A Lustrous and Twisted Tale of Two Sister Quilts

Last January, I took home this queen-sized quilt top as part of the UFO Exchange I organized for my quilt guild.  I was especially attracted to the two prints used for the squares, and decided to cut out those squares to be used into new quilt tops.  I will admit that I felt guilty at first for cutting up another quilter's top and undoing all her hard work, but hoped I would be able to give these fabrics a new life!!  Note that the butterfly fabric squares were used for an Improv quilt that is still in progress.
UFO Exchange Quilt Top and New Fabric Squares
However, the Kaffe Paper Fans print were the perfect center for Christine Barnes' "Lustrous Squares" quilt pattern, a pattern that I've admired since she first unveiled her experiments at her Magical Fabrics, Special Effects Quilting Retreat back in June 2012.  I went to work selecting an assortment of EE Schenck Gelato ombre prints to frame each center square and assembled the blocks using Christine's directions.  I found this beautiful black and white print to use for sashing, that really makes each block pop!  I then auditioned a few fabrics for a border and after none appealed to me, I took a break from the project and moved onto others.
Lustrous Squares Blocks, Auditioning Border Fabrics and Deciding That No Borders Were Needed!!
As I was trying to wrap up a few UFOs before the new year, I pulled out this top and realized that it didn't require any borders.  So I went to work layering it and basting it for quilting.  Using a light grey Aurifil thread, I went to work outlining each fan and then adding echo swirls in the surrounding ombre frames.  Figure 8s were used for the sashing and borders.  The quilt was finished and bound just days before the new year for a last minute UFO finish!
Textured swirls, fans and figure 8's
Finished "Lustrous Shells" using Christine Barnes' Lustrous Squares quilt pattern
I had hoped to make it two finishes before the new year, as all along, I was making a second Lustrous Squares quilt with some adaptations from Christine's pattern and its older quilt sister.  I had cut enough strips of ombre prints to make two baby sized quilts, and selected these black and white batiks for the center squares.  Some planning ahead was required to balance the black and white patterns, as well as surrounding ombre frames.  Once the blocks were complete, I trimmed them each smaller and slightly off kilter, adding yet another fun twist.  A rainbow confetti print was used for the sashing, and after trying a few different prints for borders, also went with the no border option!
Twisted Sister Quilt Assembly
A jagged meandering motif was used for the surrounding ombres, adding a fun edgy texture!  Figure 8's were used for the sashing, but using some variegated rainbow colors (which did give me some tension woes at times).  While I ran out of time to finish this companion piece in 2015, it was my first finish of 2016!
Edgy Texture For This Twisted Sister Quilt
Technicolor Twist, Adapted from Christine Barnes' Lustrous Squares Pattern
I can't wait to finish the Improv step sister for these quilts using the butterfly print saved from the original UFO.  In fact, that project may be next in my UFO queue!!


  1. Very nice!! Love the quilting!!!

    1. Thanks Allison---the quilting was lots of fun and adds such great texture. And fortunately, my machine loves Aurifil thread!


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