Friday, September 21, 2012

My Spiral Quilt--Serendipity

We posted our latest quilts on Material Mavens on Saturday the 15th. Our theme this time was Spiral. This might well be the most striking batch of quilts yet!  The composite of all the quilts emphasizes this; arranged together, they are eye-catching.

I had had every intention to paper-piece a spiral, and I was planning to use black and white fabrics with punches of yellow and red, perhaps.  I had made some preliminary sketches, and kept mulling the plan over.  But I had another project that I needed to finish first, a batik wall hanging.  I needed a yellow, so I reached into my Elfa drawer of yellow batiks, and pulled out this one.  Not really paying attention to the design on it, I cut off the necessary strips.  But when I was refolding it, suddenly the spirals jumped out at me.  Eureka!  I could forget the meticulous paper piecing idea and use this fabric.

So I cut it to size, backed it with polyester felt, and then began the pleasant task of embroidering with red perle cotton thread.  I followed all the major spiral lines with the simple running stitch.  I love to embroider, and working on this quilt was pure delight!

When I finished embroidering, I realized that the quilt desperately needed more.  Then I caught sight of the jar of old red buttons that I had purchased once at a junk store for $5.  Perfect!  I spilled out the buttons, sorted them by size, and then arranged them on two of the spirals and one partial spiral.  I put a bit of fabric glue under each, to secure it and keep the sorted buttons in order.  Then I sewed them each down with yellow perle cotton thread.

Finding the fabric printed with spirals was serendipitous, and spying the jar of buttons was as well.  Thus the name of the quilt!  I toyed with Eureka!, which would have been a fun name, too.

Another idea I had toyed with and rejected was to make the traditional block variously called Snail's Trail and Virginia Reel.  I decided to make this block and use it for the back.  As you can see, I used some of the yellow spiral batik and then a red fabric, also printed with spirals.  So here it is:

This is a close-up, so that you can better see the old buttons, which
I think are really charming!