Thursday, August 3, 2017

Coins Finish!

Ah, I love a finish. And this one's been a long time coming. Deconstructed Coins is officially a quilt. I've been working on this one off and on since February. If you want to read about how I made it, please check out the Deconstructed Coins label at the bottom of this post or on the right sidebar. It's quite different, I think, because it's made from fabric sample panels. Anyway, let's get to some pictures first and then I'll give you the details and a few thoughts. 
My favorite photos first, and then a whole bunch of the usual kinds:

This is Casseopeia, a bronze statue made by Nancy Leiserowitz. She sits on the sidewalk along the shops in East Lansing MI across from Michigan State University (notice the T- shirts in the window). I've been wanting to photograph a quilt here for a long time, and this seemed like the right one. She's a bit broody looking. Maybe this quilt will cheer her up. The setting doesn't do her justice, but I smile every time I walk by. Her daughter Andromeda dances in the median strip in the nearby street. Sometime I'll get a good photo of her, too. 

 And the obligatory fence pictures:

I tried to take these during the shadiest part of the day, but the sun still peeked through, making those faded looking spots in the middle. 

And some indoor views.

A few close-ups. I have a ton so I can remember all these little coins. I'll just show three:

Here are the details:
Dates constructed: Begun February 2017; finished July 2017
Pattern: Original design, inspired by fabric panels from Hawthorne Threads, a challenge by the Ad Hoc Improv Quilters (hosted by Kaja of Sew Slowly and Ann of Fret Not Yourself) to make an improvisational "coins" quilt, and with many thanks to Louise of My Quilt Odyssey for suggesting using a navy fabric to set off the coins from the sashing. 
Fabrics: Digitally printed fabric sample panels from Hawthorne Threads (Forest Fables, Roam and Norwegian Wood). I cut apart the 96 coin-shaped images and used them all.
Solid fabrics: Hawthorne Threads in Smoke; Kona in Tan (on back), Shale, Silver, Light Parfait, Dusty Peach, Medium Pink (on back), Primrose, Salmon, Curry, Aqua, and Prussian; Moda in Fog; one other medium blue fabric that is a mystery to me. Nearly all of the solid fabrics were from my stash. The printed panels were included in a giveaway from Hawthorne Threads last year. 
Batting: Hobbs Premium 80/20
Backing: Improv pieced from leftovers.
Thread: Superior Masterpiece cotton in Granite for piecing; Superior King Tut cotton in White Linen for quilting.
Binding: 2 1/2 inch wide Prussian, folded in half for scant 3/8 inch binding.
Quilting: Walking foot, straightish lines in dark blue areas, wavy in the rest of the quilt.
Size: 63 3/4 by 51 inches pieced; 62 1/4 by 49 1/2 quilted; 59 3/4 by 46 1/2 machine washed on cold, machine dried on low.
Machines: Singer Featherweight for piecing; Singer 115 Treadle for quilting.

And now a few thoughts on making this quilt (there are lots more thoughts on the process in my previous posts), and then one last photo:
1. I really enjoyed participating in this Improv challenge. It took me a long time to make the quilt, but I learned that going slowly kept me interested and not frustrated when I wasn't sure what to do next. I don't think the actual hands-on time was that long. I managed to make or finish at least 7 other completely different kinds of projects at the same time. The variety was a good thing. 
2. My Improv is more structured (less free form?) than many improv pieces I've seen, but that fits well with my usual quilt-making style and preferences. At first I thought I should try to free things up more, but that's not me--and this is still improv. I had a general idea of what I wanted to do when I started, but really didn't know where it would go. 
3. I relied on rotary cutting to square up sections as I put the pieces together and I usually cut strips of roughly similar sizes for the parts of the sashing. I also made bits and pieces, waiting to join them until I saw how they fit with what I had already made. 
4. I could not resist making little rules for myself as the design developed. I had to use all of the coins. I placed all of the coins directionally so that the images are "right side up" and the quilt layout is horizontal (it is meant to be used as a hug around the shoulders). I cut all of the little strips in the coins one inch wide. I made the sashing blocks with either rectangles split in half horizontally, rectangles with a horizontal strip down the middle with an imbedded rectangle, or squares. In the sashing, I limited use of the Smoke fabric to the tiny rectangles. 
5. This was my first time using digitally printed fabric. I was a little unsure of it at the beginning. It is a poplin with a high thread count and tight weave. But that made it easy to cut without fraying, and my sewing machines loved it for both piecing and quilting. After washing, it was just as soft as the rest of the fabrics. 

