Monday, April 24, 2017

Ode to Rita

I am so excited to share with you my alternative pickle dish quilt. I first fell in love with this design when I saw the one made by Rita of Red Pepper Quilts in 2015. Last year, for my turn in the Stash Sewciety Bee, I asked my bee mates to help me make this quilt. Each member made 8 of the quarter star blocks. I asked them to use a fussy cut in the square part of the block to give the quilt a fun and playful theme. Colors were not really specified but I did want low volume fabrics used for the background fabric in each block.
I made all the quarter circle blocks and more of the quarter star blocks to have enough to assemble fifty-six twelve inch blocks. 

After sewing all the 6.5" partial blocks into the 12.5" blocks it was time to assemble the quilt and get an even distribution of color in this very scrappy quilt.

This quilt is big! I quilted it on my Bernina 820 using lots of wavy lines, circles, words, hearts, flowers and arcs. I know that everyone sings the praises of Aurifil thread and I do love it too, but only for piecing my quilts. My machine and I love Connecting Thread's Essential cotton 40 wt. thread for machine quilting. 

I really had fun quilting this piece. I used Bamboo batting for the first time. The batting was a little difficult to baste because it stretched a little every time I would try to smooth the quilt, but it was a dream to quilt and after laundering, the quilt has wonderful texture.

To say I am a huge fan of Rita's work is an understatement. I have drawn so much inspiration from her and feel privileged to have actually met her and taken a class from her at Sewtopia a few years ago. That being said I ordered a ton of Carrie Bloomston's newsprint fabric to use as backing (thanks Rita). It's a favorite because it comes in extra wide, 108", making for a seamless backing. 
I used a black gingham for the binding for the first time. I struggled with the cutting of the fabric because it is printed slightly off grain. Several people gave me some good tips for working with plaids and checks so next time I will pre-wash the fabric and cut it along the line of the print instead of on the grain.

I'll be heading to retreat, in Wisconsin, with my Stash Sewciety friends next week. I wish I had room in my suitcase to take this quilt along, but it is too big and heavy. I'd love the girls to see it and also to get a photo with all the contributors and the quilt. 

After laundering, this quilt measures 80" x 92". I think it's my new favorite finish...until the next quilt is finished, that is!
This is my first finish of the second quarter 2017 Finish Along.

Capitola Quilter

7 comments: said...

I love this quilt. My friend wanted to make this quilt as a group and I opted out by doing Jen Kingwell's Flutterby instead, much easier since I changed the size so I could die-cut the pieces. Love your comment about Connecting Threads Essential Thread, I love it too for machine quilting. I wished they didn't discontinue some of my favorite colors though.

Chookyblue...... said...

wow it looks great..........always great to quilt your own......I need to do more of mine........

Susan Snooks said...

Just gorgeous Di! Rita is such an inspiration, isn't she? It makes me smile that you have met her, but even though she lives very close to me, I've never met her! Love the gingham binding , and that is very good advice about cutting with the design not the grain.

Judy H said...

Love the quilt! What a beautiful job. It would be my favorite too.

Debbie said...

This turned out beautifully! It was nice you had your beemate's help in making the blocks for this big beauty.Have fun on retreat btw!

mascanlon said...

This is really gorgeous!

Sue said...

What a brilliant idea to get your bee mates to help out! I have noted that for the future!!! Did you supply any templates? It turned out so well! Love the quilting.