I've really enjoyed the time I set aside for myself to create new designs and quilts not tied to a deadline.  One of the projects I was able to work on and complete, which is always a bonus, is my Swatches quilt!

This quilt was inspired from my oil painting days; sketches, painter palettes, paint tubes, canvases, brushes, lighting and other images both concrete and abstract.  I designed this quilt to convey a feeling more than actual objects tied to painting.

I’m finding that more and more I’m merging my first creative love, oil painting, with my current creative love in my quilt designs.  I've even started working with watercolors again mainly because the clean up is so easy. 

I chose the quilting to add interest and depth to the design. I took some risks, like black thread echos around the paint swatches and hand quilting the small grey squares. Most of the quilting is fairly dense and I was shocked when blocking the quilt to find out the length shrunk by 3”.

I reall…

Lilium - Kona Cotton Color of the Year Quilt

For the last two years my guild has done a theme with a challenge.  Last year's theme was solids and the challenge was to make a mini quilt with only solids in three colors, please see my Lost in Oz quilt that hung at QuiltCon this year.  This year the theme is curves and the challenge was to make a 50" x 60" quilt using curves and the Kona color of the year, Tiger Lily.

Lilium Quilt
Tiger Lily is a really great color of orange red and was my inspiration for the quilt name.  I added some other soft Kona Solids and a few Cotton and Steel prints to finish up the design.

I decided early on to quilt each of the background colors with a different motif and to use the prints as my quilting inspiration for the circles.

I really love the look of orange peels and they find their way onto quite a few of my quilts but before my Gammill I could only successfully execute 4" circles the orange peel on this quilt is 1 1/2"!

On the back are a couple Cotton and Steel prints from their Poolside line.  The colors couldn't be more perfect.

As great as all those pictures look I did have a couple "issues."  My opps 1 & 2, reminds me of a Cat in the Hat story, hmm.  Here's Opps 1:

Yep I forgot to complete a handful of the orange peels.  It should be interesting finishing those up on my domestic machine.  Then this happened, Opps 2:

The thread broke as I quilted over it.  I've been using Aurifil 40-3 for most my quilting and really liking it but I only have two colors right now, cream and medium grey. My Gammill came with a thread sampler package and I found a golden brown in that blended decently but for whatever reason I had several thread breakages and this break in the quilting.  It was especially disappointing because I had ironed all my seams open for the first time to avoid just that problem.


I've officially converted to a seams open quilter.  I didn't have a problem matching seams, I've always been a pinner, and I followed Christa Watson's advice from Instagram and shorten my stitch length.

I'm really pleased with this quilt and so proud that I've now finished 3 quilts on my longarm.  I have some crazy deadlines coming up, a quilt a week for the next 4 weeks, so I'm sure I'll be getting plenty of practice in.

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My loveIf you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.  These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."  John 15:9-12