Monday, 30 January 2012

Colour My World Red

Ah, red! Beautiful, bold, and powerful red. As the first month of my Colour My World Challenge is wrapping up (where the heck did January go?), it felt like I was living red a bit this month. When it came to my kids, it sometimes felt that anger was trying to best love. It didn't succeed, thankfully. It feels like I need a good dose of courage every Tuesday night as I help lead my son's Beaver Colony. Passion -- well, with the utmost affection, that ain't none of your beeswax! ;)

I'm thrilled with this first month of the challenge. I found that focussing on a small piece and using it to experiment with a colour and new-techniques-for-me) kept it fun and doable in a month. I hope those of you who are participating are feeling the same.

For my piece, which I'm going to call "Stop, in the name of love...and fire!", I wanted to try Madame Parfait's awesome swirling hexagon, but make it an octagon. Why an octagon? Well, I was thinking about the stop sign, which is in the shape of an octagon. Once it was made though, I thought it looked more like a peppermint swirl candy. It would look even more so if you alternated the colours.
Front - "Stop, in the name of love...and fire!"
As I mentioned when I showed my progress last week, I wasn't happy with the value jump between the white fabric with red leaves and the red fabric with white leaves. I tried to adjust the value by using a decorative stitch with red. It didn't darken it enough, but it'll do.

The other element in the construction of the top that I wanted to include was the red roll caps I used to love as a kid. I'd almost completely forgotten about them so it's a little homage to my childhood -- no, I wasn't a pyro, but I sure loved those caps. I had originally planned to put the caps along one side, but it didn't look right when I got to that stage of the construction. I played around with some ideas and finally came to this layout. I did some trapunto under the red dots of the roll caps and satin stitch around it. I think the satin stitch reduces the effect of the trapunto though. It looks betted on the back. Another lesson learned.

Back - "Stop, in the name
of love...and fire!"
For the quilting, I included hearts, loopy loos, small stipple, heart flow, straight lines, and lollipop chain. Oh, and a little maple leaf 'cause that's how I roll. The free motion quilting was a big challenge because my thread worked for some free motion quilting motifs, but not for others. It was confusing so I cleaned out the machine, rethreaded, changed needles. I finally figured that it had to be the thread so switched threads and was able to finish up without another problem. Odd.

Detail of maple leaf quilting
and edging
I don't know whether this block is going to be in a quilt or be a stand along piece so I just zigzagged and then straight-line stitched the edges so they don't unravel before the end of the year. It measures 14.5" square unfinished.

How about you? How did you see red this month?

As I mentioned on Saturday, I thought it would be interesting to see how people use red in their quilts. If you use Pinterest, I put together a pin board, called Quilts - Red, if you wanted to check it out.

Ready for the next colour? It's purple! Now go dream about purple and I'll do a post on it later this week.


  1. The red roll caps are a really fun idea. I swear I could smell them as soon as you mentioned them.

  2. Awesome block, M-R.! Can't wait to see what you do with fave colour!

  3. I love your block M-R!!! Your quilting really is perfect!

  4. It looks great!! The quilting is fantastic! I'm a little scared of red so I'll have to get braver ;)


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