Friday, May 17, 2013

Blogger Quilt Festival: Organic Chemistry Quilt

I think the Blogger's Quilt Festival, a few years ago, was my first introduction to the world of quilt and fiber arts blogs.  I really enjoy looking through all of the entries each year, and discovering new blogs and people!

If you're new to my blog, welcome!

I knew that I wanted to enter this newly finished quilt this year, but wasn't sure what category to enter it in.  Since all of the molecules are appliqued onto the quilt, I decided to enter it in the applique category, even if it is very non-traditional!

I started this about 2 years ago, as part of the Modern Quilt Guild's challenge, which had a theme of "organic".  After machine embroidering the hexagon and pentagon "molecule rings" onto all of the blocks, and then hand embroidering the first few blocks, it quickly became obvious that I wasn't going to get it done in the time period allotted.  I had time to stitch the blocks during  a cross-country road trip 2 summers ago, and even stitched together the back that same summer.  Then, I put it away and it sat for a very long time...

I think it sat for 2 reasons... the finished quilt wasn't as nice as I had envisioned in my mind's eye.  I love the concept of it, though, and wanted to see it realized.  I love geeky science quilts!  The other reason was that I had no idea how to quilt it.  In the end, I pretty much just closed my eyes and started quilting it, hoping for the best.  The hexagon quilting too forever, but I'm glad I endured and got it done!  I was thinking about adding some free motion quilting in addition, but decided that I like the "simplicity" (ha!), or clean lines of the hexagonal quilting, and left it alone. The back is pieced together from all of the various fabrics that I used to make the hexagons and pentagons on the molecules.

It's 60 by 75 inches.  Each appliqued and embroidered square is backed by muslin to keep the stitches from showing through the fabric, so it's a thick, heavy quilt as well.  I think if I added up all of the time I spent hand embroidering each block, researching the chemicals, and quilting this beast, I probably put more time into this quilt than any other.  Whew!

Be sure to head over to the festival to see all of the other amazing quilts there!


  1. I was wondering if you were going to enter a science-based one...

    I love this quilt. My nerd-side loves when quilting and education come together in a cool package... :-)

  2. Cute! I bet some of my old co-workers from a national labs would love to have this quilt.

  3. Very cool and I love that it's so unique and uniquely you! ;-)

  4. Love this! Molecules are such a great theme for an applique quilt!