Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Clarksdale Crossroads

I recently completed a scrap quilt I had been working on for some time. The traditional block is called Arkansas Crossroads. The title of my quilt is Clarskdale Crossroads because it reminds me of a special trip. (We did cross the border into Arkansas, but didn't spend any time there.)

In June of 2016, my husband Bill and I made the pilgrimage to the legendary blues crossroads in Clarskdale, Mississippi. He bought this pretty resonator guitar on his 50th birthday. If you are not schooled in Mississippi Delta Blues, start here with Robert Johnson

OK, back to the quilt. I had cut piles and piles of 2.5" squares in early 2016. I started sewing together 4-patches sometime after the big trip. My brain can't handle randomness, so I sorted the squares into warm and cool piles so I could sew a warm to a cool. The alternating white blocks have one warm and one cool triangle.

When I made the stitch and flip units, I had a BIG pile of bonus triangles left over. They are the gift that keeps on giving! I'm still playing with those little cuties.

 The top was done in April 2017 shortly after my daughter's wedding. I was pretty busy after that getting her wedding quilt done, so Crossroads sat for a while, waiting.

I finally quilted it in February of this year. It was easy to decide on a quilting design for the colorful bits. It's a loopy continuous curve in a peachy Superior Sew Fine thread.

It took a while to decide on a design for the white sections. I actually tried something, didn't like it, and picked it out. I settled on a walking foot design. Straight lines first, then gentle curves. I was able to stitch diagonally edge to edge. No threads to bury!

I added a free motion fill only to the diamond shapes around the outside edges. When I went to my stash to look for a binding fabric, I was so excited to find this print that mimics the shape of the quilting design!

I knew I was cutting it close. I really didn't want to cut another full strip of binding fabric to fill that little gap, so I didn't! I reached into my scrap basket and found a bit of blue that matched the Philip Jacobs print on the back. That seemed like the perfect place to insert my label.

Since I had done some marking to guide my walking foot lines, the quilt needed to be rinsed. Imagine my distress when one of the purple prints bled! After the second rinse with color catchers, the purple came clean, but...

one of the reds ran! I was persistent, and was finally able to release all the excess dye by washing in warmer water. I was sweating for a few days there!

Ahh. I love a freshly completed quilt!

Clarksdale Crossroads
64" X 80"
Started July 2016
Top done April 2017
Quilted & bound February 2018
Completed 3/9/18