Thursday, July 31, 2014

Gradient in Pixels Quilt

72" x 108"
Designed and made by Jamie

This is the second quilt I ever made. Similar to my first, I was able to raid the fabric stash of a family member. My first quilt was made using my grandma's fabric. This quilt was made using my mom's fabric. I took a bunch of prints and a few solids, all with a country theme and cut as many 6-inch squares as I could. I used the same method of planning my quilt top as I did with my first, which was arranging the squares on the carpet at the bottom of the landing at my parents' house and walked upstairs to view it from a distance. This time I wanted to vary the colors from dark to light in a random, pixelated pattern to create a gradient. Gradients can be monochromatic, or one color, fading from dark to light. They can also be multiple colors. In this quilt, the gradient transitions from dark to light, starting with blues, browns, and reds and transitioning to yellows and whites. Here is a sample of some of the prints closer up.

Once again, I hand tied the quilt. This time I thought it would look better to have the ties blend with the quilt, so I used different colored embroidery floss for each row of the quilt. The embroidery floss followed the gradient from dark to light, as you can see in the next several photos.

I was really proud of the artistry of this quilt and how it turned out. There are still some little changes I would make if I were to redo it. One good thing I improved on from my first quilt was that I purchased fabric for the backing and pieced my backing rather than using an old sheet. However, I still bound the quilt using the method I had intuitively used on my first quilt. I layered the quilt together with the quilt top and backing facing each other, right sides touching, and the batting on top. I sewed around the perimeter, leaving a space, and turned the entire thing right side out, closing up the remaining few inches by hand. Not only is this harder, but it doesn't look quite as good as the quilts that are quilted/tied first and then bound. I learned my lesson by my fourth and fifth quilts when I took a quilt piecing class at my local quilt shop. (More on that later!)

So anyway, as you can see, the binding has a seam running around the perimeter of the quilt, and there were a few puckers along the way because of my method. One other mistake I noticed was that I sewed so close to the edge of my backing fabric, there are areas where the selvage, or finished non-fraying edge of the fabric showed through. See the white strip close to the seam? That's where the printed area of the fabric hadn't begun yet.

This quilt has held up nicely, and I still love it, even though there are a few imperfections here and there. I designed it to be extra long because I'm 5'11" and I wanted a blanket I could lounge on the couch with and it would tuck under my feet and still be able to pull up to my chin.

 My son, Mikey, was helping during the photo shoot. As a side note, you may notice some varying colors in these different photos of the same quilt. My photography skills are somewhat lacking, and I'm using my eight-year-old digital camera for all of these pictures. The gallery pictures of the quilts were a bit skewed from perspective, and I tried to correct them and square them back up in Photoshop, but they look a little crooked too. Forgive the inconsistencies as I try to improve my photography and editing. :)

Finally, I labeled this quilt with some embroidery, which is a good thing because I would have forgotten when I made it. Those are my initials for my maiden name: Jamie Beth Glenn. And if you are very clever, you may have figured out that Liz Glenn is my sister-in-law. She married my younger brother Duncan. And she rocks.

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