Sunday, June 3, 2012

Into The Deep

Behold! A quilt that takes you to infinity and beyond. This is The Vortex Quilt. Although I've been told that it also looks like parachuting jellyfish, an image that I quite like. I am very happy to have finally finished this! (thanks to Chris at the guild meeting for taking this picture)

It all started with this- a circular rotary cutter. It is so much fun! The point on the right marks the center and the mini rotary blade on the left side cuts a circle. You can adjust the size of the circle along the yellow arm. It's a fantastic contraption. I just kept making all sorts of circles and ended up with a pile of these purple and teal circles.

 I wasn't quite sure what to do with them. The original idea involved sewing them onto squares and then sewing the blocks together. But somehow that seemed like cheating, cheating the circles out of their glory. Sewing them to squares just doesn't do the circles any justice. So then they were going to be floating in space. Then I decided the space needed some sort of movement, a vortex.

I now know why quilt blocks are so popular. Quilting large curves is a huge pain. Luckily I had a little help from my pop. He is an architect with access to a large printer. He printed out the swirl design on two large pieces of paper and I cut the swirl strips using the paper as a pattern. It wasn't so bad. I was worried that at the end it wouldn't lie flat. But it did with the help of my trusty little iron.

I doubt I'm the first quilter to come up with this, but I'm giving myself credit for the discovery anyway, I've named it The Forward Press. You sew the curve like you think it should go. Then you open it up. Snip the seam allowance and iron. At this point, the curve will naturally do it's own thing and the curve may fall anywhere between an inch and a eighth of an inch away from the original seem. I then press this natural curve and re-sew along the pressed crease. The Forward Press. If you haven't figured it out by yourself, you read it here first. Unless you read it somewhere else.

This quilt got done by the deadline. My interview for QSOS oral history project. I had to bring in my 'touchstone' quilt. And since I've given away  all the other quilts I've made, I had to hurry up and finish this one. This was the first one I've ever made that wasn't to give away to someone else (it feels a bit selfish- not a lot, just a little). Thanks to David who conducted a great interview and gave me the always motivating deadline.

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