Monday, July 7, 2014

Very Simple Little Quilt

One week ago today, I found Pepper Cory's "Peppered Cottons" at Busy Bee Quilt Shop.

I'm planning to make them into a very special quilt and decided to do a simple test quilt.
Here's the tutorial for my little test quilt and information about these luxurious cottons.

The beauty of these cottons is that they are woven with a warp of one color and a weft of a second color.  I do have to say that another beauty is that these are of substantial weight, similar to the older Kona solids (and very unlike the other extremely lightweight shot cottons I ordered).  In fact, these are substantial enough to make clothing, quilted or not. I cut four 6.5 inch squares, two from each of two colors.  On the photo above, you can see the single thread on the upper edge of the green.  The two colors in each fabric are what give each fabric its luminosity.

I pinned one edge of the squares so that when I pieced the four patch, I could have the warp running vertically on one patch and horizontally on the other.  Then I sewed them into a four-patch.

The next step was to cut and piece the borders.  For this I cut two 12.5 inch by 4.5 inch strips from the blue.  I pieced the 12.5 inch strips to opposite sides of the four patch.

Then I pieced two 20.5 inch x 4.5 inch pieces on the remaining opposite sides.
Hopefully, you can see in these close ups at least a hint of the richness of these fabrics.

I consistently pressed each set of seams to the darker side.

In these photos you will see the same fabric photographing in very different ways, yielding very different looking colors. Because these are shot cottons, the camera exaggerates the color differences much more than our eyes do; our brains register them as more similar when we see the fabrics in person.

I have no comprehension of why these fabrics haven't been talked about more in quilting blogs. They are just luscious. They create such glorious quilts that they deserve a lot more notice.

Once the borders were on, I cut a backing and a batting 24 inches by 24 inches. For the backing I used a blue that had arrived in my previous order of "shot cottons" that was definitely not a shot cotton, and was heavier than the others that had arrived in that order. I pin basted it using my Kwik Klip.  (Having used this little tool for close to 15 or 20 years, I'm amazed that at the time I purchased it, I wasn't sure it would be a good investment.  It definitely has been!)

After pin basting,  I stitched around the four patch in the the ditch between it and the blue; then I used a long zigzag stitch to secure the edge of the border.

The binding was made of two 2.25-inch strips of a darker color.  With so many fabrics shrinking to as little as a 40-inch width after laundering, quilters will love that this fabric is still 44 inches wide.
I'm not showing a photo of the color catcher I threw into the washer with these because it came out perfectly white.

I quilted with Fil-Tec Glide thread.  I had sketched and quilted similar designs before, so I didn't mark these on the quilt.  The use of two colors in the feathered border was a first for me, and I don't know if I would do that again.

What I discovered about the colors of quilting thread was that I prefer the appearance of lighter rather than darker threads on this fabric.  Also, I find the appearance of the quilting more pleasing if the color of the quilting thread varies quite a bit from the threads from which the fabric is woven.

I do wonder if the lack of visibility of these fantastic cottons on blogs has something to do with the way they photograph.  However, I'm one of those people who thinks fabrics and fibers are always better when we're close enough to touch them.

I'm going to take this little quilt to Busy Bee in the hopes that it will help them sell more of these fabrics.  When I told one of the owners that studio e is shipping 15 new colors in August, he was almost as excited as I was.  When we talked later, he said they have to order studio e fabric from their Henry Glass representative so that limits how many they will be able to buy since their budget needs to include Henry Glass fabrics too.

This simple little quilt has really helped me develop ideas for the larger quilt for which these fabrics were purchased.  I hope to make a final design decision and get the larger quilt pieced today.

In "desert news," we received this:
and more.  Officially, 3.36 inches since July 3rd.  These were not monsoon rains, so we are still hoping for those.  Although there were severe fireworks restrictions, I doubt that they were enforced after the rain in our little town.  The private aerial shows went on for over three hours; of course when they are shooting so high into the sky, they are visible to everyone.  As of yesterday, the national forests were still closed; I don't know if that means that officials have not had a chance to re-evaluate the closures in light of the rains or if the rains were insufficient to warrant opening them.

Blogger is not working well.  Some readers, but not all, have been unable to leave comments. I'm frequently getting almost blank screens that don't function as I attempt to add photos, labels, and tags, and frequently have to just go back to the post lists to edit.  I'm sorry about that.

You will find links to post of what others are working on at the following blogs:
 Judy Laquidara's Design Wall
Diana at Red Delicious Life
Free Motion Monday
Free Motion by the River
Lizzie Lenard Vintage Sewing
If you're a new visitor here, you will find more feathers in many of my previous posts.

Happy quiltmaking....


Podunk Pretties said...

Stunning little quilt, your quilting is gorgeous!

What Comes Next? said...

those are beautiful fabrics, and that is a stunning little quilt, with wonderful feathers. Looking forward to seeing your larger one!

Karin said...

Beautiful feathers and yes, that cotton looks fantastic.

O'Quilts said...

I never even heard of those fabrics...once again..lovely quilting.

Rosemary Dickinson said...

Your feathers are so amazing! I love this fabric. I don't think I've heard of them. I'd love to see them in person.

DragonPoodle said...

Your quilting is fabulous, as always! Kaafe Fassett is very much into the shot cottons right now, so perhaps we will see an increase in interest in them.

ipatchandquilt said...

Just so gorgeous!!! Love the golden thread !!!
I can't wait to do some feathers too!

Angela FlowersMoore said...

Gosh I like the way you thought through this and shared with us. I tend to work this way too, the only problem with me is sometimes I over think. I like both colors of thread, the light as well as the dark in the feathers. This turned out very nice and I hope you liked how it worked out too.

Amy, a redeemed sheep said...

They are on my wish list. So beautiful!!

Beth Strand said...

This is the first I've heard of these and, yes, I want them, too! (I have a birthday coming...) Your feathers are wonderful. As usual, your quilting inspires me!

Amy Johnson said...

Lovely quilt and feathers. I've been wanting to try the Peepered cottons. Maybe I'll find some at the AQS show in Charlotte at the end of the month. Thanks for linking up.

Patti said...

Love what you're doing & glad to see that fabric in action.

schmidt1016 said...

Once again, I'm speechless after seeing your quilting. It is so beautiful. I am with you about the lighter thread. I think it enhances the fabric and the quilting design.
I've never done feathers before. I know it would be hard for me.

Leslie S. in MN, USA

Muv said...

Hello Dora,
Wonderful colours, especially the greeny-goldy-yellow. It is always interesting when the camera demonstrates how much better our eyes are at seeing things.
I think using the two different coloured threads for the feathers works really well. The lighter colour quilting forms a frame around the whole design.
Looking forward to you linking up again this week!
Love, Muv

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