Nature of Purple Quilt

I occasionally find myself in an odd place in the quilting world style wise – I am not super modern, yet to a traditional quilter I look modern.  I think one of my old guilds determined I was “modern” simply by my age.  I have embraced the “modern traditional” moniker, but it’s not always an easy category to fit in.

Nature of Purple cropped

This is my first go at a more definitively modern piece.  The pattern is not mine (probably takes away from the modernity, right?), but was a piece for the Carolina Longarm Association.  They are trying to put together a display with modern and traditional mini quilts that will all be the same two designs, but with a wide variety of fabrics and quilting styles.  It should be a really cool display once it’s done.

Quilt Name: Nature of Purple

Size: 29″ x 29″

Nature of Purple from below

I really enjoyed quilting this piece.  I loved combining the straight lines with the curves to create contrast within the piece.  I also really like the design I used inside the rectangles.  It’s a straight-line spiral, for lack of a better description, but is fun to use in a space like that.

I did learn some good lessons from this quilt – such as purple is extremely hard to photograph and the quilting does not show up well unless you are really close to it.

Dense quilting would also probably show up better with either a double layer of batting, or a higher quality puff or mixed cotton/poly blend.  I used a cheap cotton/poly blend I had laying around because I wan’t planning on quilting it this densely when I started.


Unfortunately, it is not an impressive piece when you see it hung next to other quilts.  There is a certain beauty in its simplicity, and the negative space leaves a lot of room to quilt, but it’s still a very simple quilt with very little piecing.   I feel like the photo below is a Where’s Waldo game, but you are looking for a small purple quilt that blends into the black background curtains. (Photo borrowed from Christa Quilts, link to her NQA experience roundup).

Christa Quilts Modern NQA Show

I entered it into the National Quilting Association show this year to get feedback and try to improve my quilting. As far as feedback, I found the comments to be very useful. The judges found a couple things on this quilt that I had missed, and called me out on errors that I knew existed.  It was also nice to receive more than one or two comments, which is more normal for a local level show.

Entering this quilt was a worthwhile experience, and it is pushing me to be better.  When I received the quilt back in the mail, I saw that it had been held for the category and a judge’s choice.  It’s bittersweet news in a way – it was good, but not good enough.  It just means I need to improve my work and make a better quilt next year!

Even if it didn’t win anything, I still like it.  I have it hanging above my longarm in my new setup.  I still love the purple.  I wish it quilted better so I could use it more often, but as you can see below the purple just absorbs all light and makes it look like a purple black hole.  Eventually, it will find its way back to North Carolina, but I’m not quite ready to give it up yet.

Quilting Studio

Linking up to some of the following: Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt StorySew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart QuiltsLinky Tuesday @ Freemotion by the RiverLet’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuiltsNeedle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt InfatuationFinish it up Friday @ Crazy Mom QuiltsWhoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt AddictTGIFFFabric Frenzy Friday @ Ft. Worth Fabric


Michigan Quilt

The last quilt I finished before I had to pack up my longarm to move was the Michigan quilt for Anna of Life Sew Crafty.  She finished the quilt and blogged about it before I finished my blog post about the quilting part.  I’ll catch up one of these days!

Michigan Quilted

This was a very large quilt, about 96″ x 108″!  My husband and father in law were luckily both on hand to hold it and protect it so I could take a few photos.

Anna and I decided to do woods and animal type quilting inside the land mass portion of Michigan, and to do water texture with some fish in the blue portion.  In doing so, we inadvertently turned Michigan into an island, but I really love the effect.  I think my husband would be very happy with a whole cloth version of just the blue portion.

Michigan Quilted

There are a variety of animals and trees represented: bears, deer, elk, moose.  I did an outline just inside Michigan to delineate the land/water difference.  I did not stitch in the ditch because the seams were pressed open and did not want to risk having my stitching undo any of Anna’s stitching.

Michigan Quilted

This side angle shows the texture the best of the pictures I have.  I had to ship it off before the movers came so pictures are somewhat limited.

Michigan Quilted

As soon as I pulled this quilt off the frame, we started dismantling the longarm for the move.  Happily, she survived the trek and is up and running again!  I currently have no wait, and would be happy to quilt for you!

Taking down the longarm to move



2nd quarter 2015 Bee Blocks

I am a member of the Stash Bee, Hive 3.  Even with the craziness of moving, I have managed to finish my blocks – but was a little slow on proving that to the internet 🙂

April was my month to receive blocks, so I requested red-tan-brown-low volume blocks to help me get enough blocks to finally finish up my “Real World Red & White” quilt.  I think I finally have enough!  Thank you ladies!

2015 Hive 3 Stash Bee

I also took part in a very unofficial block trade. Aby made this lovely block for my red & white quilt.

Aby's block

And I made this block for a quilt being made for Aby. The request was for bright colors that read as solids with a white background. I played around and made this.  The quilt was actually finished before I managed to post about the block, and you can see it here.

bright solids block

This next block is my May block for Jennifer.  Her tutorial is here.  I’m excited to see this quilt.  I think it’s going to look fantastic!

May 2015 Stash Bee Hive 3

June’s block was for Sylvia at Flying Parrot Quilts.  She started her Christmas quilt early enough to actually finish it in time for Christmas!  Great idea Sylvia – I should follow suit, so my WiP Christmas quilt doesn’t stay in a box for another year!  The tutorial for her block is here.

Stash Bee Hive 3 June 2015 Block

Linking to some of the following: Scraptastic Tuesday @ She Can QuiltWiP Wednesday @ Freshly PiecedLet’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuiltsNeedle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt InfatuationWhoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt AddictFabric Frenzy Friday @ Ft. Worth Fabric