Saturday, February 4, 2017

Project Quilting 8.3: Citrus Twist

Lately I've been experiencing a lack of motivation or creative energy and I've noticed a direct correlation to current events.  So, I was looking forward to a new Project Quilting challenge theme to help me find my quilting mojo...

I was really excited by the announcement of this week's theme:  Tune into Texture.  The challenge encouraged us to open our eyes to textures all around us.  I had fun photographing different textures in my home, especially the kitchen...but none of them were compelling enough to create a quilt.  By Wednesday I was still in search of inspiration and shared the challenge theme with my mother who is manages the Produce department.  So she suggested fruits and vegetables.  Luckily I had a lemon tree in the backyard that served as my muse.
When Life Hands You Lemons...Take Lots of Photographs!
Later that day a member of my small quilt group brought tangerines to share...and so my muse now had a friend.  I reached out to another neighbor who had a yellow grapefruit tree and asked her for a few before learning that she also had an orange tree.  I was energized by my growing citrus collection, but it needed something more, and so I stopped by the grocery store and picked up a pink grapefruit and a lime--which added new colors and different sizes to the mix!
Slices of Color and Texture
Thursday morning was spent photographing my fruit models and studying them from every angle.  I had so much fun discovering the surface of each fruit but for me, my photoshoot got much more exciting once I started cutting into the fruits.  I just loved the interplay of lines, shapes, color and texture!!  Each slice was beautiful on its own or when placed near other slices.  As I was taking this picture, I suddenly remembered a fabric that has been in my stash for 10+ years!!
Art Imitating Life
As I was editing my pictures, I would sketch a few designs into my journal.  Some doodles would make for wonderful background quilting designs (top of the page).  Others could make for a very graphic applique designs.  As you can see from my page of doodles, I was especially inspired by the texture of the vesicles/juice sacs.  I was able to recreate this image by modifying a figure eight meander to fill in each endocarp/wedge shapes.          
Photograph It, Draw It, Thread Paint It!
While I did not have a quilt layout in mind, I couldn't delay any further and got started by stitching up a few wedge units.  I placed a layer of batting behind my solid white fabric square and used some contact paper to outline my quarter circle wedge.  From there, I free-formed the three wedge shapes and proceeded to fill them with my figure eight meander.  Once my block was completely stitched, I turned it over and trimmed away the excess batting.  Pleased with my first block, I went on to use different Aurifil 50 weight threads to stitch up two blocks (~7" square) in each color:  yellow for lemons, green for limes, orange for oranges and salmon for red grapefruits.  
Design Wall Play
As I was stitching up my blocks, I would ponder possible layout designs and take breaks to visit my different Pinterest boards for inspiration.  Above are a few of the designs that briefly intrigued me.  I then remembered spinning borders and had a few scrap strips nearby that I used first as placeholders.  The pink floral strips were soon swapped out for a citrus colored striped print that I cut out 3" strips.  I liked the stripe but a friend pointed out that they seemed to overpower my quilted blocks, and I totally agreed.  The citrus print was placed into the center and with a few partial seams, the quilt top assembly was super fast!  
A New Twist
I really liked how the curved portion of my blocks were rotated out towards the four corners of my quilt top.  Using a handy dandy large plate from the kitchen, I decided to trim my quilted top to match those curves.
Warning:  Curves Ahead!
My binding strips were cut on the bias making it easy to round out along those curved edges and adding a pop of color into my binding!!

As always, I had a lot of fun with the quilting, using white Aurifil 50 weight thread.  Twisting loop de loops were stitched into the spinnng strips.  Dense zig zag meander was used to add some zest into the background areas and helped the trapuntoed citrus wedges to really pop!  Finally, a spinning log cabin spiral is stitched into the center, representing the dizzying flurry of news reports this past week.
Details of Quilting
A fun floral print in matching colors made for a fun quilt back.
Front and Back
So when life hands you lemons...or "Orange," it can be very tempting to reach for vodka!  I opted to make a quilt instead...
"Citrus Twist" finishes 22" x 22"
Online voting will start on Sunday February 5th around 11 AM.  Be sure to check out all the amazing Texture inspired entries and vote for your favorites!  Hint-hint:  Citrus Twist is #72.

14 comments:

  1. Wow Mel, you never stop amazing me with your talent to not only quilt, but write, take pictures and keep me interested in your journey! As always, so fun watching these little quilts grow!.

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    1. Awww...thank you Barbara. Many of these quilt challenges start with a small nugget of inspiration. I try to capture each quilt's progression with lots of pictures--as the photos really help me get some distance from the project, see it more clearly and helps informs me on what comes next in its journey. Yes--these are 1 week quilts but there is a lot of decision/indecision that is part of the adventure...

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  2. Truly spectacular. What a journey! Well done. I love love love it.

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    1. Thank you...I never know how these challenge quilts will evolve or what exciting directions they may take. But they are always fun and lead to new and different quilt designs!

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  3. Love those fresh colours and quilting those segments looks very beautiful.

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    1. Thank you Tomomi---I really love this color palette--very springtime and fresh! And quilting the citrus segments was a lot of fun too!!

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  4. You always create the most wonderful quilts from your projects and challenges. Great combination of fabric, thread and paint.

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    1. Thanks Ann...these quilt challenges provide me with wonderful inspiration along with the freedom to explore new designs and techniques. I am so excited by the body of work that has been generated as a result of these challenge prompts!!

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  5. So much for no inspiration! Wow - what a cool inspiration, and your interpretation is fabulous! I love everything about this project! <3

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    1. Thank you Trish...yet another fabulous and inspirational theme that yielded so many fabulous quilt entries!! Looking forward to round 4!!

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  6. Reminds me of summer. You are so artistic. Your quilting is amazing!

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    1. Thank you Amy. It is very summertime...although here in San Jose, we are lucky that citrus fruit grow year round!

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  7. This is fantastic! I can't believe you had that perfect fabric in your stash! I'm sure the workmanship is impeccable as well! Bravo once again ;)

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    1. Thank you Kim! That fun fabric inspired the fabric palette for my first log cabin (over 11 years ago!!). I am so glad it finally found a home.

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