Machine Quilting: Rock Island Campfire

Carol made this quilt... and has been making this quilt for some time. It's a super amazingly scrappy masterpiece that needed a little pop...
 And that little pop came in the form of that super tiny black and white checkerboard fabric... I love this quilt, but I knew before I even got started that I was going to have a migraine or two working on this quilt. That's just how it goes sometimes.
 I started out and only made it about half way through the first day before my eyes and head were exhausted, but I was loving how the progress was going.
 For this design, I had a drawing of the quilting plan I kept next to me as I worked. In order to keep the motifs in the correct orientation in the blocks, this was my little road map and it was so helpful...
 Here you can see it better. I even numbered the quadrants and which direction I needed to go into first. Without this doodle I would've messed up... a lot... I don't always need a doodle like this, but with exhausted eyes and a pounding head at times, it was needed this time.
 But alas, the next day I was well seasoned and we had beautiful sunshine that actually helped. The first day was a bit overcast and gloomy so the checkerboard was very very loud visually. The next day the sunshine made the other fabrics brighter and equal visually to the checkerboard fabric so it was much easier to look at for hours on end.
 Carol and I both agreed that this quilt wouldn't be the same without the crazy checkerboard fabric... And it really makes this a happy fun quilt to balance out the other colors and textures. We came to the conclusion that the checkerboard fabric was like the red-headed stepchild that holds the family together. Simple as that.
 Isn't this quilt gorgeous?! If you're heading to the Lake Farmpark Quilts 2015 Show coming up here soon, you will be able to see this quilt in person! Just saying!
 Here's a much better representation of the quilting in relation to the block and the fabrics in the quilt. I love string quilts, but I will warn you, they're very heavy! Tons and tons of seams, so plan on a quilt like this for those long winter nights, not a light quilt for the front porch...
And here's how the quilting design looks from the back of the quilt without all of the other visual stimulation from the fabrics. I'm very happy with how it turned out and I think this quilt was a mixture of all sorts of wonderful things from start to finish to create a beautiful quilt. Wouldn't you agree?

It's amazing how this quilt's personality changed in the differences in lighting. Remember that little tidbit if you're working on a fabric with a ton of fabrics (like my super insanity crazy quilt I shared yesterday). Maybe the fabrics look a bit muddled or off and you don't know why... Maybe it's the lighting. Remember to look at your quilts during various times of the day to see if maybe they're happiest in sunlight, or brightest under indoor lighting at night. When you pulled together the fabrics initially, the lighting may have been different than when you're working on a quilt (like if you bought them at a store with fluorescent light or during the middle of the day on a weekend but you only sew at night). Just a little tidbit to share...

Well, I wanted to thank Carol again for letting me play with her quilt and sharing this crazy envision of scrappy quilts. It's such a treasure to click with other quilters on a level that certain fabrics and ideas just make sense and pull at your heartstrings! We can have a little too much fun at times and I love it!


  1. Gorgeous!! I've quilted quilts where the fabrics were super wild (all Kaffe) and made my eyes go wonky! I also did a straight-line circular pattern (does that even make sense??) on a small green and white pinstripe - thankfully it was only in one block but it really created an optical illusion!!

  2. What a visually arresting quilt - just beautiful! And your quilting elevated it even more - you really captured its personality. Thanks for the lighting tips - sometimes when you're troubleshooting a problem it's hard to see the forest for the trees.


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