I have come to love this little quilt and it will be hard to let it go. I have taken lots more pictures so that I can remember every bit of it, and that will help. It's going to a wonderful cause--Margaret's Hope Chest, which provides quilts to women in the Mother and Baby Program at Pine Rest Hospital. It will serve as a hug around the shoulders of a mother during therapy sessions to recover from perinatal mood and anxiety disorder.  

Okay, one more look, in the gardens at the university:

I'm linking up today with Kelly at My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday. Tomorrow I'll also link up with Kathy at Kathy's Kwilts and More for TGIFF and with Ann at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop. On the 22nd I'll link up with Kaja and Ann for Ad Hoc Improv Quilters. And I suspect that in September I'll link up with Crazy Mom Quilts when she gets back from her blog time off. There are buttons for most of these on the side, but I'll update the links as they become active.

In the meantime, keep quilting, and I will, too!


  1. such a pretty quilt- simple and basic design but so striking! love the colors you chose and the quilting

  2. Pretty Quilts, Love the way you have displayed them.

  3. I love this quilt. Great pictures.

  4. Beautiful quilts! The statue is a great place to photograph them, she looks like she needs a quilt.

  5. What a neat quilt, congrats on the finish. My favorite photo is the last one on the bench:)

  6. I am in love with this quilt. And I am so impressed by your ingenuity of the quilt photo-shoot. One day, I am going to shamelessly copy this idea. I am not sure if I can find an appropriate setting for the shoot. But you know - I will always be on the lookout now for a picturesque setting.

  7. This is a beautiful quilt. I love your choices :)

  8. What awesome pictures! It helps that the quilt is really beautiful. My favorite is the first one and the last one. That's a great quilt and you've made me want to try something improv. The most improv I've done to date is just one block. :)

  9. Janine, you know this is my favorite of your quilts! In fact, it's my favorite quilt on the web right now :) I love love love the photos on Casseopeia. Now when I think about the fortunate Mom who will receive the quilt, she'll have Cassie's face. I know it takes great love to give away a piece that you've worked so hard on and are so proud of. I'm a little misty eyed thinking about it. You're a good egg!

  10. What a lovely quilt. I like how you used the dark blue sort of as a border/sashing between the strips. Your colors are beautiful together and some of those prints are too, too fun. Congrats on a great finish!

  11. That is really gorgeous. The colours just set off the coins so well. Great choices, beautiful quilting too.

  12. The thing I like best about this beautiful quilt is that you did it your way; you didn't try to be someone you're not and the result is something truly original. I think that adding little rules as you go along is one of the things that makes for really good improv - they evolve from the process and then help everything hang together in a coherent way. I hope you might try working like this again. :-)

  13. This is such a restful quilt and perfect for its purpose, I should think. I've been watching its progress along the way but didn't realise until now that there are little pictures among the coins. Fascinating!

  14. This is such a beautiful beautiful quilt. I can see why you are having a hard time letting it go.I love what you did with the improv pieces. And what a beautiful statue in a not so beautiful setting. She's perfect for a photo shoot of a quilt!

  15. What a successful coin quilt! Great idea to use the sample panels. I just started an improv crumb quilt project, and why haven't I don't this before? It's so fun! Kinda like playing in the mud. . .

  16. This quilt is beautiful. I'm glad you were able to break out of your comfort zone a little. Just think about how loved this quilt will be!

  17. Wowza! It is glorious. The colors are beautiful, and I lover your quilting. It will make a wonderful gift for a mother that needs a hug. :)
    I admire your record-keeping about each quilt. I used to do something similar called "Things I've Learned", and I wish I had never stopped doing that!

  18. Your quilt turned out so lovely. It isn't colors I would normally choose but you have put them together to create something I wish I had made. It is wonderful. And, your generosity is going to be so appreciated. Whenever you think of this quilt you should smile knowing it has brought comfort to someone else.

  19. This quilt turned out so well, Janine. I didn't realize you were going to gift it away. I'd have a hard time letting it go, too.
    Until I started trying improvisational piecing, I didn't really understand what it entailed. Lots of preconceived ideas, mostly wrong. You highlighted one of the main points in my opinion. Each of us must work in a way that is congruent with our own style. It takes a while to figure out what that style is. Mine is completely different than Kaja's. (I think she's an improv queen.) Like yours, my style is more structured. Not that it's not fun to push the boundaries but we need to know our ground rules.
    I love the rules you added. I add (and break) some when I work, too.
    Thanks for linking this beauty with AHIQ. Some lucky person will have tremendous joy using this quilt.

  20. Beautiful quilt and thanks for the story, very encouraging, inspiring!

  21. Absolutely stunning! I wouldn't give that beauty away!

  22. This is a lovely take on a coins quilt , and I love the navy next to the sashing . Cool back to and great photos !