 🙂

    • Good! I desperately need help. I’ll exchange sewing lessons for camera classes! 🙂

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