Do you ever start a project and become completely and utterly obsessed with it? I have to admit I don't often do this - I normally have several projects on the go at once, and flit between them to keep things interesting. I have been a lot better with this over the last year or two (mostly because I've started working to deadlines for magazine quilts so I actually finish things in a reasonable time frame), but I still have a big tendency to start things and then abandon them when something more interesting comes along. Sometimes they're only abandoned briefly, other times they loiter in boxes untouched for months (or years) at a time. But sometimes a project will come along that needs to be made. Yesterday.
My current project fits into the completely-obsessed-can't-think-about-anything-else category. I've been working on it every single night for the last (almost) three weeks and I think it's my favorite quilt ever. Ever. And if you follow me on Instagram you're probably well aware of this (considering you've been getting almost daily updates ;o) )
Anyhoo, ever since I finished making my Night Sky mini quilt last month, I'd been wanting to start a big version. I toyed with lots of different fabric options - and almost started it using a bundle of Suzuko Koseki stripes - until I had a sudden idea to make the stars into kaleidoscopes. And that's where this quilt began.
I'm a huge fan of Jenean Morrison's work - I fell hard for her Silent Cinema collection when it came out and have bought a few pieces of most of her collections since then. For some reason I'm particularly drawn to her symmetrical prints, and have acquired quite a collection for no reason other than I love them. They're the type of prints that lend themselves to fussy cutting, but I never thought I had the patience (or desire) to fussy cut anything, so there they sat (and sat) looking pretty. I have always adored Katy's fabulous Spring Carnival cushion, but I cannot stand doing EPP (don't shoot me!) so I was a bit stumped with what to do with them. But then I bought a Sidekick ruler from the shop where I work/teach and the idea for this quilt was born.
Almost all the fabrics I've used are from various collections by Jenean Morrison (lots of Silent Cinema, but quite a few of her more recent collections as well), with a couple of Amy Butler and Joel Dewberry prints thrown in as well. I didn't choose any of the fabrics based on colour, instead they were all chosen because they were symmetrical and would work in this type of quilt. They seem to all play together nicely though. I don't actually have a photo of the finished quilt top (the photo above is the layout before they were pieced together), because I started basting it literally as soon as the top was put together ;o). Because obsessed.
I've spent the last five nights quilting it, and having the time of my life. But then I stepped back from it today and wondered if it was actually too much quilting. Thanks to my IG and Facebook peeps I had a reality check that it does in fact work, and no there isn't too much quilting - but I am unpicking the paisley quilting around the small pink star, and am planning on leaving a few of the 'borders' unquilted just to limit the busy-ness a little bit. It has been loads of fun playing with the geometry of these stars, and creating secondary patterns using straight lines in and around them.
At this stage I'm only quilting the negative space (except for the couple of stars with a lot of white) and will go back and quilt the stars with matching thread once I'm finished with the background. You might have noticed I don't often use solids for the background in my quilts - but I think it's the right choice for this one. Plus I've recently fallen hard for Cotton Couture solids (this is soft white) while making my Giant Chevron quilt for the QAL - it is absolutely divine to work with and quilts SO well. So I think you might see a few more solid-background quilts from me into the future (especially since PolkaDotTea stock a brilliant selection of Cotton Couture!)
I'm hoping to get this one finished before the end of the month (so yes, it will be my Quiltcon entry), and at this rate it will happen. I really can't see the obsession wearing off before it's finished ;o)
PS a massive thank you to everyone who voted for my Breaking Storm quilt in the blogger's quilt festival - it won the large quilts category! Woohoo!!