Radiant Orchid – Detour to Grandma’s House

She’s Done!  Well, not quite done but the quilt top is done.  While I had, of course, planned to have this baby sandwiched, quilted, and bound by today, it became pretty clear that wasn’t going to happen.  Between working, mothering, and otherwise having a non-sewing life I failed to get the batting that is a requirement for doing the quilting.  On the positive side, Oakland decided to put on a show last weekend of just how pretty it can be here and I took the opportunity to pin the quilt top to the magnolia in the front yard and get some nice pictures using a camera other than my phone.

Pantone Quilt Trees

I based my quilt on the Lovely Little Tress in the Forest Quilt but instead of a wall hanging with green trees I made a 38″x44″ radiant orchid forest using solids from Pink Chalk Fabrics.  I also arranged my trees to make a path for my special guests.

Pantone Quilt Trees

Little Red here needs to make her way through this very odd forest to her pal The Wolf.  See, Grandmother’s house loses some of it’s appeal when the forest turns purple.  Days like these call for adventure.



little red the wolf

My plan calls for the winding path to be done in the quilting. I’m pretty excited to see how it will turn out.





It look me a couple of tries to get the trees to come out ‘non-wonky’ and the sharpness of the lines leaves a lot to be desired.  I’ve never made a quilt with such small piecing and I clearly need a bit of practice.  Each tree ends up being 3 1/2″ x 4″.

Working on the pattern the trees would take against the white took a good long time but was also my favorite part (other than the embroidery.  I love the embroidery). I used a LOT of tape on my wall – you can see the in progress shots here.  I also continued watching (less) bad movies. The final push saw “Robin Hood, Men in Tights”, “Penelope”, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” (this was during the embroidery phase), and a couple of “Firefly” episodes. I ended strong.  We’ll see what the quilting phase brings (hint: it will be Luther episodes)

Radiant Orchid Continues, so does my terrible movie watching

My Radiant Orchid quilt is coming along nicely.  Cutting, sewing and squaring up 60 trees was an exercise in zen.  Every little square is 3.5″ x 4″ with each needing to be cleaned up after the piecing was done. I will admit to doing this while watching both “The Host” (super terrible – not even interesting) and Ghostbusters (RIP Harold Ramis).

All blocks plus a whole lot of white ones for background

All blocks plus a whole lot of white ones for background

After all that was finished I taped them together using a ton of masking tape according to a small diagram I made in Excel.  I almost didn’t bother with this step and am so glad I did as I ended up cutting two rows out of my design.  This allowed a greater concentration of trees in the body of the quilt.  My forest was beginning to look more like a grove. Movies watched: xXx (hello, Vin Diesel’s abs).


I was going for a gradient of light to dark in my purple tones as we moved “deeper” into the forest but the balance was looking off.  Taking a black and white shot helped me to see what was going on.  I adjusted by moving a couple of lighter pieces to the top and connecting more of the trees at the bottom. Movie watched: A Fish Called Wanda (I love this movie so much)


Before calling it a night, I put together a 9×9 block just to see how the sizing was going to turn out.  I might fit into the baby quilt category in the end.  Not my intention but better that a bigger one I’m unhappy with.



Radiant Orchid step 1

I was so excited to see Ms. Mucho in person last weekend.  It was a good night of wine drinking and taco eating as all the best nights are.  Things were going well right up until we were leaving and she said “so, have you started your quilt yet?”  Uhhh, no.  Well, I guess “yes” if you consider buying fabric starting. Which I don’t. So with that reminder I went ahead and started cutting.  56 squares in various ‘radiant orchid’ colors.  56 white blocks to sew into the colors.  111 plain white blocks for spacing and background.  Arg.  I watched an entire terrible movie while lining up 2 3/4″ over and over.  And really, Jeremy Renner, Hansel and Gretel is waayyy beneath you.  

Of course I had to gloat because I’m charming like that:


Radiant Orchid Quilt Challenge… let’s do this thing

My good friend Ms. Mucho let me know about the Pantone Color of the Year quilt challenge happening over at On the Windy Side.  I cannot resist.  This color is not in my normal palette but I care not. I have an idea, I have fabric and I’m one binding away from needing a new project  That is if I can find my walking foot (where did you go walking foot??)


The plan involves a simple pattern, a little embroidery, and a whole lot of speed.  Entries are due in March and we all know I’m not the speediest.   I have bought fabric (shopping is easy part), come up with a pattern and plan (that’s the second easy part), and now to the doing (ai ya). One, Two, Three, Four, Let’s GO!