Monday, March 13, 2017

Fall Spectrum - A Finished Quilt

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.

This quilt is an experiment with "like-solid"/tone on tone fabrics that act like solids, but I couldn't help adding in some special scraps. Anna Maria Horner's echinaceas are a favorite, and somehow it still works in the overall quilt!

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.

I sewed the label on in earnest to prepare for my exhibit - the name came about at the last minute, so it wasn't on there yet! I tried to show the full fall color spectrum in this quilt, so "Fall Spectrum" fit well.

"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!


Outtakes


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.

Linking up to TGIFF, Crazy Mom Quilts, Fabric Tuesday, Needle and Thread Thursday.

 

Subscribe to The Wonky Press,
the original bi-monthly modern quilting newsletter!

* indicates required

31 comments:

  1. Love those Flying Geese overhead! The colors are definitely a fall spectrum.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jessica, this is gorgeous! I love your design and color sense. I wish I could be in Lancaster but I will definitely be learning from you at some point. Thank you for your blog posts and sharing your journey.

    ReplyDelete
  3. A beautiful quilt! Love the rich bright colors you used-WOW! Your quilting ideas are fabulous! Thank you, Susan

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's beeee-yooo-ti-full!!!! Wowser.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is fantastic, Jess, and congratulations on getting it done in time to hang in your one woman show (and getting it juried into MQX)! I love the color transition and I really look forward to seeing it photographed next fall by the tree that inspired it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is just stunning, Jessica - a masterful work!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow! Amazing work on this! I love the gorgeous colors you use in your quilts. Hope to take a class with you someday.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a gorgeous quilt and a great story behind it. I do love when I learn about the inspiration behind a particular piece of quilt art!!! Thank you so much for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love this quilt, I think that it might be my new favorite quilt you have made! The balance and transition of colors is perfect and I love all of the detail you have added through the improv piecing and all of the quilting.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love your quilt! I look at it and it makes me happy!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Totally gorgeous quilt! And amazing quilting too!

    ReplyDelete
  12. this quilt is totally "right down my alley" I am glad you had your momma with you.
    My mom and I used to get into all kinds of mischief together over many many many years
    This is a very happy quilt!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Beautiful! I think this is my favorite of all your quilts. True art!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Spectacular quilt! Love the way you've captured that beautiful tree in the colours and textures of your quilt. Very special indeed!

    ReplyDelete
  15. The quilt is GORGEOUS!!!!! Awesome job.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Jessica, I am normally drawn to traditional or reproduction quilts. But you have drawn me in to the modern quilt world! Your Fall Spectrum quilt is beautiful! Thank you for sharing it with us.

    ReplyDelete
  17. It's gorgeous, Jess! I love the colour transitions and you really can see the tree when you see the quilt from a distance. The different quilting designs are all beautiful too. Congratulations on having it juried in to the show :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wow! I am stunned at the beauty! I had seen just the little thumbnail on facebook, but just now read the post. I agree its your best yet! And the quilting on the trees. My favorite part! Wow. Just wow.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I was finally able to read through your post. Thanks for all the detail in your planning the quilt. You did a fantastic job with your interpretation of the tree.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Gorgeous! One of my favorites!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Jessica, I adore this quilt! Congratulations on all your success.

    ReplyDelete
  22. This is just stunning Jessica - both the piecing and the quilting!

    ReplyDelete
  23. So beautiful!! Such awesome quilting!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. When I saw the first picture I thought, wow this is her best work yet...and then I kept reading! It really is an excellent quilt, great concept and execution, fantastic work! Congratulations on a great finish. Always love hearing about your process as well.

    ReplyDelete
  25. OH my gosh! This is one very cool quilt. :D

    ReplyDelete
  26. Great idea and design. You really got the esence of the tree and its autumn splender. What a beauty! And congrats from me, too. It's always so exciting to get a quilt into a show!

    ReplyDelete
  27. My favourite of all your quilts so far. Your creativity amazes me!

    ReplyDelete
  28. A gorgeous quilt with amazing quilting.

    ReplyDelete
  29. This quilt is absolutely stunning, and the quilting in each color is perfect. LOVE it!

    :) Kelly

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...