Friday, December 16, 2016

Naughty Nines {Quilt}

This year was filled with quilts that just didn't seem to fit MY "modern quilt" sensibilities or were not in my possession anymore for entering the Quiltcon 2017 show.  It was bothering me that I didn't  have a quilt to submit to a show I will be attending in Febrary.  I could see the future Me upset as I walked around the show thinking "Why didn't I even try?!?"

Which still left me with the fact that I didn't have any quilts to submit. With that in mind, I went to check out the "Challenge " categories.  I found that I was the most interested in the American Patchwork Modern Nine Patch Challenge.  It meant I could use any fabric I had on hand and make any nine patch pattern I wanted that I would be happy to have laying around my house!

For some reason, I could not get out of my head that I still had leftover scraps from the auction quilt, Sweet Silhouettes, hanging around.  I also really loved the idea of exploring improv since I made the Rainbow Remix quilt this year.  I knew could apply my fairly new improv skills on a simple block.

My plan from the beginning was that I wanted it to have two elements. A traditional patchwork feel with a giant nine patch that popped. I played around with solids and offset layouts, but landed on this design which definitely fits the Modern Traditionalism category I tend to gravitate to the most. 

I knew exactly where it was going to live in my house and be a lap quilt, so I knew I wanted to use a beige and gray background.  I played around with some of my solid stash.  
Then I played around with some solid and low volumes together, but finally landed on using just low volumes as my background blocks.

Despite the fact that each block is wonky, I wanted to have a traditional grid so all the blocks were cut down to 10" squares. 

For the backing, I grabbed a bunch of old stash to create a giant nine patch. The colors mimicking the solid nine patch blocks. 

When I loaded it on my longarm, I tried my best to center it so I didn't lose the nine patch when quilting. I had to take this quick picture because I love when the light shines through and gives a stain glass feeling. 

I had played around with a charity quilt for our local modern quilt guild recently and knew this quilt was begging to have this fun back and forth linear quilting in Sandstone in the background and coordinating thread colors in the solid blocks. 

I've had some taupe fabric hanging around in my stash and was perfect for the binding. 

Quilt stats:
Measures: 45" square
Pattern: Improv wonky nine patch
Fabric: Scrap/stash
Quilted: Free motion on Handiquilter Avante Longarm

Quiltcon Description:  
"In my mind, nine-patch quilts evoke traditional patchwork, therefore, I was determined from the beginning for the quilt to have an allover patchwork feel, but with a subtle modern twist. Each block, whether low volume or solid, are all improv pieced nine-patches using wonky strip pieces. The blocks were then trimmed to make a traditional grid so that the solid blocks made their own dominant large scale linear nine patch in the center. The quilting is a linear moving free motion with the low volumes in neutral and solids in their coordinating colors to further emphasize the large scale nine patch."

Did it sting when I received the letter that it was not going to be hanging in Savannah in February? 
Oh yes.  Despite what people may think, it is an utterly vulnerable moment when I share any of my quilts on social media.  When I submit my quilts to Quiltcon?  I'm so exposed that the best way to describe it is that I've ripped off my skin and am showing the deepest parts of me.  And not just sharing it. But asking for it to be judged.  Yes. Quilts aren't "just a craft" to me.

Then you receive a letter that says "We regret to inform you...."
I would be lying if it didn't feel like a jab at the heart. 

 But, honestly? It's okay. I'm okay. And one of the first things I said to my husband when I told him the news was "I'm just glad I tried again this year". There are worse things that have happened in my life and this is really nothing. And. I love this quilt.  I really, really do.  I am more than happy to keep it around the house since I love it so much!

And did I mention I have the "opposite" blocks all ready to go to make a twin for the other chair?  Yup. I love it that much. 


  1. This quilt is beautiful! I love the colours and the quilting!

  2. Love your quilt. I've seen quite a few posts from people that sent quilts and received the same letter. You guys are all amazing for going for it.

  3. You should be proud of your courage to try and get in. It is a lovely quilt and I look forward to seeing its opposite twin when you finish that one.

  4. I love your story and the quilt you made. I'm glad you made the effort and challenged yourself. You are brave.

  5. It's a beautiful quilt and you should be proud!

  6. I love this quilt (and all of your quilts)!

  7. I really like your take on the issue. I now have a clear idea on what this matter is all about.. berezers


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