Sunday, January 22, 2017

Project Quilting 8.2: Lustrous Lily

This past Sunday kicked off a new Project Quilting Season 8 quilt challenge with the theme of "Carolina Lily."  Like most quilt challenge adventures, this journey began with my usual search via Pinterest.  There I founds images of the traditional Carolina Lily block along with images of the actual Carolina Lily flower, North Carolina's state wildflower--neither of which evoked a new quilt design.  But soon images of other lilies started to appear, including the Stargazer Lily, which is one of my favorite flowers.  Just then I remembered a fat quarter bundle of Patty Young's Lush that I purchased years ago that included printed lilies!!
Game Plan A:  Lily Print Fabric Bundle
I was so giddy about this new revelation that I went to the studio and pulled out that bundle, along with some coordinating hand dyed fabrics!  And then I wondered:  now what?!?  How the heck would I incorporate these fabrics into a cohesive quilt design?  I pondered the possibility of doing some improvisational piecing, but nothing seemed to capture the essence of the Carolina Lily theme.  And so naturally I stalled by pressing and organizing the fabrics; hoping they would speak to me.  After 3 days of total silence, it was now Wednesday and panic started to set in.

I revisited my Pinterest board containing gorgeous photographs of lilies and found myself drawn to the geometric design of the petals.  I wondered if I could create an abstraction of the bloom by using only triangles, diamonds and hexagons.  Using isometric triangle grids (both on paper and in Electric Quilt 7), I sketched out a few different designs.  I got pretty excited with the sketch below, especially once I started coloring it in using different values of pink along with some dots!    
Design and Construction Progression (clockwise starting with top left)
Thursday morning I went to work drafting up two different diamond-shaped foundation templates for the petals.  Once my designs were drafted and copied, I raided my stash of pink fabrics that would capture the essence of the Stargazer lily:  striped centers surrounded by dots!  I chose an organic strip for the centers, along with a variety of polka-dotted and small spiral prints in a light, medium and dark value.  Once my petals were pieced and laid out, I started to audition green fabrics for the three leaves and background.  I chose two directional prints with contrasting designs for the leaves, and a variety of yellow green prints for the background.  Originally I had planned to cut out triangles from different fabrics for the background.  Wanting to add more visual interest, I cut out 2" strips that were pieced into strip sets from which I then cut out the large background triangles.  This extra step really adds so much drama and sparkle to the background!

By 10 PM Thursday night, my quilt top was completely assembled and ready for quilting!  Friday morning I went to work on preparing my backing and creating my quilt sandwich.  Soon it was time to add some quilted texture to transform my lily!!!  Drawing inspiration from the photographs, I had a lot of fun stitching both lines and pebbles into each of my petals.  I incorporated my favorite motifs into the background (zig zag meander), center stamen (loop de loops and figure eights) and leaves (feathers with echoes).
Details of Quilted Textures
Including so much variety into my quilting made it both fun and fast!  Later that night I finished up by adding the binding.  Many thanks to Jaybird Quilts for her wonderful "How to Bind 120-degrees" tutorial that greatly helped with handling the six corners, as well Sharon Schamber's Perfect Straight Binding video where she demonstrations how she uses Elmer's Glue to achieve perfect bindings on her award-winning quilts!  I've used this technique on the past 5-6 quilts and absolutely love the results!!
"Lustrous Lily," 33" x 29" Finished Size
I absolutely  love, love, love the finished quilt!!  Despite the slow start, this little beauty was assembled and quilted in just 2 days!!  I had so much fun putting this quilt together that I am even considering turning it into a quilt pattern.  Already I see potential for different colorways, different sizes and even repeating the basic block to create a larger finished quilt!  I welcome your feedback and please let me know if you might be interested in helping out by being a pattern tester!  You can leave me a message below or send me an email (melbeachquilts@yahoo.com).

Online voting will begin Sunday 1/22 around 10:30/11 AM PST.  Please be sure to check out all the amazing quilts that celebrate the Carolina Lily and vote for your favorites!!  Lustrous Lily is #73 (hint-hint!!)

22 comments:

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    1. Thank you Maree--I am so pleased with the final finish...it makes me happy!

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  2. Wow. this is so beautiful! I love its story, even though it was shy at first. Thank you for pointing us in the direction of new ways to try bindings.

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    1. I love the "shy at first" comment! While it can certainly be stressful not lose a few days to shyness...I am starting to see that my best finishes often start out the most shy! Oh--I sure hope you fall in love with using elmer's glue on your bindings...major game changer!

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  3. Mel, you color, design and workmanship are always so pleasing to the eye. I am never disappointed in anything you do!

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    1. Awww...thanks Barbara. And I got to see firsthand yesterday your talent, design and worksmanship of your 6 beautiful quilts on display at the Heart of the Valley Quilt & Textile Arts Show. So glad you are joining the fun of these challenges...makes the week so much more fun!

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  4. Cool version and colors! Lovely quilting!

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    1. Thank you Vera--I kept having this abstract vision in my head and so pleased with the final finish. I greatly enjoyed working on this piece from start to finish!

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    1. Thank you Tomomi...I am so proud of this finish! I am so glad you liked it too!

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  6. This is A M A Z I N G and absolutely yes on turning this into a pattern

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    1. Thank you Trish for providing the inspiration of Carolina Lily...your challenge themes certainly push me to put forward some of my favorite finishes!

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  7. Great quilt! Love the pattern and the colors you chose! Beautiful!

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    1. Thanks Leah...I really enjoy these challenges and coming up with new design patterns and color combinations!

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  8. Wow - this is stunning! I just love your "story" behind the design and reading about your decisions along the way. It took me a couple of day to get started too - I just couldn't decide which method to use!

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    1. Thank you Izzy. Rarely does an idea come immediately. The best designs tend to take a few days to form and evolve...definitely worth the wait!

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  9. What a lovely design. So many things to say about it. I will pick one: the green strip sets are a perfect solution. Movement and diversity. Congratulations again.

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    1. Thank you Ann...I am very fond of how the green strips sets really transformed this quilt. Just a small detail with big impact!

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  10. I think it's gorgeous! I see a rainbow of blocks all making one quilt! Definitely make a pattern!

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    1. Thanks Kim! I am seeing so many possibilities especially with regards to colors!! General consensus seems to be make it a pattern. Yet another happy outcome from participating in Project Quilting challenges! Thank you!

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  11. This block is stunning! Hope you are the winner. If you are still looking for pattern testers, I'd be happy to give it a try!

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    1. Thank you Mary---My quilt earned 6th place in votes...which is pretty awesome considering how many gorgeous quilts were entered last week. I will keep you on my radar for once I am able to get the pattern ready--might have to wait until after Project QUilting Season 8 ends...

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