The Procrastination Quilt

I suppose I should just claim it. I have been procrasinating. I have two solo shows coming up in the spring of 2014, and I need to get on it. I need to create about 15-20 new Color Grids. Instead I am, well, doing other things. When most people procrastinate, they clean their house or spend mindless hours on the internet, I quilt. It is my work and my hobby. My source of inspriation and my form of procrastination.

For the back of all of my Color Grid quilts, I use Shot-Cottons instead of a regular solid colored fabric. Shot Cottons are woven out of two slightly different colors of fiber. This creates a subtle shimmer in the fabric which works to hi-light beautiful quilting while also hiding mistakes. I like that a lot. Here are the backs of several recent quilts.

IMG_5771 IMG_5772 IMG_5777 IMG_5784 IMG_5789 IMG_5790The more quilts I make, the more left over scraps of Shot Cotton I have. Each time I finish a Color Grid, I think about making a quilt out of my pile of backing scraps. Last week, I decide what the hell. Let’s make that quilt.

First, I free hand cut a bazillion strips of fabric. Each strip was about 22 inches long by one to two and 1/2 inches wide. I decided on 22 inches long because that is half a width of fabric when it comes off the bolt. If I had used 19 inches long, I would have had less waste. But here is my philosphy on waste. It is only waste if you don’t use it, and all my leftovers eventually get rolled into other quilts, or perhaps buried with me.

I then stitched and stitched and stitched until I had a huge pile. When I stitch these strips together, I mate them while I am sitting at the sewing machine. I am always trying to create the most beautiful pairings of color as possible while also striving for variety.

IMG_9298I then ironed and repeated the process until the strip sets measured approximately 6 1/2 inches wide.

The quilt blocks I had originally envisioned looked like this.

IMG_9316Which lacked interest as far as I was concerned. It needed more piecing. So I added some bits to my strips.

IMG_9319And this is what I got. I like them.

IMG_9332From there, I used a triangle ruler to cut out triangles.

IMG_9405It really doesn’t matter what size of ruler you use. The bigger the triangle, the wider you must make your strip set and the larger your finished quilt block will be.

IMG_9334IMG_9337Each strip set yielded two triangles with a bit extra. Fodder for another procrasination quilt.

IMG_9340I then took all of these triangles to my sewing machine and stitched them together. Again, I pair the triangles while sitting at the machine, always trying to create the best marriage of colors. I found that my sewing machine tended to like stitching the triangles from the outer edge towards the middle best.

IMG_9323Once all of these blocks were made, I put them on my design wall and moved them around. At first, I thought I would need to be careful about where all that yellow went, but then I discovered that the key design component with these blocks was where the tiny bit-strips landed. They needed to be evenly distributed across the quilt. As you can tell here, I actually made a lot of blocks, but I decided in the end to make two smaller quilts instead of one larger one.

IMG_9349The next step in a prolonged bout of procrasination is always quilting. I decided to try and give each color its own quilted motif.  That’s a lot of different colors of thread. In the end, several fabrics shared motifs.

IMG_9390As I get close to finishing a quilt, I marked unquilted areas with flat head pins. It’s a terrible feeling to take your quilt off the long arm and discovering an unquilted area.

IMG_9381That was a fun bout of procrasination, but the party is over. The quilt is done.

IMG_9403 2I like the quilting alot.

IMG_9399 IMG_9394 IMG_9393I have loaded a unfinished Color Grid onto my longarm and am ready to begin another round of Extreme Quilting. Or should I make some oven mitts? I really want to make oven mitts.

I am reposting this on Nina-Marie’s Off the Wall Friday Blog. Click on the link and scroll down to see what fiber artists from all over have been doing this week.

This entry was published on August 27, 2013 at 11:48 AM. It’s filed under Quilts Stories and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

20 thoughts on “The Procrastination Quilt

  1. on said:

    Perhaps making some oven mitts as a reward for finishing the next colour grid. I love rewards like that! I can’t wait to see the shots in person!

  2. Arlitia Jones on said:

    Hi Maria! The quilt is beautiful! I love the way your mind works. Procrastination is such a huge part of the creative process. We always beat ourselves up about it, but in the end it saves us!

    • You are right. Procrastination is a huge part of the creative process. Everytime I am the final moments of a massive Extreme Quilting session–when I hide on the floor behind my long arm feeling sorry for myself–I swear I will never ever again procrastinate. Yet, it happens again and again. Why is that?

  3. Really enjoyed your procrastination post, Maria!

  4. Love this. Are you using Kaffe Fassett’s shot cottons? I am quilting a piece with some big chunks of that in it and having issues with it stretching. But love love love the colors.

  5. Elizabeth- Yes. These are Kaffe Fassett shot cottons and they are tricky, slippery, beautiful fabrics. In the past, I have spray starched them into submission. I just found Rowan shot cottons. I am going to see if they are little firmer fabric. Thank you for stopping by!

  6. Try Peppered Cottons from Studio E. They have the same lovely shot sheen, but a firmer hand. BTW love your work!

  7. Liz Anderson on said:

    Hi Maria, great post! There are shot cottons which are fabulous made by Oakshott. They make a huge assortment of colors. You’ll want them all. Love your process and quilt. Liz

  8. Very nice bit of procrastination there! Great use of the scraps too!

  9. yum, yummy yum! Love the mix of colors and bet it looks even more interesting in person because of the shot cotton. Love working with bits and pieces and seeing others do the same.
    LeeAnna Paylor

  10. Norma Schlager on said:

    Great quilt and your quilting is fabulous! The backs are almost as gorgeous as the fronts with all that colored thread. Isn’t it a pain in the neck to keep changing colors? I don’t have a long arm, maybe it’s easier.

    • Norma- It is a pain in the neck to keep changing all those colors, but I love the look, so I do it. I try to work my way all the way down the quilt with one color putting it every where it is a good fit and then I change the color out and repeat. I think it is actually more work to change the color of thread on a long arm as you have to go all the way around the machine to change out the top thread. With a domestic machine you at least get to stay in the same place. Thank you so much for stopping by. I always enjoy your comments.

  11. Pingback: 2013 The Year in Quilts | Maria Shell

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