This quilt is really special to me. You know I love making tree quilts, right?
"Fall Spectrum" is based on a tree in my school's parking lot that turns all of the fall colors at the same time, pictured below. It's truly a wonder. I previously wrote more about the design process in this post, including fabric choices.
From October to December last year, I pieced this quilt; it was a lovely respite from deadlines and adult things (including election angst). As much as quilting is one of my jobs, I still LOVE and NEED to make things *just because*. I plan to continue to do so! It turns out that the more quilts you make (I officially started 7 years ago), the better you get; this is definitely my best made quilt yet in all areas. That being said, I'm really proud of how it came out.
I finished the quilt top at the Central Jersey Modern Quilt Guild's annual November retreat. It felt soooo good.
When I received news that my solo exhibition could potentially include 20 quilts, it was a quick decision to finish this one up to show my latest work. The quilting idea came to me eventually: free motion quilt each color in a different motif. Just like all my other quilts, I quilted this one on my home machine, a Janome Memory Craft 6300. Aurifil had all the colors I could ever want/need for this colorful quilt, including 5017 (lime green), 2870 (green), 1135 (yellow), 1133 (bright orange), 2277 (coral), 2250 (bright red), and 4225 (purple).
Here's the "trunk" of the tree. The green part was quilted in various sized baptist fan-like rainbows. To make the tree stand out from the background, I quilted the branches and trunk very densely with straight lines. An all-over motif or pantograph-like design, I think, would have made it disappear into the background.
I quilted the yellow section with pebbles, orange with flames, and red with triangles. Each motif was quilted specifically to overlap just a little with the other surrounding colors, so as to further emphasize the easy transition from one color to another.
Finally, to mimic the wind, I quilted purple swirls into the top part of the tree. Ever since I did this for "Home," I've wanted to try it again. It was such a joy to quilt this quilt a little bit at a time and savor the quilting process. Spaced out over several weeks, it wasn't a rushed job.
"Fall Spectrum" is one of two of my quilts just juried into MQX (Machine Quilting Expo) in Manchester, NH this April; this one will be in the Modern Quilt category. After taking quick photos for the entry deadline (the first photo in this blog post), I lamented not having pictures of it in a real fall landscape. When fall comes yet again to NJ, you can bet I'll be looking to take a really cool picture.
This quilt is also part of my brick-by-brick improvisation workshop, which I teach to quilt guilds and at retreats and shops. I'm teaching it next at Mid-Atlantic Mod in Lancaster, PA on Saturday, April 29 - if you're going to the retreat, there are still some spots available in the class. I'd love to have you and help you improvise!
My mom snapped this picture on the last day of my exhibit at QuiltFest. The lighting wasn't ideal in this particular spot; the first picture in this post is much closer to the actual colors of the quilt! It's fun to get pictures with my quilts, though. More on the exhibit soon!
Again, the colors aren't exact here (much as I try to alter them on the computer), but with the quilt hanging so flatly, I decided to take a side picture at the show.
Mike's best friend was over playing video games the weekend we took pictures, so I asked for his help (the quilt is 65" x 70" - difficult to hold up, especially in the cold, as one person). There's another funny pic from this photoshoot that I'll be sure to share soon.
Also, while I was writing this post, I added in pictures and they originally appeared small. Since I neglected (so far) to take a far away picture of the quilt, this should suffice. I'm very pleased that my design shines through when you step away.