Friday, July 14, 2017

Northern Lights

I first saw a sample of Northern Lights, a pattern by Julie Herman, in a quilt shop in Alaska. I immediately was intrigued by the pretty solid colors in a gradient, and I loved the quilting on the store sample. It was a lot of dense fillers in matching colors that complemented the quilt perfectly and added a delicious texture.

I didn't buy the kit then, because my suitcase was already full, and I wasn't sure I would be able to piece it. But I thought of it constantly. Earlier this year I finally bought it as a late Christmas gift to myself. As a bonus, I finally had the excuse to invest in a Hex 'n More ruler! I just love collecting rulers.

I decided to make my quilt exactly like the sample, in the same arrangement of colors. Although this quilt is doable without the Hex 'n More ruler, I do have to say it makes cutting the trapezoids a lot more quick and fun! I was worried I wouldn't be able to piece this, but it wasn't as difficult as I thought. I did have to use a pin or two during row assembly, but it came together very quickly and almost all of my points almost match. Close enough is good enough!

Quilting this top was an exhilarating experience. As I was quilting this, I became convinced that this quilt top was designed specifically to showcase free-motion quilting. The big expanses of space, all in solids ... there is no place to hide, and everything shows! On some sections, it's great news. On others, well ...

To start with, I filled some sections with paisleys, pebbles, and swirls. I don't think I'll ever get tired of them.

I decided to try a new filler that I've never tried before. Leaves! I know leaves are pretty much just a pointed paisley, but I find it quite a bit more challenging to execute compared to the paisley. However, it has such a great look so I was determined to learn them.

I wanted to add some straight lines just to break it up a bit. But one block in, I realized I was already bored. So to break it up even further, I added some wavy lines to contrast with it.

I'm so happy I conquered this! Quilting this quilt was amazingly fun (isn't it always, though?) and it's such a joy to watch the quilt come to life. All in all, I'm thrilled with the way this turned out.

I really like the back of the quilt too ... I didn't realize until awhile after the quilt was finished that the back shared some of the colors as the front and has a Northern Lights kind of feel! Now that's what I call a happy coincidence.

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Link parties I joined: Crazy Mom Quilts, Busy Hands Quilts, Sew Can She, and Cooking Up Quits.

13 comments:

  1. You are a Superstar! As always, I'm in awe. Glad you treated yourself and bought the quilt kit, it was meant to be made and quilted by you.

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  2. This is absolutely gorgeous!

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  3. Gorgeous, Liz! Your quilting is stunning!

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  4. Wonderful. Your quilting is stunning. Could you add a pic of the whole top?

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  5. Your quilting makes this quilt! All those Jaybird Quilts patterns look like fun. Great job piecing, too!

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  6. Wow that is absolutely stunning, both the piecing and the quilting - what a lovely way to force yourself out of your comfort zone for free motion quilting, and I think your leaves look beautiful!

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  7. What a stunning job you've done!! And totally love the back as well xAli

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  8. Your quilting is extraordinary! The colors are beautiful arranged like this!

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  9. Everything about this is wonderful - the discovery of the pattern in Alaska, the making of the quilt and the quilting. You are having fun!

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  10. Your quilting is just amazing on this one! I love the colors and would have gone with the original too!

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  11. Just absolutely stunning! Thanks for sharing!

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  12. You go girl! I am in awe of your mad quilting skills! I bet the texture on this quilt is fabulous. If it was mine I'd spend all my time just petting the quilt. :)

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  13. That is really pretty! I love the quilting and how well it shows up on those solids.

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