July 7, 2016

Throwback Thursday #5: Positively Transparent

Positively Transparent was completed in November 2015 just in time to enter into QuiltCon West and right before my first official blog post, another Throwback Thursday link up.

Positively Transparent by Paige Alexander

On August 30, 2015, my day began by driving to Mt. Pleasant, SC to take a class, Mini Quilts, with Lizzy House hosted by the Charleston Modern Quilt Guild.  I was getting close when I crossed the Arthur Ravenel Bridge spanning the Cooper River.

Crossing the Arthur Ravenel Bridge into Mt. Pleasant, SC
Lizzy began the class discussing the elements and principles of design (my weakness) and then she encouraged us to start drawing.  Staring at the blank page, the first thing I thought of was a plus sign and possibly trying a layered or transparency effect.  Here are some of my drawings from class.

While in class, Lizzy gave us a sneak peak of her then soon to be released fabric line,  The Lovely Hunt and showed us her world-traveled quilt, The Meadow Quilt.

A sneak peak at Lizzy's new fabric line, The Lovely Hunt

Lizzy had taught The Meadow Quilt previously on Friday and Saturday.

The Meadow Quilt by Lizzy House and quilted by Angela Walters

Here are my meager beginnings before I left class.  You can barely see the transparency starting to form.

The start of Positively Transparent while in class
After returning home, I finished the piecing.  This was the first time I used Essex linen in a quilt and it sewed nicely with the other Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton solids.

Piecing is complete for Positively Transparent
I decided to quilt it using my walking foot in uneven parallel lines.  Nothing to do but add line after line until I thought it was 'done'.

Quilting started on Positively Transparent

The majority of the quilting was done with Aurifil 5011 (Rope Beige) which matched the Essex in Flax perfectly. I added some quilting lines going all the way through the plus signs matching the colors of each.

Straight line quilting detail on Positively Transparent

Rather than a traditional binding, I decided to face it, which I had never done before.  I found this article, Face It! A Better Quilt Edge, in American Quilter by Kathleen Loomis and followed it.  I did reduce the angle of the corner template since my quilt was fairly small.

Adding the facing to Positively Transparent

Here the edge stitching has been added to the keep the facing from rolling to the front.

Facing after edge stitching added
You can see here where the edge stitching stops as you are not able to reach all the way to the corners.  The facing has been turned under and hand stitched in place and the hanging sleeve is ready to sewn in place.

Adding the hanging sleeve

I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email from Sophie at Luna Lovequilts letting me know my quilt was included in issue #5 of Simply Moderne in an article about QuiltCon West which took place in Pasadena, CA in February 2016.  What an honor it is to have my quilt included along beside the quilts of these talented artists such as Carolyn FriedlanderChawne Kimber and Anne Sullivan.

Positively Transparent in Simply Moderne #5
 Issue #5 of SimplyModerne is filled with some great articles and projects.

Simply Moderne Issue #5
I was thrilled to have my quilt juried into the Small Quilts category and displayed at QuiltCon West 2016.  It is helpful when a quilt show provides the judges comments so you may learn from them and become a better quilter.  I received these judges comments:
  • Beautiful composition and color choice.
  • Machine quilting is spot on including thread color choice.
  • Facing is a good design choice and well executed.

Quilt Stats:

  • Finished size:  16" x 18"
  • Pattern:  Original design with Lizzy House offering guidance on element and color placement
  • Edge Finishing: Facing method by Kathleen Loomis
  • Fabrics: Robert Kaufman Essex Yard Dyed in Flax and Kona Cotton solids; Backing-Memorandum in Lune by Frances Newcombe for Art Gallery
  • Thread: Aurifil 5011 (Rope Beige) along with other Aurifil 50 wt. and some Mettlers
  • Quilting design:  Uneven striaght line quilting using a walking foot on a Bernina 153 QE
  • Batting: 100% Cotton Warm & White by the Warm Company
  • Completed: November 20, 2015

Linking to Throwback Thursday (but not to far back) with Jen at A Quarter Inch from the Edge.


  1. What a beautiful quilt. The quilting on it is phenomenal! Great detail matching some of the quilting to the plus signs.

    1. Thank you Lorinda! As I was quilting, I moved to different areas of the quilt, quilted a few lines and then moved again. The smallest quilting lines are 1/8" with the largest ones about a 1/2" apart.

  2. What a fab quilt! I love your design! Plus quilts are pretty but you took it to the whole new level. Love it!

  3. It's so subtle and quiet, yet it has a great impact. Very timely for me, as I'm starting to experiment with walking foot quilting))

  4. I have to say I agree with the judges 100%. I've never heard of facing before, so I will have to go do some reading on it. The Essex linen was just perfect with those solids. Congrats on a great quilt and a great TBT.

  5. This is so adorable Paige. I love how you added the coloured thread quilting-it really is spot on as the judges stated. Congratulations having it accepted but also having it published-Exciting!

  6. It's a great quilt Paige. I love how you talked us through the process too. You are so talented, well done.

  7. Congratulations! Well-deserved honors all around.

  8. I think that this is my favorite quilt of yours, just stunning!

  9. The transparency effect you achieved was stunning in person, Paige, and the quilt was so beautifully constructed. I'm glad I got to see it in person.

  10. This is so nice Paige! I love the quilting on it and the facing really is the perfect finishing for it. :-)

  11. This is beautiful, and so precisely done. I really like the transparency, but my favorite part is the colored quilting. I've done facings before, but not like that with the edge stitching. It certainly makes a smooth finish. You definitely deserve to be featured along with those other artists.

  12. Beautiful quilt and thanks for all the insights into your design and making process!

  13. Such a great design, and so perfectly executed, too. Thanks for sharing its story and congratulations on being published, too. The recognition is well deserved!

  14. I love the quilting on your quilt! Very cool quilt!

  15. I love this quilt Paige but you know that already ;-) Thanks a lot for sharing the facing method. I'll have to try it !

  16. Fabulous quilt...I especially love the way you quilted this! It certainly deserved a spot at QuiltCon West!

  17. The coloured threads give a plaid effect to the quilting, something I especially love about your quilt. also the transparency and overlays effect is terrific, something I've played with too. I clearly remember you going to that class...kudos on all the accolades! :-)

  18. Oh Paige! I am so very envious of your Lizzy House class! Sometimes I wish I didn't live on the edge of the continent... so many of the cool classes are so far away. And your Throwback quilt is by far the most modern of the collection this month. Love that quilting! Thanks for linking up with Throwback Thursday @ A Quarter Inch from the Edge!

  19. This is such a gorgeous quilt! From the colors to the design, to the composition... and the quilting is perfect for it! All honors bestowed upon this quilt were well deserved, and I hope to see it in person someday!

  20. A really lovely quilt! Love the transparency effect, colour choices and wow! The quilting is perfect!

  21. This is gorgeous. Fun to discover it from your recent post!!