Hello! My blog has been hibernating since my last post in December ( I am more active on Facebook and Etsy) so what better way to start spring blogging with the best quilt festival online !!! This is the quilt I am entering this time in the Original Design Category: If you are new to my blog, you are very welcome! My name is Irina, I have been quilting, sewing, knitting ,quilling…you name it… for a few years and although this blog is not as active as I’d like to, I like writing about what’s going on in my sewing room. The story behind this quilt starts over a year ago, when I decided to join my first quilting bee with the Modern Quilters Ireland. It was the Modern Scrappy Bee 2014 and we had to use, obviously, our scraps. I came up with a quilt design inspired by the photos of Supernova stars in space and a “confetti” quilt that I saw on Flickr, where bits of colour were scattered all over the quilt. For my bee purpose I needed to come up with a block that allowed it to be uniform, so everyone could follow the same instructions, but fulfilled the purpose of having a bit of chaos in the bigger picture. I admit it is not an easy block, probably not the best for a bee group either, since there is lots of precise cutting involved, scant 1/4″ seams and well… lots of seams and pressing, really… I used graph paper to start my design. The block is divided in 4 quarters. The red scraps are cut into 1.5″ squares, so they become 1″ in the finished quilt. The white background pieces vary from 1″ finished squares to 8″x2″ finished rectangles. Each block has 60 pieces, and there are 24 blocks in total, so that’s 1,440 pieces in the whole quilt!!! I made 24 copies of the paper block and played with the arrangement.
I love every single colour of the rainbow, each of them has a different spot in my everyday life, but I always tend to go for reds (I love red shoes!) and I always wanted to make a quilt where red was on the lead. Now, so far my plan was working and when I started to receive all those blocks and was putting them together, it was really exciting to see how that photo (above) with the design drawn on graph paper was materializing on fabric (and in colour!). I retouched a few bits here and there to make sure they all were 12.5″ square , made some extra blocks to complete the whole plan and here it is. The bee sisters did a good job (I promise to join with a much easier block in the future) and I am grateful for their help and effort they put into this. So what happened with the plan? Well… I envisioned a lovely busy pattern for the backing, some red gingham or small little red flowers… I found the right one over at Cindy’s and ain’t I lucky to live 30 minutes away from her??? I ordered 2.5 m of backing and why oh why didn’t I count and recount and count again about 5 more times? Yep, I was short, and time was running out. I wanted this quilt to be ready for sending it to Dublin for an exhibition. There was only one FQ available and didn’t have time to order any other fabric as I would be away for work the following 3 days. So what did I do? I used my own bed sheet, which was red of course (IKEA sheets are great for backing and sashing quilts!) and used the beautiful little busy flowery fabric for the binding… I still have plenty of it left. Conor decided he could help by mixing all the different sizes of safety pins into the same bowl, and discovered that they were even printed on the fabric! The quilting was another story. I didn’t really have a plan yet, but several ideas were cooking in my mind. I didn’t want to do the steepled free motion pattern. I like it, but I wanted to try something different. I wanted to highlight the piecing but straight lines from end to end wasn’t my cup of tea either. I wanted to do concentric circles or scallops, something curvy, but I couldn’t figure out how would I be able to turn the quilt and squeezing it under the arm without messing the stitching. And because I was literally running out of time… I did this: Each quarter of the block striped up alternately in horizontal and vertical lines, some in the ditch (or at least I tried to) others across the piece. And I really like it :-) And the final misfortune… My printer run out of ink (of course!!!) so I took a permanent pen and drew my little ants on a piece of calico cotton and made my own handmade handwritten label. Hiding all the threads was really time consuming, and I haven’t finished yet (I know… please do not look very close if you happen to go to the exhibition… I WAS IN A HURRY!) I tried to squeeze some time before sending it off to take some more shots and check out how it would look on a single bed… Even though I will probably be using it to curl up in my sofa with a good book and a nice cupán te. So that’s it. The story of the Supernova Starburst Quilt, designed by me and partly pieced by Bee members of Modern Quilters Ireland. This quilt, and many others by my fellow Irish modern quilters, will be shown at the exhibition of quilts titled “Happiness” in Dublin, at St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, from May 25th to June 26th 2015.
Pattern: Supernova Starbusrt (own pattern)
Fabric: red scraps and mainly Kona white.
Backing: Red IKEA cotton bedsheet!
Quilting: with a Brother In-novis 350E
Size: 48″ x 72″
Some blocks were made by Bee members of Modern Quilters Ireland
Don’t forget to visit Amy’s Blog to see more quilts in the Festival and vote for your favourite in each category from the 22nd to the 29th of May. Thank you for stopping by!