Whether you sail, fly, take the stairway or the snail’s trail, hopefully you can make your way to Pluto. The background fabric, Cotton Couture in Pluto, inspired the quilt title, thus Navigating to Pluto.
|Navigating to Pluto by Paige Alexander|
(Quilted by Johellen George of Cabin Quilt Studio)
Back in July 2015, Modern Quilts Unlimited issued a twelve-month block challenge to interprect a traditional quilt block in a modern way and then, after completion of all twelve blocks, make a quilt with your blocks.
I challenged myself to use improvisational piecing in each block. Some were successful and others not so much. But I stuck with it and made all twelve blocks. Images of the traditional blocks are listed here on the MQU website.
|Completed 12 blocks for MQU challenge|
- Flying Geese - Flying into the Sun
- Snail's Trail - Trail Blazers
- Ohio Star - Ohio on Point
- Card Trick - Simple Transparency Trick
- Bow Tie - Bow Tie Bold
- Double Pinwheel - Curvy Pinwheel
- Square in a Square - Minimal Square
- Rail Fence - Paint the Fence
- Sailboat - Adrift
- Lemoyne Star - Last Lemoyne Star
- Drunkards Path - Echo
- Jacob's Ladder - Stairway to Heaven
Quilt Challenge Rules - some of the basic rules were as follows but the official rules are here:
1. Make a quilt using all 12 blocks not exceeding 60" x 60".
2. The blocks must measure 12" x 12" finished and be an original interpretiaton of the traditional quilt block.
3. Michael Miller fabrics must be used in the completion of the quilt top with each identified.
4. Quilts must be finished including quilting and binding.
Fabrics - Michael Miller Cotton Couture
When the challenge was announced I went to my local quilt shop and found a some Cotton Coutures to use in the blocks. I soon replaced the Avacado with Apple, but later used the Avacado in Witco's Daisies. Knowing I would need to identify each fabric, I snapped a pic so I would not forget the fabric colors and I'm glad I did.
|Michael Miller Cotton Coutures purchased for MQU challenge|
I mostly used Apple, Azure, Lava and Magenta with Pluto as the background. One block contains a tiny bit of Caribbean and Fern.
I designed a layout where I could create the the largest quilt possible within the size constraints of 60" x 60". My design wall was in use and ended up laying out the blocks on the kitchen floor.
|Deciding on layout for Navigating to Pluto|
Excited to have the top pieced, I took it outside for a photo.
|Navigating to Pluto quilt top completed|
Running short on time and not knowing exactly how I wanted to quilt it, I asked Johellen George (@sc_quilter) of Cabin Quilt Studio to quilt it for me on her Innova long arm. At first, I thought about having her quilt organic horizontal lines across the entire quilt top. But as we talked, she talked about adding echoing clouds in with the wavy lines in the top portion and adding waves in the lower half. After all, the block at the very top was Stairway to Heaven and the block on the bottom row was a sailboat. Perfect, I loved the idea.
|Quilting of echoing clouds transisitioning to waves by Johellen George|
|More quilting by Johellen George|
One of my favortie blocks is the Sqare in a Square and you can see more of the waves as they are quilted.
I used Azure for the 1/4" bias binding and added in a flange from Apple.
Honey Hive in Leaf was used for the backing and it cordinated so well with the Pluto and Apple. It was lucky find at my local quilt shop. And call me crazy, but I matched the print when piecing two seams for the backing.
|Honey Hive in Leaf from Emma's Garden for Michael Miller|
And one more photo taken outside on Thanksgivng Day with the North Carolina montains in the background.
|Navigating to Pluto by Paige Alexander|
(Quilted by Johellen George)
- Finished size: 60" x 60"
- Pattern: Original designs using traditional quilt blocks as inspiration
- Fabrics: Background - Michael Miller Cotton Coutures; Backing: Michael Miller Honey Hive in Leaf
- Thread: Quilted with Aurifil 2886 Light Avacado
- Quilting designs: Echoing clouds and waves by Johellen George, Cabin Quilt Studio
- Batting: 100% Cotton Quilters Dream Cotton
- Started July 2015 and Completed November 2016