One Hundred and Eighty Degrees Quilt | Molinari Montreal Modern Quilt Guild Challenge
This one has been a long time in the making.
5 years to be exact – ha!
Never did I think this one would sit unfinished for so long, but sometimes the quilting journey be that way!
I’m sharing her with you today because:
- she’s actually finished!
- I learned so much with this one and I want to share those insights with you.
- I want to encourage you that even though a quilt may have been sitting in your work in progress (WIP) pile for awhile (even years!) you can still see her come to life!
If you’ve been feeling guilty about a quilt languishing in your closet, then read on for inspiration on revisiting those old beauties.
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This quilty project started back in 2016 when the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild challenged their members to create a quilted wall hanging inspired by the work of Canadian artist Guido Molinari.
I actually hadn’t heard of his work prior to this challenge, and it was so fun to have one of our members give a presentation on his work.
His artwork is bold, linear, colourful and dynamic. All elements I love in a painting and a quilt!
After studying some of his artwork, I was consistently drawn to the use of triangles in his paintings. There’s something about the angular structure of a triangle that appeals to me. It’s something I’ve doodled in class since early high school!
QUILT DESIGN & COLOUR EXPLORATION
The quilt design was first and foremost a study in triangles. This was early in my quilting journey, so tackling these larger triangles without a pattern was challenging!
These lines stayed true to the inspiration of Molinari’s work.
A second component of the challenge was to explore the use of colour in my design. Just like Molinari who used a lot of primary and secondary colours in his work to see how the colours change and play off one another, I did the same, but with a richer palette of coral, peach, orange and purple.
Several of these colours I had already played with in my Weight of Love quilt, so it was super interesting to bring in the purple and pomegranate to see how that switched things up.
It was fascinating to see how the colours changed depending on which colour they were placed next to.
When it came time to quilt my One Hundred and Eighty Degree wall hanging, I went all in and decided to quilt triangle motifs that echoed the triangles in the quilt top.
Instead of using just one thread colour, I opted to match the thread colour to the different coloured pieced triangles. I wanted the quilting to blend in and only leave the texture to enhance the design.
I loved it!
Quilting her up was fun (although took quite a bit of time) and seeing the texture that emerged was so encouraging.
To keep the quilting within the respective triangles, meant I needed to bury my threads. This was a first for me at the time.
I remember having to call my quilty friend Josée to help me out! Nothing like having quilty friends on speed dial to save you from quilty struggles!
Once I got the hang of bringing up my bobbin thread, I got into a real groove.
Everything was going smoothly…until I needed to bury allllll those threads.
WHERE THE QUILT PROJECT STALLED
I was making great progress with my modern quilted wall hanging when the project came to a screeching halt at the thread burying stage.
That step was intense.
And a tangled mess (compounded by the fact that I had travelled with her multiple times, had quilts placed on top of her – leading to lots of tangled threads).
It was not an inspiring step, and it totally killed my sew mojo.
But I was tired of seeing her draped over the back of my sofa and, so back in summer of 2020, I finally committed to getting those threads buried.
I’m so glad I did!
Because once I had that monotonous step done, I could move on to adding to the hanging sleeve and get her photographed!
If you’re new to thread burying, I’ve got a full step by step tutorial for you!
Here’s a full round-up of all the materials and notions I used to create the one hundred and eighty degree quilted wall hanging:
LESSONS LEARNED FROM THIS QUILT JOURNEY
Quilting is not the fastest creative outlet, but that’s actually one of the things I love most about quilting! The point is not to whip something up in a day, but to be more methodical and considerate about your making. That’s all fine to say, but with a longer path from concept to creation comes the increased likelihood that your project will take longer than anticipated to finish.
Life has a sneaky way of getting in the way. If we had just one project to focus on, then we could buckle down and just get her done. But that’s not always reality. At least it isn’t for me!
My personal quilty projects often fall to the back burner when the biz size of things needs more of my focus and attention. This isn’t a bad thing, just something I need to work around. What often happens is that I lose my momentum with a project and I need to ‘rediscover’ my sew mojo for said project. With this one, the thread burying really killed that sew mojo.
Thread burying isn’t hard, it’s just tedious and being confronted with 100s of threads to bury (ok, maybe not that many, but it certainly felt that way!) at once was daunting. My biggest tip here, which had been shared with me by another quilty friend, is to bury threads as you go. Simple, right? And totally genius!
I should have listened as she was clearly speaking from experience and trying to save me from that feeling of overwhelm. I didn’t listen and learned the hard way. So, take it from me – bury your threads as you go!
Having her sit there for so long as a quilt in the works, forced me to confront how I feel about having WIPs kicking around the sewing studio. Initially, I felt a little guilty. I bought all this fabric and pieced her up and now she’s just sitting there half finished.
That didn’t make me feel great and, honestly, there were many times I had no time to work on her even if I’d wanted to.
To keep my sanity, I opted to change my internal dialogue to “I love that quilt and I can’t wait to get back to her. For now, she needs to be patient until I can properly focus my attention on her.”
Yes, I do talk to myself and my quilts on the regular!
But whether you say it out loud or think it, the important thing I discovered is that we’re in charge of how we approach our quilting practice. You can choose whether you want to feel guilty about unfinished quilts or choose to change the message for a more positive outlook.
You know my tendency to look at life with a glass half full attitude and I bring that approach into my quilting practice too.
In the end, I managed to get her finished and hung up just in time for my first ever video collaboration! Hanging her up and seeing her featured in the sewing room tour brought me so much joy!
So, just because a quilt may have sat unfinished for awhile (even years) doesn’t mean that you’ll enjoy the finish any less when she’s done. If anything, I’d say there’s a little extra love for seeing a challenging project through to completion.
For more quilted wall hanging inspiration check out:
I’d love to know what your longest WIP was and how you felt after getting her done! Share in the comments below.
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