I was able to block out some time and finish my Liberty Spikes quilt last week. This one was so much fun, mainly because it was all one big experimentation exercise. Paper piecing is one of those techniques I still feel I have to completely relearn with every time I sit down to do it again. So, it was actually fun to dive in and do lots of it. Yay for those repetitive steps to help me get the hang of it. I feel like I understand it much better now. But hey, I would love to start another paper piecing project right away. You know, just to be sure.
My favorite Liberty of London print of all time is Ciara in Teal. This fabric makes me so weak with love every time I see it. I talk a bit in my book about how important it is to feel energy and emotion from a print or color when you’re designing a quilt. Without really knowing why, this fabric is one that does it for me. I had a little bit of it in my stash way back when I started this quilt- which was going to be something else entirely- but the more I cut and sewed with this fabric, the more I wanted to use it. So much so, I had to order it twice to have enough to finish this quilt. (There’s a big block of it on the back as well.)
I decided to play around with the Ciara print, using color remover. I have experimented with Rit Color Remover a few times before, and created the tonal stars on the Hammerhead Quilt using color remover. It works on most fabrics, but the results are unpredictable. If you try it, you should give us trying to get a certain level and depth of color, or lack of color, etc. If you are willing to just play and let what happens happen, you will be in for some fun results. Rit Color Remover doesn’t degrade the fibers and weaken fabric like bleach does, instead working on the color/dyes only.
Of all the different fabrics I’ve tried it on, I love what it does to Liberty of London Tana Lawn fabric best. For this quilt, I cut 2 1/2″ strips of fabric, and dipped some or all of the strip into the color remover. I couldn’t find any photos of the strips before I sewed them up into the quilt, but you can see the different results I got according to how long I left the strips.
Once all the blocks were joined together, I added the EPP hexagons at the joins mainly because I liked what it added. I decided I would quilt this one to death to practice some free motion in a repetitive way. The #100daysofthreaddrawing is feeling more like daily sketching and I wanted a bigger project to get “in the zone”. I experimented with ESS- which means stitching in the ditch of Every Stinking Seam.
I ditch stitched most of this quilt, but not all of it. And you know what I learned? It really does look better, smoother, etc where I ditch stitched. Maybe not everyone could see it, but I can. I didn’t really take a photo to show that part, but trust me on this. It made such a difference, in fact, that I may go back and add in ditch stitching where I didn’t do it the first time. Even though is already bound.
I am headed to Portland to hang out with the Portland Modern Quilt Guild, then on to Quilt Market. I will at the Brewer Booth signing books on Saturday at 11:00 and would love for you all to come and say hello if you’re at the show!