Homework Woes: My Orange Mini-Quilt


As I have mentioned earlier, I am currently taking a class about color theory. This month’s assignment was a bit overwhelming. We had to:

1. Use a single color and it had to be our least favorite color.

2. Use materials or techniques that were new to us.

3. Incorporate some element of surprise into the quilt.

4. Make a finished mini-quilt that is 12″ x 12″ in size.

Here was my first thought: “Are you friggin’ kidding me?” I bought some taupe colored silk and a set of orange wool charm squares before I left the class.  I found some orange silk ribbon in my stash at home. And then I totally ignored this assignment for 3 weeks because I had no idea what to do..

Yesterday morning I sat down and looked at the ingredients for my quilt. There was lots of heavy sighing as I came up with a plan. Since I had never worked with wool or silk, I decided to incorporate them into the quilt. I cut 1.5″ strips of silk and 2.5″ squares of wool. It was pretty easy to sew these into a grid pattern.

Step 1, using wool and silk to make a grid pattern

Since I have a longarm machine, I no longer do any quilting on my Janome. I decided that, in the spirit of #2, I would do some simple machine quilting. I chose a decorative stitch from my menu and snaked around the quilt. This looked good and worked well until my machine jammed and started to make a horrible noise.  So that was the end of decorative stitching.

My next idea was to stitch on the silk ribbon and use that to secure the quilt. My first pattern looked awful. I ripped it out.

Step 2: Used decorative stitching (until machine started making funny noises). Step 3: Silk ribbon, which I immediately ripped out.

The quilt still didn’t look finished. I took the remaining silk ribbon, cut it into smaller pieces, and sewed them on the quilt.

Steps 4 & 5: Silk ribbon and binding

The next step was binding. Of course it had to be orange. That was easy enough.

So what was going to be my element of surprise? I’d already spent enough time on this quilt and I wasn’t feeling very whimsical. As I live on Long Island, all 3 of our towns’ gas stations were empty following Hurricane Sandy, so there was no trip to Michael’s or Joann’s in my future. I looked through my stash of embellishments and found some felt flowers cutouts in orange and yellow. That would have to do.

Finished Quilt

My husband said this was “scattered and Frankenstein-ish.” Wow. Tell me how you really feel, honey! I have to agree it’s not my best work and clearly this is not an award winning quilt. I did get to work with wool and silk (both which I liked). And I did enjoy the challenge of doing an monochromatic quilt in my least-favorite color. Every once in a while it’s good to be pushed outside my comfort zone. So I guess, overall, I’d consider my homework a success.


2 responses »

  1. I honestly like this quilt, Sue. I love the random lines of silk ribbon, and I think the flowers are the perfect touch!

    Orange was always one of my least favourite colours too, but I have grown to like it very much these past couple of years, and have started incorporating bits of bright orange into my decor. I even spray-painted an old chalk-wear shelf and two wall sconces in orange to brighten up a boring area in the upper hallway.

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