Luminous, meet Liberty (Part 1)

Luminous, meet Liberty (Part 1)

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to participate in a blog hop to promote the Adventures in Color Quilt Along. The Quilt Along was created and run jointly by Tamarinis and Seams Like A Dream Quilts, and each of these quilters created their own version of the quilt – Tammy’s was the dark background, and Kate’s was the lighter. I was one of the bloggers who participated in the event, and I had the opportunity to guest blog on Tammy’s site on June 3.

This was originally intended to be a one part blog post, but it morphed into 2. Today’s blog post is largely the content shared with Tammy for June 3, and tomorrow’s post will cover the majority of the quilting details. It helped me a lot when both designers said we didn’t have to make the whole quilt. I didn’t – my quilt used elements found in the pattern, but I took them and completely changed the layout.


This is Tammy’s version of the quilt on the pattern cover. My quilt used two of the elements in their quilt in a combination that fits my space, and I will be showing you how I combined those elements. Within the pattern, each of the star elements is named.


My version is called Liberty, and it’s actually a wall hanging size quilt. This piece was made to fit into a space in my family room, and it is a small wall hanging piece. My quilt is made by combining the large Selene block (or rather, due to space constraints, 3 of the 4 rounds of it), and several of the Aurora blocks as well. I wanted to add a touch of negative space in there to play with, and although it’s a traditional block in a traditional color scheme, I wanted to have some room to play with feathers, which I felt was a design element that would work well.

The fabric and thread pull

I went with a red/white/blue color scheme for this – it’s striking, and if there was ever a time when you needed to make a patriotic quilt, 2020 is the year.   I’ve been enjoying playing with my stash in this piece, and I brought out a lot of my favorite lines with this. (Note to self – you always want to buy MORE Moda Grunge when you see it.) I have learned to pull the threads with the fabrics, and you can see my favorite colors of 50 weight Aurifil – along with some of the Aurifil clear monofilament thread in the bottom of the photograph.

In today’s post, I’ll be using my Aurifil monofilament thread and my walking foot to ditch stitch the center squares and triangles.  By using monofilament (clear), I won’t have to worry about changing thread colors, and I’ll be using this to stabilize the center of the quilt.

Part 1 – the Monofilament…

My Janome 8900 comes with an attachment called an Accufeed foot, and it functions just as the walking foot attachment on any other machine would.  I will be using a double layer of batting when I quilt this, and the walking foot/Accufeed feature minimizes any shifting of your sandwich during the quilting. I should also say that I spray basted this really well between all the layers.

There are a few things to consider as you set up your machine. Whenever I begin to quilt a new project, I create a mini-sandwich which sits beside my work station. The mini sandwich is made of exactly the same fabrics (and batting, most importantly the batting) as what I’m working on. In this case, I made it a little bigger than usual because I will be using it when I get to the free motion quilting step for next week.

The monofilament from Aurifil is made of nylon, and the instructions off their website indicate you should use a thread tension of 2 or less on your machine, a longer stitch length and a 90/14 needle to start with.  Once I made those adjustments, I played with the set up to make sure that I liked the length, and ultimately went with a 4.0 length.  Note that I made a note on the sandwich so I won’t lose it!  You can use any 50 wt bobbin color, and I went with the neutral that I already had in the bobbin.  My backing is red, but I didn’t  want to change the color. 

Testing, always testing

Please come back and join me for the next blog post, when I share with you how I quilted the feathers as well as the border. If I can quilt this on a domestic machine, you can do it.

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