The colour has intrigued me since Pantone announced it, as it is not what you'd look at and straight away think of as a "star" colour. But quilting has taught me that every colour is a star so I took up the challenge, and decided to make a quilt that would get me to love Marsala.
I knew that if I was going to do this challenge, it would have to be in solids. How else to make sure that Marsala was shining through on its own virtue?
So on a visit to Spotlight to pick up some white perle cotton, I impulsively checked out their solid collection to see if there were any that resembled Marsala. I was surprised to find one that was almost exactly the right shade, along with some more wine-like colours that are closer to what I think I was wishing Marsala looked like.
So I took it as a sign and they fell into my basket, along with a couple of other colours that I thought would work well with my plan. Oops! So much for just buying white thread! :P
I knew that the ratios of each colour in the mini quilt would be crucial to its success so I played around with a few combinations.
|I didn't end up using any of those bottom two colours, but I did cut strips already so I'll have to think up a new project for them to be used in. What a shame! :P|
I cut them all into 2.5" strips and used my Sidekick Ruler (have I mentioned recently how much I love that thing?! ) to cut triangles and diamonds out of the Marsala and wines, along with just a couple of triangles of the contrasting colours.
|I took this picture to show the contrast between what I had originally thought (and hoped) Marsala was when I heard the name, and what it actually is.|
|I ended up only cutting one little bright aqua triangle because I thought it might outshine the Marsala and become too much of a focus if I put too much in.|
Next it was time for the fun part: putting all my diamonds into a bag and mixing them up. I planned to sew them together randomly, just pulling two out without looking and sewing them together, followed by another one, and another, until I'd finished the number I needed to sew together for each row. This way it was just left up to chance which colour ended up next to each other, and I was hoping some interesting shapes would emerge.
|My sophisticated quilt pattern: the amount of diamonds needed for each row. :D|
|At one point I sewed a diamond to the wrong side of my strip, but I didn't want to ruin the flow of my piecing so I just left it like that,|
|And then I made sure to do it a few more times so it became a feature instead of a mistake. :P|
|This is my completed quilt top. The shape in the middle almost looks like a kitten!|
My original plan was to completely machine quilt it, but my machine was not liking the Marsala coloured thread so I ended up doing a lot of handquilting on it, and I think that is what ended up "making" the quilt. Just like that seam on the wrong side starting out as a mistake, I think my quilt was always meant to have a combination of hand and machine quilting. While quilting this, I even realised that this is probably almost my signature: a mix of both quilting styles.
I machine quilted a triangle spiral in all the little coloured triangles, then did some more machine quilting to tie the Marsala and wine colours together in sections. Some of the quilting was free-motion, some was with a walking foot, and all of it was spiralling into the centres of each section I'd chosen. I varied the stitchlength, and also the spacing between lines to give it some more movement.
When I was handquilting, I kept up that theme. Varying the length and density of my stitches, and even using some contrasting thread in the same colours as the little triangles to reinforce the relationships between the colours I chose.
|I kind of love how my seams on the top "feature" turned out, I might have to do it more often!|
|This bottom left part of the quilt ended up being my favourite part. I loved playing with the wine and Marsala threads in the hand-quilting to see what effect they'd have.|
|So many fun textures appeared! I haven't washed this yet, but I did hit it with a bunch of steam to get it to crinkle up a bit.|
|The Marsala thread on the golden fabric of the backing was a really fun effect.|
|I'm super happy with the textures I ended up with. I can't stop touching it! :D|
My name is Luelle, some people call me "Strange", and I have a confession to make. Turns out I actually love the colour Marsala after all! I'll definitely be using it again. :)
This mini quilt ended up at 19.5" x 20".