Thursday, June 9, 2016

Point Taken: Peppered Cottons and FMQ ruler work—
Part One

Shot cotton charm squares... prairie points... ruler work... and free-motion quilting with variegated cotton threads...
Point Taken: detail.
... my version of "Point Taken" is finished. 

This Point Taken pattern is by Deb's Boutiques and More, one of the independent pattern companies I represent. This quilt was finished at the end of May, and is on loan to a quilt shop. I haven't had the opportunity to post about this quilt until now. So, here is Part 1 of a photo documentation of the process of making this quilt.
Point Taken, 26" x 25.5"
The Point Taken quilt includes 3-D prairie points. Prairie points are not only fun to make (you're missing out if you've not done prairie points at one time or another), but for me, they offered opportunities for threadwork and color play—in addition to the intended dimensional aspect to the quilt top. Originally, this pattern was intended as a baby quilt so baby could play with the dimensional fabric triangles. Remember that a pattern is a jumping off point for you, the quiltmaker, to take it in another direction if you choose. I did.

Two packages of Peppered Cottons [by Pepper Cory] charm squares were used. The outside border on my quilt are 2.5" x 5" rectangles (a 5" charm square cut in half). The original pattern uses a different border treatment.
Peppered Cottons charm pack
The process of auditioning, choosing and harmonizing the colors of the prairie points with the color of the background squares was inspiring. Pepper Cory, the fabric designer of Peppered Cottons, has chosen a wonderful color palette for this blender collection, so you can't go wrong. However, this is an wonderful exercise for studying how colors "react" with one another depending on the combination—warm vs. cool, analogous, complementary, tints vs. tones, light vs. dark. The possibilities (and the fun) are endless! The combination of the different colored warp and weft threads—inherent in a shot cotton fabric—also adds richness and resonance to the composition.
Spaghetti 12 wt. cotton thread by WonderFil.
For the decorative stitching on the prairie points, I used a "showy" 12 wt. cotton by WonderFil Threads, called Spaghetti, and lengthened the stitch length to 2.6mm. Most of the thread/fabric color combinations were contrasting as you can see in the photo below.
Point Taken quilt top
Be sure to use a larger needle to accommodate this thicker thread—a minimum of a 90/14 or possibly a 100/16 size. Try a topstitch or universal needle. The Peppered Cottons are not densely woven, so you just need the larger eye for the thread size. I recommend doing a thread stitch-out.

Now that the top was together, it was on to the decisions about quilting. Stay tuned for Part 2 of the process in my next blog post.
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