Tuesday, February 20, 2024


When I shared about my recent finish, Golden Honey, I told you I was hoping to jump into another small scrappy improv project soon, and just a few days later, I did! This one got its name from the main fabric - Ruby Star Society Horizon, a cotton linen canvas by Alexia Marcelle Abegg from 2019. I think the color is Sand, though I can't find out much about it on the web. The pieces I found in my scrap bucket are left from when I recovered my pressing table a few years ago. Which reminds me, I need to do it again! And by the way, though the fabric is considered canvas, it's not super heavy, and was plenty easy to combine with quilter's cotton. 

Anyway, I struggled a bit deciding what other fabrics to use with the goldish print. There were just a few pieces of solid gold and orange I found, but then I tried red with it and really liked it. I'm thinking this would be considered an analogous color scheme - do you agree?

I really don't have much to say about the arrangement of the fabrics.... they just sort of evolved as I began piecing and playing with them. I do like what I ended up with, but I think what really makes this piece is the quilting. I began by quilting all of the red portions with Aurifil 28wt 2260 [Wine], one of my very favorite red thread colors. I quilted pretty densely, while playing around with stitching shapes also. It was all very fluid and in the moment.

Once the red was done, I went hunting for something that would coordinate with the canvas print, but none of the golds I had worked well at all. So I thought about using an off-white, and that's when I realized, my thread stash is realllly low on those. The best I had was an Aurifil 12wt 2000 [Light Sand]. That's a lot heavier than I usually quilt with, but I referred to the Aurifil recommended uses, and saw that machine embroidery was one of them. I figured the amount of quilting I was planning on this small (15.5" x 21.5") piece could qualify as embroidery, and decided to try it. 

It definitely worked! In fact, as I got started basically outlining seam lines and creating shapes, the 12wt became an integral part of the whole piece. It really stands out, and in a way, mimics the lines and shapes of that focus fabric. At first, I was going to leave all the red unquilted, but obviously changed my mind in a few places.

Obligatory quilt back photo comprised of stash bits and pieces....

Vista is bound in Kona Rich Red - another favorite red - and in a switch from my norm, the industrial feel of the piece made me choose to machine bind it. So that all made for a fairly quick finish, and was thoroughly enjoyable. I've got a few random sewing projects coming up this week, but in between all that, I already have an incentive for my next piece. In my basket of batting scraps, I found one that already had a backing. It must have been trimmed off a larger quilt project, and I'm excited to let it lead me into something new.


  1. It's always interesting to see how your improv designs evolve - which fabrics inspire you, and the way you choose colors. Seems you did exactly the same thing choosing Aurifil threads. I really like the look of the 12-weight thread in this piece. I have worked with it a little bit myself, though mostly in hand-work - Kawandi, specifically. Perhaps I need to try it again on a quilt... though (as you know) I don't often make small quilts. Hmm. Now I wonder about the effectiveness of using 12-weight thread to quilt a large quilt. Maybe 28-weight is as heavy as I should go when quilting a big piece. Good food for thought.

  2. 12 wt is pretty fun to use in the machine, and I love the density of the stitching. I like how the white fabric plays with the other two colors. It definitely grabs the attention, but doesn't overwhelm.

  3. Interesting print for sure and the quilting echoes it, fun with improv!

  4. The 12wt quilting really is an integral part of the composition and looks fantastic!