Thursday, September 12, 2013

Modern Exotic Garden

My attempt at a 'modern' quilt.
     During my initial scrap/stash clean-up this spring, I discovered some 6 inch squares cut from some Jane Sassaman "Exotic Garden" fabric purchased in 2003 or 2004.  These were left over from making some drunkard's path blocks, which are waiting to be made into a top. 
The rediscovered squares. 
     When I began browsing the quilting blogs early this year,  I saw all sorts of fabulous 'modern' quilts  used lots of white or grey space combined with some fabulous fabrics used in small amounts.    I had a 6 yard bolt of Kona white waiting to be used, so I decided to give this a try.    I decided to go very geometric, and designed a 4 x 5 piece grid.  I separated the squares with  2 inch wide strips of white.
Testing the placement of these blocks on my floor.

The finished grid panel.

     The panel turned out nicely, i.e. it laid flat! I didn't get a chance to do more on it until I had some vacation time this summer. I considered an asymmetrical placement of the panel, but chickened out at the end, and went with an 18 inch wide border in white all around the panel.
Checking out how the wide white border would look.
         I also had to piece together a backing.  I am still trying to make backs from my existing stash of fabrics.  I had a good size piece of the swirly green, yellow and pink, but not enough for a back or even a half of a back.  I had a larger piece of some blue flowered fabric, and I tried out other little pieces to fill in the sides.  
Although I tried out a star on cream fabric, in the end I went with two pinks for the side piece.

Here is the quilt sandwich, ready to be pinned.

The top being pinned.
     I didn't get to the quilting until the Labor Day weekend.   I decided upon the same  line quilting, which my husband refers to as my 'drunken sailor' quilting, that I used on a recent baby quilt.  This entails using my walking foot to make straight lines at 1 inch intervals, then go back and sew a meandering line in between the straight lines.   I was nervous about the initial line, since I had no blocks to guide me, so I used a long straight edge and a fabric pencil to draw a line down the middle of the quilt. 
I was really hoping that the yellow pencil mark was going to come out in the wash.  It did!
The initial straight line quilting. 
This photo shows the "drunken sailor" path I take between the straight lines.  This goes very quickly; there are no pins and the machine can just fly!
A close up of the finished quilting on the center part.
     I used a white thread (Aurifil) to keep the clean modern look on the quilt, but while that looks really great in person, it is really hard to photograph.  The back, however, shows off the quilting pretty well.
 The quilting as shown on the back of the quilt. It adds a nice texture to the quilt.
     I needed to chose a binding, and I tested out a Kona solid pink, and two Dear Stella confetti dot fabrics, one in pink and one in green. I ended up with the green, which is found in all of the blocks. You can see the overall quilting somewhat in this photo below. 
Auditioning the binding.
     I use a two-inch strip for the binding, and fold it in half, and then sew to the front of the quilt.  I still like to hand sew the binding to the back, which can take a while.  I was able to sew the entire binding while watching a football game. (Go Bills!)
A view of the finished back.  This shows the four backing fabrics, and the green dot binding.

Another view of the 'Modern Exotic Garden' in the garden.   All you can see of my trusty quilt holder are his shoes!  
       The finished quilt measures about 61" by 68".  I am very happy with how it turned out.  I love how the white showcases the beautiful print fabric.  I am a bit concerned about how the white will wear, so I will make sure not to use this for a lap quilt when I am drinking red wine!     
      Enjoy the end of summer and the beginning of the fall.
Take care,


  1. Love the quilt is a great way to use up you blocks and the negative space give another dimension. The quilting is terrific! Thanks for sharing stopping by from Crazy Mom Quilts

  2. Love the clean and fresh look of this quilt!