Thanks Mom!

I may be a little late getting to this, but for Christmas 2012 I asked for (you guessed it) fabric.  What more could a girl want?  Well Mom came through (Thanks!).  She sent me two beautiful jelly rolls of Cuzco by Kate Spain for Moda, a beautiful pattern to use my jelly rolls, and a jelly roll of Moda ombre solids.  For those of you that don’t know a jelly roll usually contains 42 2.5-inch wide strips of fabric.  Generally one or two strips of each fabric in a collection.

Jelly roll

A sidenote on pre-washing:  Like the two sides of a coin, there are two sides of the debate in favor or against the pre-washing of fabric.  I am on the side for pre-washing.  As soon as I get new fabric home I throw it in the wash with a little detergent and cold water.  I believe this accomplishes several goals:

  • It eliminates any extra dye that may bleed with other fabrics after a quilt is constructed;
  • it shrinks, and corrects any weird sizing caused by the factory rolling the fabric onto the bolt, which may cause problems after quilt construction; and
  • it generally softens up stiff fabrics and eliminates any weird manufacturer/store smells making it nicer to work with.

The problem with working with jelly rolls, not really pre-wash friendly.  Cautiously, unwashed, I proceeded.  The pattern shows the prints paired with a white background fabric, but having just finished my Madrona Road challenge quilt with white, I decided to go with Kona Ash.  I thought this gray went well with the collection and even looks somewhat purple in the right light.

block 1 image

The pattern only calls for one jelly roll (I am going to save the second for another project) and results in 9 blocks, set 3X3, but after I finished those blocks I was left with a lot of left over strips so I decided to extend my quilt by another row.

For the back I used some left over jelly roll ends to make a 4-inch wide strip to give some interest, and I picked up one of the orange and pink prints from from the Cuzco collection from Quilt Expressions in Fishers, IN.  The ladies at this shop are so nice, and they have an AMAZING collection of solid fabrics for modern quilters.

Next step, quilting.  This is where I got a little stuck.  I could not decide how I was going to quilt this lovely.  I have this problem quite often, and I have found that if I seek the opinions of my fellow quilters they can be a big help.  I posted a picture of my quilt on the Indy Modern Quilt Guild Facebook Page and asked what they thought I should do.  After lots of feedback, a little head scratching, and some doodling I figured it out!  I realized that the print fabrics reminded me of Chinese paper lanterns, so I quilted large concentric circles around the Cuzco fabrics and free motion quilted a big pebble pattern in the open gray space.

FMQ settings

For the binding I used some more jelly roll scraps to make a scrappy binding (I like to have as little fabric left over at the end of a project as possible).

I am really happy with the way this quilt came out.  I think the only thing I would change would be the thread color.  Once I figured out how I was going to quilt it I charged forward with some heather (grayish purple) thread I had on hand.  I thought it would blend well on the front and look purplish on the back.  But in hindsight I think it stands out a little more than I would have liked.  But now that it’s washed, it is oh so lovely.

front  back

A special thanks to todays quilt model, Ashley.  Prettiest fingers and toes ever.

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4 thoughts on “Thanks Mom!

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