Thursday, June 6, 2013

Orange Crush anyone? and thank you for voting

Christina’s quilt should be finished today and there is a lot of orange in the quilt…orange and white stripes, white with orange dots and wild orange prints! And there are lots of other bright colours like fuchsia, ruby, lime, blueberry and grape! And the backing is a lovely melon and lime print. All of these colours remind me of soft drinks.

Given all of the lovely soft drink colours (but primarily orange) I’ve decided to call this quilt “Orange Crush”! Orange Crush is a popular soft drink!

This quilt is made up of two blocks that measure 7 1/2" finished. Block A is very scrappy but not entirely scrappy – there is some control. A single background fabric is used in each block. The X is made with four different fabrics. The cross is made with two fabrics. While this is definitely a scrap quilt and each block is different the use of a single fabric in certain positions within the block gives a cohesive look to the quilt.

Block B is also scrappy however I’ve used the orange and white stripes in each block to give some continuity to the quilt while still maintaining its scrappiness! And again in order to give a cohesive look to the quilt the same fabrics are used in the same positions within a block. For example the corners use a single fabric and the centre of the cross is a second fabric and the top, bottom and sides of the cross are a third fabric.

This is what four blocks look like when put together!

I opted for simple straight line quilting on the diagonal but I used a variety of sherbet coloured threads! And I followed my own good advice and stitched in the ditch before I did any other quilting and it quilted like a dream! I used my machine quilting my way technique which means stitch in the ditch, quilt the border, bind the quilt and then go back and quilt the middle!

I am pleased with the quilting in the border. Aside from the fact that is fast and easy to do, it flattens the quilt and I like that look! I was able to quilt right out to the edge of the quilt so any wonky turns are covered by the binding. Mind you the turns on the inner edge of the border have to be a little smoother! This is a great way for a beginner to quilt a border and it looks more refined than simple stippling or meander quitting. I love feathers but they can be scary, especially if you are just getting started so this is a great alternative!


At the corner the lines radiate our from the inner corrner like sun rays.

Back of quilt with sunray design from corner

It is helpful to use some sort of temporary marker to draw some guide lines for both the rays and along the border. It helps to keep you on the “straight and narrow”! I would space the lines every three to four inches. I've used red to give you an idea about the spacing and placement of the temporary lines you would mark to quilt in this way.

If you haven’t tried this method of quilting a boreder give it a go. I always struggle with how to quilt a border made with a busy print (or a quilt for a male) and I think this is a good solution. I should mention that once the sun rays were quilted and the quilt bound I went back and stippled in the half moon shapes on the inner edge of the border.

Phew...lots of words. So here it is.... Orange Crush!

Orange Crush

Orange Crush (the centre)
Yesterday I finished the quilt for Christina's brother Alex and his has an appliqued grasshopper on the backing (it hides a small problem). There are no problems in Christina’s quilt but I think she deserves her own grasshopper. It is also a way to add your personal “signature” to a quilt! You can also quilt your initials into the quilt. Remember, if a quilt is lost or stolen a label can always be removed making it hard to identify a quilt but if you are in the habit of hiding the same identifying mark in each quilt it is another form of signing the piece! And it makes a nice little surprise for the recipient! You can read more about identifying marks here.
Can you see the grasshopper?

Here she is!
And now for a little good news for me! Late yesterday evening I received an email from Quilting Gallery advising me that my quilt Stars in the Loft tied for second place in Show and Tell. Thank you to everyone who voted not just for my quilt but for any quilt. It is so nice to know that people see and appreciate the quilts that are entered. The theme was Memory Quilts/Creative Expression and if you had a chance to take a look and read the stories I know you will agree that they were all desrving of support. Once again, thank you!

Stars in the Loft

I'll leave you with a few pictures from the garden!

Trailing clematis
Trailing clematic close-up

Teetoo the neighbours cat rolling around in a stump hole
Are they the best when they are asleep?
Kentucky yellowwood tree in bloom
Pawpaw tree in bloom
Until I post again, happy sewing (and maybe a little gardening)!


  1. Congratulations on your second placing at quilting Gallery,
    You tied with my online quilting friend Bunny, I voted for you both.
    Orange crush looks fantastic
    Love your idea for border quilting as I am a real beginner
    A few weeks ago I drew up the +and x block as a 5 inch block and have drawn up your second block to same scale.
    Am thinking of making a table runner from the charm packs I won through quilting gallery.
    I see inset seams in the second block, is there an easy way to make this block.
    Congratulations again Karen, your work is fantastic.
    Cheers Jenny

    1. Hi Jenny and many thanks for the congrats! Bunny's quilt is wonderful and touching so I was honoured to be in the same group!

      As far at the set in seam goes I used the Y seam method outlined in my tutorial. The first thing I did was sew the two stiped pieces together on an angle (like a half square triangle. I trimmed the excess fabric and pressed the seams open. Then I sewed in the square per my Y seam tutorial. Then I put a square on the inner corner and sewed a diagonal lined and trimmed the excess fabric. If any of this is unclear just send me an email and I'll diagram the steps to make it easier!
      Again thanks for voting and a really big thanks for the kind words!

  2. I think that's the secret of a good scrap quilt, some kind of cohesion, so your eye tells you there is a pattern here and not a jumble of fabrics. I do like this quilt, it looks even better from a distance, where you get enough visual information for it to make sense (hope I'm making sense LOL).
    Another smashing quilt Karen, I shall check out the link you provided for the quilting, sounds very intriguing!

    1. Thanks Kath and your message made perfect sense. You explained the notion of cohesiveness in a scrap quilt better than I did! And you are also right tht this quilt looks good from a distance (I find most quilts do) because you can see a pattern and movement. Unfortunately the border photographed little muddy but in fact it is more vibrant!

      I hope you'll let me know what you think about my technqiue for quilting large quilts. If works for me every time and I've taught it to a few friends and they have had the same results!

  3. Karen I love your Orange Crush quilt and the way you quilted it so very interesting. Especially the way you did the borders. I am so interested in your tutorials, it is fun to see all the different techniques that quilters do.
    Congrats on your second placement at quilt Gallery I also voted for you. I was honored to be in second place with you.

    1. Bunny (such a cute name!) - thank you and thank you! I loved your quilt as well - we must have very similar tastes because I voted for your quilt as well. It was such a special gift for Marilyn's daughter, a rememberance of her Mom and just how much she was and is loved by others.

  4. Congratulations on your second place - much deserved for a stunning quilt!

    1. Thanks so much! I do feel honoured because there were some really amazing quilts entered and the stories were touching. I'm a sucker for a quilt with a story!

  5. Thank you for sharing your tips on enhancing the scrap quilt with pieces of some consistency - this is a beautiful quilt. I came by from A Quilting Reader's Garden.