Well, y’all know I’ve gotta put my own sparkle on everything right? So after I had cut these scraps into five inch triangles, and realised I had enough to make–well, not a very big quilt–I knew I had to add in some solids. I started with just throwing in one shade of red, and one shade of orange to coordinate. I littered them throughout the other fabrics, and it was nice, but just nice. It felt a bit too forced, and predictable for my taste. “That’s the way you make a triangle quilt though: feature fabrics, add some solids, sew into a square… done!” I ruminated to myself.
That’s when I said to myself, “Molli, why you tryin’ to be all like everyone else? It’s your quilt, make it however the hell you feel like it.” And while I was having a deep and meaningful internally, Mr. Sparkles came home and asked what I was up to? “Oh, I’m making a triangle quilt!” To which he responded with a quizzical look and his own truth tea: “Well that’s stupid, how you gonna keep your hands and feet warm with a quilt shaped like a triangle?” Oh dear. After my own quizzical look back, we eventually got on the same page.
Immediately, I knew where this quilt design was headed. I scribbled a few colour blocking ideas in my sketch book, cut several more shades of red and orange triangles, and began to sew. While on the thinner side, the kimono fabrics worked wonderfully with some starch. I used 50wt Aurifil, which made piecing a breeze, especially with these somewhat fragile fabrics. For the back I used some DS Quilts yardage I’d been saving, and while it looks like a grey solid in the photo, it’s actually a very sophisticated grey and navy houndstooth style check. I threw in some larger triangles to echo the front design. I’m extremely happy with the finished product because of these design elements, and this has given me inspiration to continue working in this direction.
I finished this quilt in less than a week, which has proven to me how fast I can work. (I had to catch up with the rest of the Sassy QAL-ers!) I intend on giving it to Bob and Chris as a thank you, and I imagine it will mostly live on the daybed on their balcony, somewhat exposed to the elements. They have a few other quilts there already to keep it company. Despite some of its technical flaws, and cheaper quality fabrics, I know it will be loved to life! But in the tradition of truth tea, I want to share some of my mistakes and learnings with you, because this quilt is far from perfect.
Some things I learned (comments especially welcome concerning):
– The red and orange fabrics are Spotlight (Jo-Ann’s) homespun, and the navy is homespun from my LQS. They both washed up surprisingly well, with minimal fading, and a remaining softness.
– Warp and weft matters, even for your homespun. One section of navy, I turned differently than the other two, and you can now see a slight tonal variation.
– I want to do more of my own designs.
– Don’t be afraid of triangles, just keep a can of starch handy (I used the supermarket home brand).
– When joining my binding, I always overlap a little bit too much and get a small pleat.
– I now prefer 2.25″ binding. Machine sewing it down serves a speedy purpose, but I still don’t love it.
– Don’t be afraid of non-traditional fabrics.
– The quilting is not as tight as when long-arm quilted.
– Since I’m taller, I held the quilt in the rain, while Mr. Sparkles operated the camera. Being a quilt holder is hard work and I need longer arms!
Title: Kimonos Ablaze
Size: 63″ x 82″
Quilt Design: Molli B. Sparkles original
Quilting: straight line quilting by me with Aurifil 50wt, Colour 4655 Storm at Sea, Variegated
Binding: machine stitched with Aurifil 50wt, Colour 2692 Black
Backing: DS Quilts yardage combined with oversized triangle stripe
Label: hand-written, sewn into binding
Favourite Part: That I’ve never seen anything like it.