Thursday, February 11, 2016

Processing my Ice Road Quilt

After 10 months of thinking about it, my Ice Road quilt finally happened. There was a show deadline looming, so I decided to get a move on and finally create a quilt to commemorate my amazing teaching trip to Canada's arctic town of Inuvik last March.  If you check that post, you'll see the pillow top that I created over that weekend to illustrate another design option for my Improv Under the Influence piecing technique.  That pillow top was the spark for this quilt.

Last year I purchased a FQ box of DS Modern Solids. I've been savouring that box on my shelf but decided to go ahead and create my quilt entirely from those gorgeous fabrics.  I initially thought that I would make 9 blocks similar to that X pillow top, sew them together with skinny white sashing and border the whole works with a 10" or 12" border of white.

As I created the triangle units other ideas popped into my head, so I held off on piecing them together until I could play on my design wall a bit. These are average night time cell phone photos, but you get the idea.

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Working the the idea of "road", I tried a linear layout.  This wasn't dynamic enough. All of the joining seams are vertical so there's a lack of movement and interest. I wasn't happy with the lack of oomph (highly technical quilting term, aka "visual dynamics").

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What about diagonal? I like the fun angles created at the mitred (45 degree) corners of these improv-pieced units. I played with this in my Light of May quilt.  Unfortunately B and I agreed this had a rocket-ship appearance that wasn't what I was going for.

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I returned to the vertical layout, but starting filling in space with solid coloured triangles. Now we're getting somewhere, but for my eye, things were still a little haphazard.

I spent quite some time over a few days daydreaming about what I like and where my work tends to go. I think I can safely say that I enjoy the improv construction a great deal. I also seem to enjoy taming the wonkiness of improv and fitting pieces into structural layouts. Perhaps this comes from my scientific background, or my traditional quilting beginning? I don't really know, but I can say that I'm very pleased with the final outcome. Not to mention, happy that all of those triangles fit together without any math works! They were all cut from chunks of pieced border units using my giant 20 1/2" square ruler on point.

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Getting closer!


I know some people thrive on the haphazard (and I thoroughly enjoy so many of those quilts!). Perhaps I am slowly working my way there, but in the mean time, this is my process and this is my quilt.

Ice Road Quilt
Ice Road, 2016

I quilted it on my new Juki 2010. Some of it was done with the walking foot, but when the noise got to be too much, I took it off and went with the regular sewing foot. I cannot really tell the difference in quilting quality - there was some pulling and puckering with both feet (spray and pin basted!). I stabilized the straight white sashings first with stitch in the ditch and I purposely did not cross the sashing with any quilting in order to maintain as straight lines as possible and avoid any pulling.  All of the quilting is unmarked, improv straight lines. I follow seams and make turns where I feel like it!

Ice Road Quilt

Ice Road Quilt
There are more close ups of the quilting, if you click on any of the photos you'll end up on my Flickr stream where you can see more.

I'll let you know if it makes it into the show!




23 comments:

Paula said...

Congrats on a gorgeous finish. I love the final arrangement you went for, it's ever so striking.

Leslie said...

That should definitely go in a show. Put it in Road to California 2017 so I can see it up close.

Leslie said...

Or how about Pacific International Quilt Fest in October 2016? It is in Santa Clara, CA.

Jo Ann said...

I so LOVE this quilt! It is stunning!

Jenny M said...

So enjoyed following your thought process on the creation of your great quilt. Thank you for sharing.

Debbie said...

I appreciated reading about your process. I love where you ended up. Fingers crossed for you!

Aliceart said...

Love this quilt! I think the decision not to cross the crisp white sashing was a great one. The contrast of the crisp, straight lines with the quilted improv areas really make this quilt for me. Thank you for sharing it.

Dagi Steck said...

WOW!!! This is a beautiful quilt. I love your Quilt.

badlandsquilts said...

Your quilt turned out fabulous! It is fun to see all the close up quilting photos!

Elsa said...

What a stunning quilt! I love all the blues, it's just perfect!

Joy said...

You nailed it!

Pumlans flitiga fingrar said...

Oh Krista, it´s lovely! Beautiful blues, I love it!

Peace Thyme Garden and Weather Station said...

Now, that's a quilt! I enjoyed your thought process. I liked the diagonal setting but see that the final work is still very modern while very organized. Nice!

Live a Colorful Life said...

I've enjoyed watching the progress of this quilt. And it's fascinating to read about your processing. It's really beautiful.

LethargicLass said...

I have to say that this is my favourite of all your quilts, and the fact that it is Inuvik inspired just makes it better :) Who make a 20.5" square ruler?

Cheryl said...

What a beautiful quilt! Thank you for taking us though the design process!

CynthiaF said...

So awesome! It looks amazing!!

Diane Menard said...

Your quilt is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your design process.

Tamie said...

This is stunning. Thanks for showing the progress photos. I love seeing the changes in direction you made.

Dianne said...

I'm so glad you are being encouraged to enter it in shows! You know how much I love this quilt. I have my fingers crossed that the CQA team recognize how fabulous it is!!

Kathy P said...

Stunning, as always! I'm curious about your comment regarding the noise using your walking foot. I have the same machine, and use my walking foot all the time. Have never noticed a noise problem. Is there something wrong with yours?

Ellen Weiss said...

A definite winner!

daryl aitken said...

Beautiful quilt - it makes it into my imaginary show in my head! I also love seeing your creative process chronicled. A nice walk through your abundant creativity