Friday, November 21, 2014


After attending the Road to California Quilt Show this year my mind began to ignite with quilting ideas, so I decided to start a quilt journal. One of the ideas was to have 3 circles of varying size & color on a gray background. The idea was to have the eye bounce through the 3 circles and then have 3 smaller circles within the circles that would continue through the rotation of the colors in the circles. For example the large circles in the illustration below, starting from the left are blue, yellow and pink. (I hope that's not confusing to see the word blue written in the color red, I'm NOT messing with you, at all.)  I then wanted the small circles to follow the same pattern of blue, yellow and pink. I think this is where the graphic design techie part of me comes out. I like to measure everything and have calculated plans. I can drive myself nuts doing this. 

This plan was drawn in Illustrator.

I then made another version of my document that was in outlines only.
In the print dialogue box I checked "tile" so I could print out 
 my big circles and tape them together. It would have been easier 
to take my file to Staples and use their oversize printer,
 but I didn't want to wait. 
I'm not impatient... just excited. 

Unfortunately I didn't have the same colored fabric in my stash 
that I was dreaming about when I drew my plan 
in Illustrator, so I used what I had. 
This was my first time using a satin stitch on a quilt. 
I was so new to quilting that I didn't think I could applique the circles 
straight onto a single piece of background fabric, so I pieced the gray
 background together.
No cheating allowed! 

As I worked on the quilting ideas I decided to use mathematical symbols
 for inspiration (it also helps that my husband is a scientist). 
I augmented these symbols and placed 
them in the middle of the circles. 
Here's some of my math symbol inspiration. 

Above is an acute angle symbol. I also decided that the remaining quilting needed to compliment the techie math symbols already in the quilt. 
Quilting something structured and rigid over the
 area seemed like a match to me, so to I decided to go with LOTS of 
criss-crossing and overlapping concentric circles. I was finally able to use all that neon thread I've been collecting. For each of the 3 circles I quilted radiating circles in 
their own matching color. 

In this photo I'm quilting a right angle symbol. 
I also quilted in a small grid system in some of the 
negative space opposite of the right angle. 

I chose an orange and white chevron stripe for the binding, which continued 
the idea of concentric radiating circles, but on a VERY LARGE scale. 

Also, in the photo above you can see the varying shades of blue concentric circles quilted and radiating out from the blue/aqua circle detail. As you look at the detail of the orange circle you can see that all the radiating quilted circles are varying shades of orange. I also ran 2 threads through the machine at once to help build up the threads that were wrapping about the large circles. 

I decided to title the quilt ORBIT. 

After I was able to stand back and really look at the 
quilt I immediately thought about how planets have a 
natural orbit in space. All the quilted concentric circles started to 
look like trails left by moons and satellites that 
had once circled their planets.


  1. This is gorgeous! It's my favorite so far, maybe because I love math :)

  2. Yep. I still love this quilt. I love also that you have a blog, so you can make a record of all that *thinking* that went into this quilt! Of course, now I'm studying quilting and thinking how evenly spaced all your lines are and how did you get to be so talented at this so quickly? Sigh--you are amazing.