Minimalist Quilt for Mtl MQG Showcase

Happy New Year 2015 everyone. I hope you had some great Holidays. I enjoyed mine. We had plenty of time to relax and to take a break from the busy schedule. I didn’t open the computer for two weeks (just checking my emails on my iPod). I even took the time to start reading a novel. Something I haven’t done in a few years. As for sewing, I did do a few small gifts that I might share in another post. But, I mainly focused on quilting my Pretty Potent charm quilt. I intended to give it to my father for Christmas, but I didn’t make it. I’m still finishing hand stitching the binding. So, it will be a late gift.

Today, I wanted to share a quilt top I finished at the beginning of December. The Mtl MQG is working on organizing a Modern Quilt Showcase (we still need to find a venue). We will be showcasing quilts from our members. We need to make 30″ x 40″ quilts in one of these categories: minimalist design, asymmetry, negative space, improvisational piecing or alternative grid work. This was a challenge we proposed to our members in June. We had a show and tell at the beginning of December to show our completed quilt tops. I can say it was a challenge for me, at least the decision part was. It took the whole summer just to decide for which category I would make a quilt. I finally decided to go for minimalism.

I started making some sketches this summer. I continued until the end of November. I couldn’t make up my mind. Even though I have a few quilts that would qualify as having a minimalist design, it was hard to come with an idea this time around. I did sketch a lot of ideas, but I wasn’t convince about any of them. Finally, I decided on one. See the sketch below. I intended to make a whole cloth quilt and to make the design only with the quilting (lines in the sketch). The idea was to create a circle by just changing the quilting line directions from vertical to horizontal. Minimalist enough don’t you think?

Minimalist Modern Quilt Challenge

But, I changed my plan a bit after discussing with my sister. She suggested using a shot cotton or another fabric with a different thread color for the warp and the weft and to change the direction of the fabric for the circle. I thought it was a great idea. So, I ordered some shot cotton (by Kaffe Fassett for Westminster Fabrics). I went with the color Ice which has threads in white and aqua. When I got it, I realized that the thread color difference was so subtle that a change in direction wouldn’t make any difference. So, I decided to add a bit of complexity to my quilt and to insert some white strips (Kona in Snow) in the circle. Here was the final sketch.

Minimalist Modern Quilt Challenge

Once my plan was finalized, it was quite fast to complete the quilt top. I paper pieced the strips for the circle during our last guild sew-in. Then it took an afternoon to make the inset circle. I used the following technique to achieve it. (except I used some white liquid glue). You’ll find a great post here on glue basting by Amy Smart. It was my first time doing an inset circle and I didn’t take the time to practice on a smaller circle. Mine was about 22″ in diameter. So, I was a bit nervous. I was quite happy that everything went well. Here is the result.

Minimalist Modern Quilt Challenge

The only thing I would say is that I did put way too much glue. So after our show and tell, my quilt top went for a little bath. Thanks to my friend Cinzia who pointed out this post to me. The post shows how glue basting is used for appliqués and washed out before quilting. Now, my quilt is waiting to be quilted and I can’t wait to see what it will look like with the quilting lines.

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