In order to qualify for the challenge, quilts had to be made of 100% AMB solids. I had some pastel and grey fat quarters purchased at Island Quilter a couple of years ago and two rainbow mini-charm packs (2 1/2" squares) from QuiltCon 2015 at my disposal.
Still working on exploring ideas with my Improv Under the Influence piecing technique, I thought I'd give it a try with the 2 1/2" squares. I didn't have a a concrete idea of what I would do with improv-pieced border units in rainbow colours, until one day inspiration struck in the form of a photo on Instagram. Heather Jones posted a detail shot of a log cabin, showing the horizontal logs separated by white chinking. On the left side of the image, you saw the rounded square ends of the logs forming the adjacent wall. I grabbed my sketchbook and drew this:
Looking at those rainbow stripes reminded me of some a quilt block I'd seen on Instagram. It was made by Susanne Woods (craftyeditor) for the #lovewinsquilt project, commemorating the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in June that effectively legalized same sex marriage.
After having a lot of fun piecing skinny strips with tiny 1/8" seam allowances, I came up with this final composition, which I call The Five, measuring 12 1/2" x 14 1/2". It represents the five Supreme Court Justices in their sombre robes, their weighted decision, and ultimately their landmark ruling for equality. Not everyone is happy about this decision, in fact I lost about 20 followers on IG after posting the story of this quilt. Quilters have been using their art to honour their values and commemorate important milestones in history for over 100 years and I'm excited to make my own tiny contribution to this tradition.
With coordinating Aurifil thread in 30 wt, I quilted straight lines with a 3.5 stitch length, simply following alternate seams in the pieced strips as my guide.
Somewhere along the way, I got to thinking about rounded squares and sketched a few ideas for achieving the look with a log cabin construction. It took quite a bit of math! In order to make The Five, I had to drive across the border to buy reds as there weren't any in the mini charm packs I had. With left over hunks of tomato red and fuschia, I made this Long Cabin Study 1 quilt, which is 15" square.
The binding had to be AMB also, so my options were limited and ultimately I chose this pale mint colour over dark grey. Again, I quilted with coordinating Aurifil 30 wt thread and a long stitch length on my new Juki TL2010-Q (using the regular sewing foot with minimal pressure, since the walking foot that came with my machine was faulty).
You can see that I carried the thread right through to the edges of the quilt over the alternate coloured fabric.
This quilt wasn't selected, either. I've since made another one in a slightly larger size where the proportions work even better for the secondary pattern of the rounded square. I'll share that with you next and I think I'll create a pattern for a bed-sized version because I just love the bold colour study and resulting graphic design. I find it reminiscent of those illusion text fonts with 'unfinished' letters that your eye automatically completes so that you can read the words, like this one by German designer Alexander Tibus where letters are defined by their shadows.
I've just returned from a wonderful long weekend of teaching in Juneau, Alaska and have lots to catch up. I'll work on my Sweden photos this week and share those with you soon!