Bloggers Quilt Festival Spring 2011

Amy's Creative Side | Bloggers' Quilt Festival

Hooray! Blogger’s Quilt Festival is here! I had grand plans of sewing a new quilt just for this festival, but it was not to be. May is just the craziest month, and it seems like more stuff gets piled into it every year. After sulking for awhile, I remembered that one of the best parts about this festival is that it’s the stories behind the quilts that are the best part. So I thought I’d share an oldie but goodie with you!

Believe it or not, I really used to enjoy paper piecing. I LOVE the work of Judy Mathieson, most especially her Mariner’s Compass quilts. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent just poring over her Mariner’s Compass book! This quilt was one of the first quilts I made with my own hand dyed fabric, using a Mariner’s Compass pattern that I drafted myself!

I made it back in 2001 (thank goodness I quilted a date in the corner!) I still love it, it hangs in my “music room” (aka the dining room where my husband and sons practice with the table pushed off to the side).

Back in my early dyeing days, I loved combining bright colors with black, it makes them all pop. One large stumbling block I had in working with my own hand dyes was figuring out what other kinds of fabric to combine them with. The flat black is beautiful, but very severe. After making this (and a couple other similar quilts) I realized that I had to learn how to dye tertiary colors, to get more subtlety in my colors. I also ended up deciding that I didn’t LIKE combining hand dyed fabrics with any other kind of fabric, I just had to dye more so I could use my hand dyes exclusively! You know, there is a couple of years of study summarized in those 2 sentences! Seriously, how is it that something so simple took me so long to figure out?the truly

I know that I had already taken my free motion machine quilting class with Melody Johnson, in fact this is probably the first quilt I quilted after that class, as this is the earliest quilt I have with this unmarked, totally improvised quilting patterns.

To all the new visitors to my blog – thanks for stopping by.  Make sure to go visit more of the quilts in the festival!

49 Responses

  1. Your quilt is so bright and vibrant. The colours are great and I love the free motion quilting. It looks great!

  2. I love the quilting on this, so clever. The colors are wonderful too. So bright and cheery. Great job!

  3. Beautiful quilt Candy –I especially love the quilt job you did on this beauty. I’ve been wanting to try the bright multi-color thread for quilting. Really, beautiful work! You should be very proud!

  4. I love the intensity of your home dyed fabrics. So beautiful! And you got to take a class with Melody Johnson!!!! So lucky!

  5. Mariner’s compasses are so pretty!! You did an excellent overall job in this and using your own hand dyed fabric–how neat! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Wow that is such a fun little quilt! I love the look of the colored thread on the black background. And kudos to you for drafting that yourself. I have always wanted to try dyeing fabric, maybe someday!


  7. This is a show stopper – amazing colours. And the quilting is sooo beautiful, if that’s the result of your class with Melody Johnson, you spent your money well ;-))

  8. I really like the way the colors go together in this quilt. The quilting in colors is something I haven’t seen before, too. Great job!

  9. this is just fantastic! i am sooooooooo tempted to try dying my own fabric–like i NEED another crafty thing!! but this is so marvelous. thanks so much for sharing this wonderful quilt (and fmq) and its story. have a great day

  10. What an wonderful job you did quilting this. I like the piecing, but the quilting is just breathtaking.

  11. I was drawn to this immediately because I love flying geese. This is a really stunning piece. The colors are wonderful. It was really interesting reading about your dying adventures. Maybe I will get brave and give that a try this summer. Thanks for the inspiration.

  12. It’s beautiful, Candy! Some of the things we learn are immediate, but especially with art, the seemingly simple things need to be learned through repetition. I think it’s how we refine our work to be uniquely ours.

  13. I’m a first time visitor; came in from Amy’s site (BQF). I love, love, love your quilt. I love the hand-dyes. I love the coloured quilting threads. I love your comments about not wanting to mix your hand-dyes with other fabrics.

    I’m a novice quilter and my experience in dyeing is limited (at this point) to yarns – both wool and synthetic. I must try some dyeing of cotton!

    Thank you for inspiring me! I have added you to my bloglist!

  14. This is a great quilt not just because it’s so colorful and fun and pretty but because it’s lead you down such a creative path. Thanks for sharing with us.

  15. I love the brights against the black and the design is super. The variegated thread for quilting adds quite a punch. Good job! It looks great in your home too.

  16. Candy,
    I love the rich colors and the beautiful motif in the center. My husband says it reminds him of a solar eclipse with the center of the sun covered and the corona shining through. I love the variegated thread you used. It gives so movement to your design.
    Have a fun time enjoying the festival.
    Regards from Western Canada,

  17. What a beautiful vibrant quilt. Love the variegated thread — it really pulls the whole quilt together. Very fun.
    Come see my entries #211, repro cheddar orange stars and #215 antique 1850 applique garden

  18. Hi Candy 🙂

    I followed your link over from Amy’s quilt link up party.

    Your right, the colors do ‘pop’ off of the black background! And yet, it’s in an eye pleasing way.

    You dyed the materials yourself?!?!!! WOW!

    I am linking up the quilt I made for our grand daughter last spring. If your interested in seeing it, you can find it here –>

    You said that your pattern was called the ‘Mariner’s Compass’. I saw it more as a prettier version of the color wheel. ;->

  19. Wow! There are nearly 600 entries and yours is definately in my top 5! I love the quilting…maybe even more than the brightly dyed fabrics… :o) Thanks so much for sharing with us.

  20. What a job to look at! You have so many memories locked into these stitches. I can see why it is a joy for you share it and to look at it.